June 10, 2019The Dreidel
Teenage Vaping or Juuling has become incredibly popular. Why hide your cigarettes? Who wants to hang out in high school lavatories anyway? Why would you want to smell like the ashtray in your Uncle Irving’s rec room? Vaping provides a fruity, sweet taste while your brain rots from nicotine, but your fingers won’t get yellow from hitting those Camel filters.
We have enough on our plates then to worry about cancers, brain disorders and just another addiction that comes from vaping. How can we fight against anti-Semitism when we have an annoying cough, suffer from short term memory loss, or are hooked up to a respirator after our lungs fail?
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, current e-cigarette use – defined by use on at least one day in the past 30 days -by high school students increased 78 percent, from 2017 to 2018 and 40-60% of those polled admitted to also smoking cigarettes at the same time.
“The most dangerous aspect of e-cigarettes is that up until 2016, they were completely unregulated and even today we still don’t know exactly what’s being inhaled,” warned Brent Fuller, M.D., Beaumont pediatrician and internal medicine physician. “You’re inhaling a multitude of chemicals (at least 60 chemical compounds have been found in e-cigarettes so far). Because of the unknowns, we don’t know what the long-term effects of vaping will be, but I would worry about cancer, the increased risk of dependency (studies show that using e-cigarettes increases the likelihood of smoking cigarettes), and the effect it has on brain development.”
According to the American Lung Association, even some e-cigarettes that claimed to be nicotine free tested positive for the drug.
“There are acetylcholine receptors in the brain and other places in the body and, when nicotine enters your system, it binds to them,” explained Dr. Fuller. “The long-term effect of nicotine is a higher risk for addiction and a negative impact on brain development, specifically, your working memory and attention span. So, high schoolers who smoke e-cigarettes could be risking their grades and, potentially, their future careers, because they can’t pay attention in school.”
Parents should also be concerned if their kids are athletes and think it’s OK to vape. “This isn’t just a water solution that tastes like bubble gum or some other cute flavor. One of the known chemicals in e-cigarettes is diacetyl, which can effect lung capacity and eventually lead to a disease called ‘popcorn lung,'” said Dr. Fuller. “In addition to your breathing, if your attention span is impaired by nicotine and you can’t pay attention to your game, you won’t be playing at peak performance.”
If those aren’t reasons enough to warn teens off vaping, consider this:
“I’ve had this conversation with my own teenagers, and it’s important for other parents to do the same. There are just too many unknowns with e-cigarettes and vaping for anyone to feel safe doing it,” said Dr. Fuller.
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