Are you really a cool teenager if you don’t vape?
Are you really part of the popular group if you don’t inhale vapour and blow the smoke out into the air?
‘Vaping’ has become a worldwide trend, however; with limited information available regarding the practice, how should we approach this behaviour? A crime, a strong warning or no restrictions at all?
Vaping is the inhaling of a vapour created by an electronic cigarette or other vaping devices. They are battery-powered and contain cartridges filled with a liquid containing nicotine, different flavours and chemicals. That liquid is then heated into a vapour which the user inhales. There is a massive market for vapes that primarily consists of different flavours that a user can inhale.
“It’s fine because it’s better than smoking!”. This is the phrase brought up most often when people try to justify vaping. Yes, it’s not as harmful, but that doesn’t make it “safe” or “healthy”. It’s like saying assaulting someone is better than killing someone. Sure, assault is ‘better’ than murder in terms of damage inflicted on someone, but that doesn’t somehow make assault legal and justifiable.
And, as time goes on, more health impacts of vaping is starting to be researched. As of January 21st, 2020, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in America confirmed that 60 people had died from lung injury associated with e-cigarette or vaping use. Moreover, vaping is highly addictive. Especially vapes containing nicotine can result in withdrawal symptoms if you don’t smoke and increase your blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack.
“Stop being dramatic!”. That’s a fair statement. Vapes are far from the worst thing in the world for your health, but ignoring the possible impacts would be dangerous, especially if vaping becomes a habit. In 1960, over 10 cigarettes were sold per adult per day worldwide, but now that number is below 4. When tobacco smoking started becoming popular, there was no research about the long-term consequences, but the rate dropped exponentially as soon as they were discovered. This could certainly occur with vaping, and we must be careful to protect our bodies. You can’t get to 35 and try to order a new body on Amazon, this is the only one you get, so it’s worth taking some caution.
The selling and distribution market of vapes is starting to rise around the world. And, with any addictive substance, that is very dangerous as people can make decisions that they wouldn’t normally do, due to the withdrawal symptoms they are suffering. Only a week ago, a young man in North-West Sydney was left in a critical condition suffering catastrophic injuries after an argument over a vape purchase. Another young man was charged with a count of assault with intent to rob while armed with an offensive weapon and was denied bail. Is it worth it?
This is likely a one-off event, but it perfectly illustrates what can occur in the sale and purchase of addictive substances. When you want something and set your mind to it, you will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. That is why people with drug addictions are often linked with crimes and homelessness as they do anything in their power to obtain money to fuel their addiction. We have seen the first example of this in the vaping world right before our eyes.
A crime, a strong warning or no restrictions at all? That’s the question I posed at the start of this article. I don’t think we know enough about vapes to even consider a criminal aspect of the practice. I also don’t currently have a problem with the sale and distribution of these e-cigarettes, but if more of these cases occur like the one mentioned above, don’t be surprised if they become illegal to sell. There has to be a strong warning to youth about vaping because there clearly are some negative health impacts, and history would tell us that more could be uncovered as long-term consequences start to be revealed. There must be education about vaping to youth in a calm, measured and open way, especially in schools, as you give people the best capacity to make the right decision when they are informed.
Vaping is trendy, cool and indeed not a crime. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve vaped before or worry that it might have reduced your health. But, remember that any addiction can negatively impact your health or life generally, so be cautious, be informed and make the right decision for yourself.