The Health Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUUL on Today’s Youth

Various players have championed the use of e-cigarettes/vaping, including JUUL, to justify that they have significantly fewer adverse health effects compared to traditional smoking. Consequently, the prevalence of smoking has reduced globally, including in the United States. Moreover, the rate of e-cigarette use has increased exponentially. Studies have established that E-cigarette/vaping may have adverse health consequences similar to traditional smoking. Therefore, E-cigarette use is a significant public health challenge that merits urgent interventions. For this reason, it is imperative to examine the health effects of e-cigarette, vapes, and JUUL with the focus on their long-term impact on youth.

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The use of e-cigarette, vaping, and JUUL has increased among youth. For instance, Singh et al. (2020) reviewed the patterns of e-cigarette use, potential health consequences, and recommendations on mitigating the issue. The study found that about 42.2% of youth between grade 9-12 had attempted to use e-cigarettes. Moreover, the study found that the rate of vaping increased as well in 2019, with a 25% prevalence of vaping among grade 12 students. Furthermore, Singh et al. (2020) established that a significant proportion of youth also engage in conventional smoking in addition to using e-cigarettes. This finding is consistent with the previous studies that suggested that e-cigarette use among youth would predispose them to abuse other drugs such as conventional smoking and marijuana. Additionally, the investigation established that youth engage in vaping on account of appealing flavors, social bonding, convenience, and curiosity.

Smoking contributes to diverse health effects, including cardiovascular events, lung cancer, and brain dysfunction. E-cigarettes or vaping are no exception to having adverse impacts. Singh et al. (2020) found that there was a profound correlation between acute lung injuries with vaping. Increased airway resistance, decreased airway conductance, and deficiency of lung function due to impaired cilia activity. Moreover, the study discovered that a significant proportion of youth who used e-cigarettes had nicotine sickness characterized by abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. This can be attributed to high levels of nicotine in the victim’s system following e-cigarette use. Therefore, e-cigarette use poses a significant health risk to vulnerable youth.

The adverse health consequences of vaping and smoking have prompted stakeholders to encourage youth to stop vaping and smoking. Sanchez et al. (2021) sought to examine the similarities between vaping and traditional smoking, forming a foundation for designing vaping cessation interventions. The study involved a qualitative investigation among youth and young adults in Toronto. Seven group discussions of self-identified participants formed the survey. Consequently, Sanchez et al. (2021) discovered that most participants found it hard to quit vaping and smoking due to stress relief and behavioral gratification. Moreover, the study revealed that the participants quit smoking or vaping based on financial implications and dependence development. However, the survey revealed that most young people find it hard to quit vaping because they enjoy different flavors and convenience. Therefore, stopping vaping requires deliberate interventions that engage different players.

Several factors appeal to youth and make them engage in e-cigarette use. Pepper et al. (2017) conducted an online survey among young people between ages 15-17 to establish the risk factors for vaping. The survey revealed that vaping is typical for youth, viewing and sharing vaping information on social media, and using advanced vaping devices. These findings are consistent with the study by Singh et al. (2020) who discovered that curiosity and appealing flavors entice youth to engage in vaping. For this reason, the prevalence of vaping will increase in the absence of mitigating measures.

The emerging trend of e-cigarette use among youth has left society with questions about safety concerns. Consequently, Fadus et al. (2019) reviewed the literature on e-cigarette use among youth. The review established that there had been an exponential rise in the prevalence of e-cigarette use among youth from 2011 to 2018, consistent with the findings by Singh et al. (2020). Moreover, the review discovered that most young people have little information on the health consequences of vaping. Additionally, the study found that the uptake of JUUL among youth has recently increased significantly. More importantly, Fadus et al. (2019) established a critical health concern about the potential long-term impact of e-cigarettes on brain development, notwithstanding the proposition that an e-cigarette is a safer choice than a traditional combustible cigarette. Pathology is associated with a high concentration of nicotine intake in an e-cigarette compared to conventional cigarettes. Therefore, e-cigarettes use poses a probable long-term health impact on youth.

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E-cigarettes have the potential to contain various toxic substances with negative health consequences. Therefore, Hess et al. (2017) investigated the concentration of toxic metals in five major brands of e-cigarettes. Consequently, the analysis found significant levels of metals in some of the brands, namely, nickel, manganese, chromium, lead, and cadmium. Evidence exists highlighting the adverse health effects of heavy metals, such as the oxidization of chromium (III) and carcinogenic chromium (VI). Therefore, e-cigarettes could have serious long-term health effects on youth.

Young people are facing a profound health risk from the use of e-cigarette products. The review of the above literature indicates an ever-increasing prevalence of the use of e-cigarettes and vaping. Moreover, the literature strongly testifies to acute health effects such as lung injury and death. Additionally, vaping can cause undesirable health impacts on youth, including brain dysfunction, malignancies from heavy metal toxicity, and abuse of more drugs such as marijuana and smoking.

References

Fadus, M. C., Smith, T. T., & Squeglia, L. M. (2019). The rise of e-cigarettes, pod mod devices, and JUUL among youth: Factors influencing use, health implications, and downstream effects. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 201, 85–93. Web.

Hess, C. A., Olmedo, P., Navas-Acien, A., Goessler, W., Cohen, J. E., & Rule, A. M. (2017). E-cigarettes as a source of toxic and potentially carcinogenic metals. Environmental Research, 152, 221–225. Web.

Pepper, J. K., Lee, Y. O., Watson, K. A., Kim, A. E., Nonnemaker, J. M., & Farrelly, M. C. (2017). Risk factors for youth e-cigarette “Vape Trick” behavior. Journal of Adolescent Health, 61(5), 599-605. Web.

Sanchez, S., Kaufman, P., Pelletier, H., Baskerville, B., Feng, P., O’Connor, S., Schwartz, R., & Chaiton, M. (2021). Is vaping cessation like smoking cessation? A qualitative study exploring the responses of youth and young adults who vape e-cigarettes. Addictive Behaviors, 113, 106687. Web.

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Singh, S., Windle, S. B., Filion, K. B., Thombs, B. D., O’Loughlin, J. L., Grad, R., & Eisenberg, M. J. (2020). E-cigarettes and youth: Patterns of use, potential harms, and recommendations. Preventive Medicine, 133, 106009. Web.

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"The Health Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUUL on Today’s Youth." NerdyRoo, 2 Oct. 2022, nerdyroo.com/the-health-effects-of-e-cigarettes-vapes-and-juul-on-todays-youth/.

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NerdyRoo. "The Health Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUUL on Today’s Youth." October 2, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/the-health-effects-of-e-cigarettes-vapes-and-juul-on-todays-youth/.

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NerdyRoo. 2022. "The Health Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUUL on Today’s Youth." October 2, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/the-health-effects-of-e-cigarettes-vapes-and-juul-on-todays-youth/.

References

NerdyRoo. (2022) 'The Health Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vapes, and JUUL on Today’s Youth'. 2 October.

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