What’s The Big Deal With E-Cigs & Vaping?

There’s no smoke and no smell, so what’s the big deal with e-cigs and vaping?


Well, more than you may think.


At Arbor Place, we’ve spent decades helping people recover from substance abuse.


E-cigarettes are a rapidly growing substance that is being used by many people including school aged kids.


What are e-cigs?


An e-cigarette is a battery powered device that works by heating a liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, flavors, and other cancer causing chemicals. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs are smoke free and scent free which makes them appeal to certain audiences. They are also available in many flavors, including flavors that are appealing to kids.


Are E-Cigs Harmful?


It is only over the last 10+ years that e-cigs have been on the US market so much is still being learned about their health impact. What we do know is that most e-cigs contain nicotine which is what makes tobacco highly addictive. Even some products that have claimed to be nicotine free have been found to have nicotine in them. Whenever substances are addictive, they should be approached with caution. Nicotine use is harmful to pregnant women, developing babies and can harm the developing brain of young people and should therefore not be used by kids or young adults. In addition to tobacco and nicotine, e-cigs typically have more chemicals added that may cause cancer or cause other health issues.


But Can’t E-Cigs Help People Stop Smoking?


E-Cigs have not been approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation product and e-cig companies are banned from using language implying they may aid in quitting smoking. While e-cigs are still being studied, some studies suggest that many people who intended to use e-cigs to quit smoking ended up continuing to use both e-cigs and traditional cigarettes.


E-Cigs, Kids, & Young Adults


While much progress has been made around tobacco and advertising to kids, the tobacco industry has a long history of targeting kids and turning them into lifelong customers.


In order to reduce the appeal of tobacco to kids, the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act banned all flavors in cigarettes (except menthol) but flavors are still available for other tobacco products.


The e-cigarette industry is taking advantage of this gap by marketing flavors that are highly appealing to kids such as cotton candy, vanilla cookie, and gummy bear flavors. The e-cigarette industry knows that if it can create appeal in kids, the addictive nature of their product will convert lifelong customers, and revenue, for the industry.


With regulations around e-cigarettes moving slowly, there is still widespread advertising on traditional outlets as well as social media and sponsorships from the tobacco industry.


Other reasons that e-cigs are so appealing to youth is that they are perceived as being more healthy than traditional cigarettes and their per use cost is less expensive than traditional cigarettes. Because of the smoke-free and smell-free nature of the products, there is also a reduced stigma around smoking e-cigs in young people today.



Bottom Line


E-cigarettes are harmful to your health and highly addictive. Like any substance that is addictive and effects health, Arbor Place recommends extreme caution. Kids are more impressionable than adults and are highly susceptible to both peer pressure and the advertising tactics of the tobacco industry.


We encourage parents to have open conversations with kids about e-cigarettes. Kids that have a healthy view of substances tend to have parents that openly share their values and talk through situations before they come up.


If you have questions or need support, Arbor Place is just a phone call away.