As a college student, I am surrounded by people who vape. Parties stink of the sweet pod flavors, and I've walked, coughing, through a cloud of smoke (is it still called smoke if it's from a vape?) more times than I can count. Many people I know who vape defend their addiction, saying that e-cigarettes are so much less dangerous than actual cigarettes, so this is the better option. If you believe this is true, I have news for you: e-cigarettes are still extremely dangerous and are NOT a better solution to smoking tobacco products.

E-cigarettes contain a ridiculous amount of harmful chemicals, and substances like chromium, nickel, and lead have been found in e-cigarette pods. You're inhaling all of these nasty things into your body and your lungs, and you are allowing it to pollute and kill you from the inside out. Yes, you may not be getting tar in your lungs, but black lung can still occur from vape, and lung cancer cases have occurred because of it. Smoking an e-cigarette or vape pen also makes you more likely to purchase and use traditional cigarettes in the future.

This industry was created to help current smokers quit smoking cigarettes, but it unintentionally created a whole new market that has, unfortunately, targeted teenagers and young adults who did not smoke previously.

Now, these kids are spending ridiculous amounts of money on pods, chargers, and the e-cigarettes themselves, and in some cases, getting fake IDs to purchase these items if they are underage.

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Smoking e-cigarettes has become glorified as something all of the "cool" kids do, and people can be made fun of or antagonized if they refuse to partake in the smoking fad. Bad news — you won't be "cool" once you've contracted asthma, lung cancer, or are trying to get a lung replacement because you've done so much internal damage.

Vaping is NOT better than cigarettes. Do NOT start vaping if you haven't tried it already, and if you have quit, do NOT turn back. Your body, mind, and wallet will thank you in the long-run. Be smart and invest in your future.