Vaping is not a safe replacement to cigarettes

Robert Salcido, Senior

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E-cigarettes are supposedly a safer alternative to actual cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco-based products. Within the past few years, these devices have become a phenomenon among today’s youth.

They appeal to adolescents due to the numerous flavors the e-cig fluid has, such as cinnamon, cherry or the candy variety. Though generally seen as harmless, vaping is quite the contrary.

A JUUL pod, according to the FDA, contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Nicotine is the chemical responsible for addiction in tobacco products; it is also used as a pesticide for killing insects and other pests, but it is presented in products.

Besides nicotine, another chemical found in e-cig vapor is formaldehyde, which causes irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs if enough is inhaled. Formaldehyde is also used in embalming fluid, a substance that preserves corpses and delays decomposition.

Vaping can compromise the body’s ability to fight infections and stay healthy. In a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, e-cigarettes slow down the function of 358 genes linked to the immune system.

This same study also revealed that this popular trend reduces a male’s sperm count, increases depression, and affects the frontal cortex–the part of the brain associated with smell, sound, and sight–and can cause mental illness, especially among adolescent, underdeveloped brains. Other than a chemical or anatomical risk, one also endangers themselves with e-cigarettes because the batteries have a reputation of randomly exploding.

Given the contents and risks of smoking e-cigarettes, people are inadvertently harming themselves. The misconception of vaping is as deceptive as mist.

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