by Vendela Krenkel ’20
In a recent study done by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), a panel studied the effects of e-cigarettes on teenagers and adults. According to the New York Times, the evidence in the study is conclusive: e-cigarettes and vapes can be addictive. Nicotine intake from e-cigarettes is similar to that of regular cigarettes. Vapes contain similar toxic substances, such as lead, that cigarettes also contain, although dependence on vaping is less likely.
There have been few studies on the effects vaping has on health, but temporary effects like increased heart rate and shortness of breath have been confirmed. Long-term consequences, such as tooth decay or cancer, do not have sufficient evidence to be verified. While it is unsure whether e-cigarettes can cause permanent damage on users, smoking them can cause nicotine addiction, meaning vaping could be a gateway drug to cigarettes.
The FDA panel finds that vaping is a viable option for smokers trying to quit, but it is not recommended for recreational use by teenagers. In recent years, fewer people have been smoking cigarettes, but the 15 percent that smoke today is expected to double in the next ten to fifteen years due to the popularity of vaping and the possibility of nicotine addiction.