Many young people who vape are given their products by friends, or get them from shops. Others buy them online.
There have been reports of poisonings and fires from the use of Relevant Vapes. More research is needed to identify which types of products are most likely to cause harm and when.
What is a vape?
A vape uses a battery to heat a liquid solution into a vapour that users inhale – mimicking smoking. It usually contains nicotine (which comes from tobacco), propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavourings. The e-liquids can have different strengths of nicotine to help smokers switch.
Vapes, or e-cigarettes, can be discreet pod or pen devices, or more complex tank devices that can make big clouds. They are available in a range of flavours and can be bought from specialist vape shops, some pharmacies and online. It is against the law to sell nicotine vapes or tobacco products to under-18s.
Using a vape with expert support helps some people quit smoking. But there are still some risks with vaping. It exposes users to some harmful toxins and can cause nicotine addiction, which is hard to break. It’s important to use a safe device and be careful around children and babies, as some of the ingredients are poisonous if swallowed.
What are the ingredients in a vape?
Vapes use coils to heat liquids into vapor that can then be inhaled. The ingredients in this vapor include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), nicotine and flavorings.
VG is a clear, syrupy liquid that’s odorless and virtually tasteless. It’s the main ingredient responsible for the visible aerosol or cloud that’s seen when using a vape. It’s also used in beauty and healthcare products, like skin wash, to help hydrate the skin.
PG is an odorless, tasteless fluid that’s also found in cosmetics and food products. It’s a great solvent and helps carry the flavors that go into vape juice. This is the reason that some popular vapes taste similar to foods and snacks. The flavors themselves are a mix of natural and artificial food-grade ingredients that come from the same companies that make candy, snacks, drinks and other foods. In addition, certain flavoring chemicals can cause toxic effects if inhaled over long periods of time, including diacetyl and formaldehyde.
Are vapes safe?
Vaping has been shown to help smokers quit and reduce the amount of toxic chemicals they inhale, but it is not harmless. Long-term use of ENDS products poses health risks, including cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.
A vape creates a vapor, or aerosol, that bathes the lungs with a mix of chemicals, aromatic additives and nicotine or THC (the chemical in marijuana that causes psychological effects), dissolved in an oily liquid base. This mixture can irritate the lungs, and even cause permanent lung damage.
Some of the damage from e-cigarette vapor can heal or get better, but persistent irritation can lead to chronic health problems, such as asthma and COPD. E-cigarette vapor can also contain other harmful chemicals, such as diacetyl (an additive used in cooking oils), formaldehyde and acrolein.
Some of these chemicals can be carcinogenic, and some are endocrine disruptors. Other dangers include explosions when recharging batteries, and vaping while pregnant can harm the developing fetus.
Are vapes addictive?
Vaping is not considered addictive by experts. However, it’s important to remember that nicotine is an addictive substance and many of the chemicals found in e-liquids are known to cause health issues. The vapor produced by vaping can also contain harmful substances like acrolein, an herbicide used to kill weeds. Additionally, there have been multiple reports of batteries in e-cigarettes exploding, causing burns and other injuries.
Ultimately, it’s important to discuss the potential dangers of vaping with your child. This is especially true if you suspect they are using a device to replace other addictive behaviors or as a way to cope with negative emotions. Try to start the conversation by asking how they think vaping affects their friends. This will help you get a sense of their knowledge and understanding. Then you can move on to talking about specific concerns, such as the health risks or their lack of interest. Encourage them to explore other interests and social activities that will help them feel better about themselves, such as volunteering or joining a team sports league.