I started smoking when I was twelve years old. Through middle and high school I smoked a handful of cigarettes a day and by the time I reached university I was up to a pack a day. I should never have started. It took me years to finally quit and who knows how many chemicals I ingested in the meantime. Yuck.
Over the years, the health risks of smoking and second hand smoke became apparent. The numbers of cigarette smokers decreased but the business and industry didn’t roll over and die—instead they came up with an alternative way to get the nicotine and other toxins into the next generation of lungs. Many smokers took up e-cigarettes thinking it a clean and safer alternative way to ingest nicotine or THC.
Vaping works by heating a chemical liquid (often referred to as “e-juice” or “juice”) that’s in the e-cigarette (aka E-cigs, E-hookah, Vape sticks, Vape pens) to turn it into a vapor to be inhaled. They contain a battery and often resemble a flashlight, a pen, or a USB flash drive. The juice, more often than not, contains nicotine and comes in thousands of flavors including bubblegum, apple, vanilla, mint, etc.
And, while e-cigs have been around for several years, it’s only been in the last few that the popularity of vaping has hit the cool-factor for young people. In the last several weeks, however, there’s been reports coming from the US indicating that vaping (or ingesting the chemicals and residual oils of the heated liquid), is likely the cause, or mitigating factor, for the deaths or unexplained respiratory distress of several individuals.
This new reality is alarming, needs to be taken seriously, and should not be ignored. Vaping is causing health problems swiftly with no set agenda, discrimination, or time limit.
We can’t wait fifty years to raise a concern about e-cigs. The potential risks are too high.
The popularity of vaping is so new at this point no one knows the long term effects but reality seems to be rearing its ugly head. The speed in which the dangerous side effects have arisen is reason enough to quit.
If you’re going to continue to vape be aware of symptoms that come up suddenly in otherwise healthy people as related by the health investigators in the US. including shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and/or weight loss.
But then again, maybe you should just listen to Auntie and quit now before something happens–that would be the smart thing to do.
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