Adolescent Vaping – Part II – Some Health Impacts of Vaping

If the increasing numbers of vape users, especially those among the under-aged group, aren’t worrisome enough, the short and long-term health consequences of using vape-related products are frightening.

Most of these products contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical compound that acts as a stimulant in the body, while others contain THC, a psychoactive chemical compound that causes users to become high.

In addition to these two chemical compounds, vape pens also contain:

  • Ultrafine particles, otherwise known as aerosols, that make their way into your lungs
  • Toxic flavorants that are known to cause lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds that can damage your central nervous system and other organs
  • Heavy metals that are extremely harmful to the human body, even in low doses

With all of these toxic ingredients included in vape-related products, it’s no wonder that regular users can go on to develop lung irritation, lung disease, a damaged immune system, and cancer.

Many unsuspecting vape users have developed bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung, after vaping for only a short amount of time.  In the case of popcorn lung, the bronchioles found in your lungs narrow and form scar tissue which makes it harder for those affected by it to take in oxygen. As a result, sufferers wheeze, feel short of breath, or experience intense coughing spells.  Some people have died as a result of this disease.

Those aren’t the only unpleasant side effects one may experience once they start to vape.  Nicotine withdrawal produces noticeable side effects in a short amount, because nicotine triggers the release of dopamine in your body. Dopamine is called the feel good hormone because it makes the body feel good. The problem with nicotine is that it gets processed by the liver so quickly that the body craves more frequent bursts of dopamine so the need for another hit becomes important and the body continues to ask for it in increasing frequency.

So, when kids and adults neglect to use their vape pens in frequent intervals, they will start to feel:

  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Restless
  • Jittery

Those feelings of nicotine withdrawal can also impact their eating and sleeping patterns and it affect their levels of concentration.

Vaping is not healthy for anyone at any age, but it is particularly bad for people under age 25. Adolescents’ and young peoples’ brain are not fully developed yet, and nicotine use can cause problems with the ability to focus, memorize, and learn. The use of vape-related products can also increase heart rate and blood pressure making it difficult for kids to compete in sports.  Using nicotine or marijuana vape pens at an early age can make tweens and teens more susceptible to other addictive behaviors like drinking alcohol and using drugs. And regular use of alcohol and drugs in adolescence can exacerbate mental health issues, impulsivity and other social, emotional and mental problems.