The practice of vaping has come full circle in terms of public awareness and public relations. Prompted by investors, news of vaping when it first appeared a decade ago made it sound like the perfect antidote to a nicotine-adducted pubic, offering a nicotine-laced vapor that included none of the hundreds of other potentially harmful compounds found in tobacco products. Vaping was first touted as water and nicotine with a huge potential to help smokers back away from cigarettes. It seemed a win-win for everyone.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the use of a device that turns liquid into vapor to inhale a product into your lungs. The common product, when vaping began, was a harmless liquid, such as water, that included various levels of nicotine. The product was sold as a way to avoid smoking tobacco and could be used to wean someone from very gradually from nicotine. As such, it could be used like the patch, the lozenge, the gum, and other nicotine-weaning products, offering various levels of nicotine to make quitting smoking very gradual and easy to do.
Vaping Today – Three Alarming Innovations
Several problems have plagued the vaping industry that, similar to many other addictive products, centers around the addictive nature and the popularity of the product. Instead of using vaping to wean oneself from cigarettes or chewing tobacco, customers were going the other way: Finding ways to increase their vaping, which could, of course, be addicting as well, as it contained nicotine.
Along with its popularity came several innovations that raised more alarms about vaping. One innovation was the invention of pumps that could vastly increase the amount of vapor the devices produced. Small puffs of vapor could be turned into enormous clouds of vapor, so thick they could practically blot out the person who was vaping.
The second innovation was the addition of flavorings to vaping liquids. The flavorings were close to endless. You could buy chocolate, fruit flavors, herbal flavors, candy flavors, and everything else in between. This enhanced its popularity and increased concerns that vaping would appeal to younger users. With this in mind, the promise of weaning people from tobacco products turned around. Now the fear was that vaping would encourage smokers, rather than offer a way to stop.
The third innovation was the addition of active ingredients from marijuana that would allow vaping to be used as a means to get high. This added more concerns to the picture.
One of the specific problems with vaping is a standard scientific issue, which is that the product has not been around long enough for definitive, long-term studies to be conducted on vaping. However, among the most commonly listed concerns are the exposure to nicotine, especially among teenagers who may not have smoked before. A recent study found that one in three high school seniors had tried vaping at least once in the past year.
With exposure to vaping, a dependency is formed. The initial promise of using vaping to wean oneself from nicotine has given way to the industry’s needs for profit. The ability to use vaping to quit smoking is still listed as one of the benefits of the product, but web sites show that the industry is less concerned with that than staying in business, which means pushing the flavors and the “cool” devices and the relatively cleaner product.
The long term health risks of smoking marijuana run along two lines. First, inhaling a lot of smoke is not good for your lungs. It increases the risks of lung conditions, such as asthma. However, there are clear indications of the effects of marijuana on psychological lines. These include decreased motivation, impact on memory and problem solving, decreased reaction time, which can put drivers at risk, and increases in depression.