Understanding Vaping Addiction: Nicotine as a Gateway Drug

Image courtesy of ProVapor

Image courtesy of ProVapor

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E-cigarettes are marketed as a product meant to help people quit smoking. However, in 2014 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) completed a survey that came to the conclusion that hundreds of thousands of teens were using e-cigs who would have never otherwise smoked. In this way, vaping has become the start of addiction for many young people, rather than a way to stop it. This finding led to a slew of studies suggesting that the addictive component e-cigs contain--nicotine--is resulting in e-cigs becoming a gateway for the use of other, more harmful, drugs. Vaping causes the body to release high amounts of dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel happy. However, when your dopamine levels go down you are less happy, making you want to vape again. This is how addiction starts.

Vaping builds a basis for drug addiction and may cause addicts to want even greater highs. As a result, studies suggest vaping may cause young people to try harsher drugs such as marijuana and cocaine to achieve that high. Teen vaping can be the start down a dangerous path of drug addiction and disastrous health consequences.