Teen Vaping Epidemic: The Facts
According to the New York City Department of Health, 1 in 6 NYC public high school students currently use e-cigarettes. Statistics such as this are becoming common across the country and have prompted a national conversation around the harmful risks of teen vaping. Vaping devices are handheld, battery-powered vaporizers that heat e-liquids into aerosol, replicating the feel of smoking without burning tobacco.
E-liquids usually contain high amounts of nicotine, an addictive drug that is known to contribute to heart failure and can negatively affect a teenager’s memory, concentration, and may decrease learning ability. A single cartridge of e-liquid often has as much, if not more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes does.
Further, according to the Department of health, most E-cigarettes contain other harmful chemicals such as Formaldehyde (a cancer-causing chemical), Benzene (a cancer-causing chemical), Diacetyl (which has been linked to lung disease), and Heavy metals (such as nickel, tin and lead). In fact, a 2009 study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the e-cigarettes studied “contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.” Overall, the harmful health consequences of vaping are only just beginning to be understood, but the fact that so much is unknown beyond the ingredients listed paints a bleak picture for teen vapers’ future healths.