• Bren Straulemann

Vaping is not healthier than smoking

A century of media has made wafting smoke an institution of what is considered "cool." One cannot start watching an old movie without some debonair character lighting up a cigarette. And like alcohol, it holds all the misplaced mystique of an adult activity.

Thankfully, the harms of smoking are being loudly broadcasted across all levels of social platforms and schools. In Portland, our laws make very clear that smoking is an activity that is not only dangerous to the user, but to anyone nearby and no one should have to tolerate someone else's poor health choices impacting them. For many though, vaping doesn't fall under the umbrella of smoking. Lots of people believe that vaping is somehow healthier than smoking cigarettes despite vaping still often utilizing a combustion process and being a largely unknown cocktail of chemicals. Here are a few reasons why vaping is actually kinda terrifying:

-Popcorn lung: the obliteration of the smallest airways in the lung tissue due to chemical exposure

-Long term addiction risk

-increased exposure to carcinogens (some e-cigarettes contain antifreeze)

-Fatal nicotine poisoning (because e-cigarettes are not regulated the amount of nicotine in each pod even in the same pack varies widely)

-increased exposure to toxic and heavy metals that have been found in the vaping solution such as lead

-vaping increases the likelihood someone will start smoking by 4 times

-vaping carries a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than cigarettes

-e-cigarettes can be bought readily through the internet, giving teens a high level of access

This is not the whole story on vaping either. For a quick primer on the risks of teen vaping, here's an article from HealthyChildren. For a deep dive into teen health risks, TheTruth.com has information and statistics on vaping, smoking, and opioid use.

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