Here's why vaping is more dangerous than you might think

Picture this: You walk into the school bathroom to be greeted by a gaggle of girls—you guessed it—vaping. They ask you to join in, and for a minute, you're kinda tempted. But hear us out first.

Vaping is marketed as a "healthier" or "cooler" version of smoking, but that's far from the truth. E-cigarettes are *not* cool, no matter how bright or colorful their packaging is. PSA: Vapes are not toys. E-cigarette companies market them to young people by making them look like they're meant for teens and tweens. But we're here to explain why that's absolutely not the case.

Vapes contain harmful chemicals

According to the American Lung Association, e-cigarettes have been found to include nicotine, propylene glycol (a harmful additive that's also found in artificial smoke in fog machines...yuck!), carcinogens (which are known to cause cancer), acrolein (used to kill weeds and can cause irreversible lung damage), heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead and *loads* of other harmful chemicals. If this long and terrifying list isn't enough to make vaping seem nothing but disgusting, keep reading.

Vaping can be *super* addicting

It's no secret that vaping is addictive. But while it's often depicted in the media and in marketing as a less addictive alternative to smoking cigarettes, that isn't necessarily true. Tbh, *both* e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain the same amount of nicotine which might be as addictive as heroin and cocaine (two other addicting and harmful drugs). 

It can hinder brain development 

As a tween or teen, your brain is still developing (and it won't be *fully* developed till you're in your 20s). And while vaping is bad for anyone, it's especially bad for young people for this very reason. The younger you are, the more likely you are to get addicted to something. And the younger you are, the bigger impact vaping could have on your brain.

It's bad for your heart and lungs

Remember that list of scary-sounding chemicals we listed earlier? Yup, those will harm your heart and lungs (two of your most vital organs). People who vape are 56 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers. And 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke. Read that again. Let that soak in. And vaping can also harm your lungs—and can even lead to a chronic lung disease that causes coughing and shortness of breath called "popcorn lung." Trust us, it's *not* worth it.

There's *good* news: 

Although vaping is nothing but bad news, we have some good news for you! There are people working tirelessly to change the narrative around teens and vaping—and this includes teens who have battled with addiction themselves. By posting their own quitting journeys to social media, lots of young people have begun to make a change.

If you or someone in your life is suffering from addiction to vaping, it's never too late to make a change. Talk to an adult you trust. Remember: that first step will be the hardest, but it will be *so* worth it. Make your future self thank you. 

Sometimes, people turn to vaping when they are struggling with their mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources available.



by Eva Mandelbaum | 1/10/2024