The Truth about Vaping

Vaping has become more and more popular, yet many of its negative side effects remain unknown to users.  Vaping products, or e-cigarettes, heat a liquid until a vapor is formed, which the user inhales.  The liquid can be a flavored substance or a drug such as nicotine, or THC- the main mind-altering chemical found in marijuana.


Vaping is not harmless.  Even vaping flavoring can lead to unknown long-term effects and may be unhealthy to a developing teenage brain.  Studies have shown that chemicals involved in vaping can cause inflammation in lungs, which reduces the ability to keep out harmful substances such as germs and bacteria.  Research conducted on flavoring of e-cigarettes concluded that some flavorings stop cells from reproducing and can even kill cells after long-time exposure.  The vaping industry is not regulated so companies are not forced to tell consumers what exactly are the ingredients in the vapor and can advertise false health claims without having them backed-up by science.  The FDA only recently agreed to start regulating e-cigarettes in May of 2016.


Why Is Vaping Risky?

  • Ingredients in flavoring remain widely unknown and may contain heavy metals and carbonyls, which may lead to cancer.
  • Some short-term effects of vaping include dehydration, dizziness, allergic reactions, and mouth sores.
  • While vaping nicotine eliminates tar and other pollutants found cigarettes, the nicotine is still extremely addictive and can lead to diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis. It’s bad for teens’ developing brains.


  • Once you start vaping a drug such as nicotine, it becomes very hard to stop and may cause you to go through withdrawal, where you are anxious, irritable, and may be fatigued or have headaches.
  • Some studies have shown that vaping can weaken your body’s ability to fight off germs, which can lead to you getting sick.
  • Vaping makes it easier to overdose on nicotine- which can kill.  Some vials used for nicotine have a 100mg capacity, when 30-60 mg of nicotine can lead to death in adults.


Things to Remember:

  • In Howard County, it is illegal to vape in any place that prohibits smoking such as a restaurant, outside concert, stores, and sports complexes.  If caught, you may be fined up to $250.
  • Stores are not allowed to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.
  • A vape pen is just another word for an “e-cigarette”.
  • By using e-cigarettes without a history of ever using cigarettes, teens are up to 6x more likely to start smoking.
  • Since vaping has not been studied thoroughly, many more negative side effects may be present.

Make sure to check out for available resources on drugs and alcohol.

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