Science and Journalism in Society

Brandeis University JOUR 130B

The cluelessness of vaping; so whats the buzz?

Vaping, which was recently added to the dictionary in 2014, is becoming a new craze. “Vaping” is essentially the new term for “smoking”, you “vape” an e-cigarette and “smoke” and cigarette. It is the inhalation and exhale of vapor containing nicotine or other chemical substances, produced by an electronic cigarettes or similar devices that are battery-operated and use a heating element to heat a liquid cartridge.

“Vape” juice is made of nicotine mixed with a base (most often propylene glycol) and flavorings. The growing popularity is increasingly fast, especially amount young adults. There are hundreds of brands, thousands of flavors, but they are all unregulated by the FDA. This raises a few questions: what chemicals are people exactly inhaling if this product is unregulated? Can’t people say one thing and it be another? What are the health’s affects? We don’t know if the second hand smoke from an E-cig is less, just as, or more dangerous than that of a cigarette. Nicotine is also an addictive substance. There are a number of affects nicotine has on the brain in terms of development, memory and retention, and behavioral and cognitive behaviors. Recent studies show noticeable amounts of cancer causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde from the heating up of propylene glycol. There is so little known about E-cigarette smoking, at least in the public eyes, there needs to be something done.

The public is unaware of the full health effects of electronic cigarettes. There are too many potential consequences to keep a blind eye to it. With no safety checks and requirements, anything goes and often people do not understand what they are consuming. Why vape when there is not an understanding of its consequences? Restrictions and warnings need to be put in place. Any way you light it, not smoking at all is the best way to go.






1 Comment

  1. nice summary of this rising trend. I would only be careful to point out that FDA regulates therapeutic uses. some links to interesting new work or reports would be great!

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