An annual survey of substance use among high school students has found that while more are vaping, many are unaware that they're inhaling not just flavorings, but also highly addictive nicotine.
E-cigarettes have been touted as a healthier alternative to regular smoking, which produce tar and carbon monoxide through burning.
As of 2016, it is the most commonly used form of smoking among youth, according to report released by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. A 900% increase was reported among middle and high school students between 2011 and 2015.
But e-cigarettes still contain the drug nicotine, which when exposed to developing teen brains, makes them more susceptible to addiction, mood disorders, and lower impulse control.
Some claim e-cigarettes are a gateway to other tobacco products, with some evidence suggesting it may be linked to alcohol and drug use as well.
Secondhand aerosol released into the air during vaping also has been found to contain potentially harmful, cancer-causing chemicals.
The FDA already restricted the sale of vaping devices to minors under 18 in August, but Murthy believes further action is necessary. Murthy is calling for the inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoking bans, increases in taxes and price, and regulation of marketing practices that mostly target the youth. (Next Animation via Reuters)
|Silhouette of a person vaping electric cigarette. GettyimagesBank|