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Vaping. Is it the new addiction?




Vaping devices


Vaping devices, are also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine (though not always), flavorings, and other chemicals.

More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market. Some common nicknames for e-cigarettes are:

§ e-cigs

§ e-hookahs

§ hookah pens

§ vapes

§ vape pens

§ mods (customizable, more powerful vaporizers)




Nicotine Effects on the Body

• Aerolized nicotine enters lungs and is absorbed by arterial system and enters the brain within seconds after inhalation

• Nicotine causes the release of several neurochemicals within the midbrain or the brain reward pathway

• As nicotine is distributed to other tissues in the brain the concentrations in the brain begin to decline; this results in “cravings” which may emerge in as little as 20-30 minutes after vaping

• Vaping provides a symptomatic relief of cravings and thus a vicious cycle is created and the dependence on nicotine is maintained



Nicotine effects on the brain

• The nicotine in e-liquids is readily absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream when a person vapes an e-cigarette. Upon entering the blood, nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.

• As with most addictive substances, nicotine activates the brain’s reward circuits and also increases levels of a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine, which reinforces rewarding behaviors. Pleasure caused by nicotine’s interaction with the reward circuit motivates some people to use nicotine again and again, despite risks to their health and well-being.



How do vaping devices work?

Most e-cigarettes consist of four different components, including:

• a cartridge or reservoir or pod, which holds a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals

• a heating element (atomizer)

• a power source (usually a battery)

• a mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale

• In many e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The person then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor (called vaping)




Vaping & popularity among teens

• Vaping devices are popular among teens and are now the most commonly used form of nicotine among youth in the United States.

• The easy availability of these devices, alluring advertisements, various e-liquid flavors, and the belief that they're safer than cigarettes have helped make them appealing to this age group.

• In addition, they are easy to hide from teachers and parents because they do not leave behind the stench of tobacco cigarettes, and are often disguised as flash drives.



Trends among teens who vape

• In addition to the unknown health effects, early evidence suggests that vaping might serve as an introductory product for preteens and teens who then go on to use other nicotine products, including cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and premature death.

• A study showed that students who had used e-cigarettes by the time they started 9th grade were more likely than others to start smoking cigarettes and other smokable tobacco products within the next year.

• Another study supports these findings, showing that high school students who used e-cigarettes in the last month were about 7 times more likely to report that they smoked cigarettes when asked approximately 6 months later, as compared to students who said they didn't use e-cigarettes.



What are the effects of vaping on the body?

• Research so far suggests that vaping devices might be less harmful than combustible cigarettes when people who regularly smoke switch to them as a complete replacement. But nicotine in any form is a highly addictive drug. Research suggests it can even prime the brain’s reward system, putting vapers at risk for addiction to other drugs.

• Also, e-cigarette use exposes the lungs to a variety of chemicals, including those added to e-liquids, and other chemicals produced during the heating/vaporizing process.

• A study of some e-cigarette products found the vapor contains known carcinogens and toxic chemicals, as well as potentially toxic metal nanoparticles from the device itself. The study showed that the e-liquids of certain cig-a-like brands contain high levels of nickel and chromium, which may come from the nichrome heating coils of the vaporizing device.

• Cig-a-likes may also contain low levels of cadmium, a toxic metal also found in cigarette smoke that can cause breathing problems and disease. More research is needed on the health consequences of repeated exposure to these chemicals. There are also reports of lung illnesses and deaths related to inhalation of certain vaping oils into the lungs, which have no way to filter out toxic ingredients.



Vaping effects on the teen brain

• The teen years are critical for brain development, which continues into young adulthood (BD 23-25yrs). Young people who use nicotine products in any form, including e-cigarettes, are uniquely at risk for long-lasting effects.

• Because nicotine affects the development of the brain's reward system, continued nicotine vaping can not only lead to nicotine addiction, but it also can make other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teen's developing brain.

• Nicotine also affects the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning. Other risks include mood disorders and permanent problems with impulse control—failure to fight an urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.



Problems with Substance Misuse

• Personal (morbidity, mortality i.e. DBMVA (death by motor vehicle accident), theft, trafficking, prostitution)

• Public health (STIs)

• Family (distrustful family members; poor family support; hostile/over-involved/critical family members)

• Social (theft, trafficking, assaults, homicide)

• Economic (low academic attainment; lack of high school diploma; unskilled; prohibitive effects of police record e.g. possession; inability to find and maintain a job)



Substance Misuse

• Substance use and abuse among adolescents of particular concern

• Adults with substance use disorders begin their drug use in their youth i.e. teenagers; adolescents

• Young people react to changes in drug availability and social perceptions about drug use more than older people; trends in illicit drug use----à shifts in Drug Markets



In Summary:

Vaping devices, also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol.


Most e-cigarettes consist of four different components, including: a cartridge or reservoir or pod, which holds a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.


The easy availability of these devices, alluring advertisements, various e-liquid flavors, and the belief that they're safer than cigarettes have helped make them appealing to the teenagers.


Because nicotine affects the development of the brain's reward system, continued nicotine vaping can not only lead to nicotine addiction, but it also can make other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teen's developing brain

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