Vaping Fact Sheet: Deciphering Myths From Reality

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Vapes stole plenty of headlines in 2019, and for good reason — at least six people died, and 450 or more suffered from illnesses related to their habit.

With that, vaping understandably went under a microscope. Experts say it will take time to understand the full effects that such a habit can have. In the meantime, though, plenty of myths and misinformation have spread about vaping, too.

So, what’s the truth when it comes to vaping? Here’s what we have so far — a vaping fact sheet to delineate myths from reality.

1. Myth: Nicotine Usage Can Lead to Cancer

Many people think that cigarettes cause cancer because they contain nicotine, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s the other additives, such as formaldehyde and lead, which have links to the disease.

Vapes forego many of these known carcinogens, which is why so many people point to vaping as the safer alternative to smoking. Nevertheless, some e-cigarette cartridges do contain nicotine, making them highly addictive.

2. Reality: Young People Prefer to Vape

Vapes have a powerful marketing machine behind them, just as cigarettes do. Specifically, those who sell e-cigarettes and vapes have successfully branded their products as the high-tech alternative to smoking.

Of course, this is true — a vape is certainly newer technology than a cigarette. Perhaps more importantly, though, this marketing scheme has made vaping the apparent alternative to smoking for teenagers and young adults. They want to try what’s new and cool, and this sensation has made vaping a cultural phenomenon for them.

As such, the number of young adults who take part in vaping has consistently grown since it became a popular pastime. According to the Pew Research Center, for example, the number of teens who have vaped per month has doubled between 2017 and 2019.

3. Myth: You Can Only Vape Nicotine

Smoking doesn’t come in a single form. You can smoke tobacco-filled cigarettes, or you can pass around a marijuana-filled ZOB Glass. It’s an easy-to-tailor habit, whether you prefer a nicotine or marijuana high.

The same goes for vapes, even though some people believe it’s only for nicotine. Instead, those who vape have a seemingly endless number of products from which to choose. They can customize the amount of nicotine or marijuana they smoke, as well as the flavor it will taste like.

And this is precisely where the trouble can come in for vape users. There’s not nearly as much standardization amongst vape liquids as there is in tobacco, for example.

These subtle changes can harm people if they’re not paying attention to what they’re smoking. They may end up with a stronger variety. Or, they might buy a mixture that works well in one type of vape but not in another.

So, vigilance is required of vape users because it’s not just for nicotine — it’s for just about any flavor of e-liquid you can find.

4. Reality: Vaping Can Be a Gateway Drug

Most kids know that smoking cigarettes is terrible for their health. However, the lines become blurry with vaping — some don’t understand that both habits have similar effects.

The U.S. Surgeon general has already issued a warning because of this miscommunication. As time has gone on, fewer and fewer kids have picked up a smoking habit. Now, though, all of that progress has been threatened by the exponential popularity of vaping.

And, as it turns out, vaping can eventually lead kids to pick up traditional smoking. It makes sense, considering both habits may involve an addiction to nicotine.

5. Myth: Vapers Partake Just Like Smokers

Don’t expect to see people gathered outside of a building vaping. The high-tech habit is not the same as smoking. As such, it might be hard to pinpoint when someone’s addicted to the former.

Vapes can be as small as a USB drive, which means they can discretely slip into pockets and purses. Plus, vapes release vapor instead of smoke. If it’s an unflavored variety, then, the air won’t smell.

With that, it makes sense why vapers may fly under the radar. They can have a vape break indoors without leaving behind a stale, smoky smell.

This aspect is an excellent benefit for those who want to vape indoors, but it’s a double-edged sword. It’s easy to grab for a vape and have a quick hit of nicotine. It might be even more addictive than cigarettes — one girl admitted to vaping every 15 minutes because of the ease of use.

6. Reality: Doctors Still Need to a Vaping Fact Sheet of Their Own

Teens and young adults know what vaping is — they probably have friends who do it. But older adults, even those who work in the medical field, might be unfamiliar with the fact that it’s a pervasive habit.

Those who do know about vaping are still trying to understand more about the habit and its side effects. It might take decades to truly understand the vaping myths vs reality. That fact should be a word of warning to those who do choose to vape.

Without solid medical research, it might be tough to remove particularly damaging vape-related products from the market. President Trump, for one, has promised to make flavored vape liquids illegal. The move came after the high vape-related illness and death count in 2019.

That one change won’t remove vapes from the market entirely, though. So, doctors and researchers have to catch up to the trend. Once they know more about the health effects of vaping, then more people can make informed decisions as to whether or not they’ll participate.

Reality: It’s Up to You

A vaping fact sheet can help you decide whether or not vaping is for you. In the end, though, it’s a personal decision for everyone. Do your research and try to choose reputable products, if you do decide to vape.

In the meantime, you might be able to find answers to other smoke- or vape-related questions here at Smoking With Style. Check back regularly to see what’s new in our weed-centric neck of the woods.

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