Recently, tobacco is being sidelined in the younger, adolescent crowd for the new favorite player: vapes. What can I say? They've got more personality, what with their flavors and lack of smoke. A fresh breath of air, wouldn't you say?
Well, that "fresh breath of air" is actually a nice, full, inhalation of chemicals, one more potent than the next. You've got propylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze and paint solvent; carcinogens, a chemical known to cause cancer, and of course everyone's favorite: nicotine. And lots of it.
You see, although it just feels like some water vapor, I can guarantee that you've never felt THAT good after inhaling humidity. And nicotine? That's about as bad as it gets. Especially for younger adults and teenagers, whose brains are still developing until 25, an addictive substance like nicotine can really harm your intelligence. And even e-cigarettes which claim to be "nicotine free" will contain trace amounts of it. Just enough to get you hooked.
And it doesn't really seem that dangerous; most people go in thinking "But I'm not going to get addicted." That's the thing: vapes are like the One Ring in Lord of the Rings: they affect everyone eventually, pulling you in and driving you mad until your inevitable early death.
So that was a bit dramatic. Because vapes are known to be less risky than actual cigarettes, which have over 7,000 chemicals. So yes, in the short run, vapes can seem like a good idea, a safer alternative. But the fact is that vapes have only been around for about 13 years, while tobacco products have been here since the 19th century. We certainly don't know all that there is to a vape, especially in terms of long-term effects, which we've established for cigarettes.
Not to mention, the CDC has noted a new outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping, known as EVALI. And no, it's not just in the old 70-year olds who are looking for a new hobby. It's adolescents and young adults, who are otherwise perfectly healthy. A total of 2,807 hospitalized cases have been reported to the CDC, with 68 deaths.
So there you go. Vaping is decidedly less harmful than cigarettes, but only based on what we know. 50 years later, we might be telling an entirely different story, ridiculing those who decided to vape now. So spare your 60-year old self the humiliation, and don't vape.