Image Credit: WordPress
Author: Natalee Wheeler
Vaping is gaining popularity, especially among young teens and college aged adults. Some argue that it’s better than smoking cigarettes and others claim it helps them relax. Yet, approximately 60% of teens incorrectly report e-cigarettes being comprised mostly of flavoring. What’s the truth about vapes?
What exactly is vaping?
Vaping is the act of using an e-cigarette to inhale the vapor contained in that device. E-cigarettes can come in may different forms and styles.
What is MSU’s vaping policy?
Montana State University is a tobacco free campus. Smoking, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco are prohibited. You are breaking campus policy if you do smoke or vape on campus. This could result in disciplinary action and/or removal from campus. For any questions, be sure to check the MSU policy page at https://www.montana.edu/policy/smoking_facilities/.
What are the dangers of vaping?
Vaping is not as harmless as advertisers may want you to believe. While e-cigarettes may not contain tar or as many toxic chemicals like regular cigarettes, many contain carcinogens and nicotine, both harmful substances. Also, the fact that e-cigarettes are “better” than regular cigarettes isn’t setting that high of a bar. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 5 U.S. deaths per year are caused by cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke. So, is it that impressive that vaping may be better than cigarettes? Well, it isn’t hard to beat rock bottom, so no. Here are some more facts about the dangers of vaping:
Vaping is addictive:
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause dependence and addiction. About 98 % of e-cigarettes sold in convenience stores, supermarkets, and other similar stores contain nicotine. Nicotine activates the brain’s reward circuits and increases levels of dopamine, which causes a pleasure reaction. This increases the brain’s motivation to continue to use nicotine, over and over again.
E-Cigarette aerosol contains harmful chemicals:
Not only do e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but other harmful substances as well. This is including:
- Ultra fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
Use of e-cigarettes may increase the use of other tobacco products:
Many studies show that use of e-cigarettes increase tobacco use, especially in young people. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, e-cigarette use has shown to introduce people to other tobacco products and increase the risk of dual use (using more than one tobacco product).
Vaping is harmful for young adults and youth:
The brain continues to develop until around the age of 25. By consuming nicotine, young adults and youth are putting themselves at a risk for harming parts of their brain that play a role in learning, attention, memory, control, and mood.
JUUL is a very popular vaping device for young adults. However, even the company itself recognizes the dangers that vaping imposes. According to JUUL’s website, “JUUL LABS is committed to improving the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes. We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products. We certainly don’t want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission. ” https://www.juul.com/youth-prevention
Resources at MSU
Montana Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
Services: Individual coaching and free or low-cost cessation support, including nicotine replacement therapies and prescription drugs.
The Office of Health Advancement
Services: The Office of Health Advancement has many different services available for free for MSU students. There are tobacco quit kits available for free at OHA. There is also wellness coaching where you can meet one on one with a wellness coach and talk about meeting your goals and mitigating stress.
Location: 1102 S. 6th Ave., Bozeman, MT
Telephone: (406) 994-4380
The Center for Recovering Students:
Services: The Center for Recovering Students helps students with recovery from substance abuse or use. They have support groups like Marijuana Anonymous and can assist students with enjoying a sober lifestyle.
Location: 1106 S. 6th Ave., Bozeman, MT
Telephone: (406) 994-4380
Want to learn more? Check out these great websites!
Truth Initiative: https://truthinitiative.org/
Center on Addiction: https://www.centeronaddiction.org/e-cigarettes
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/about-e-cigarettes.html