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Teens & Vaping: Better Than Smoking?

Posted in Smoking 11 Jun, 2015

Teens and smoking go together like bacon and eggs. It's traditional that they smoke behind their parent's backs. It's a rite of passage we've all endured or enjoyed.

Smoking is bad for you, but teens still want to be cool, edgy and need to rebel against whatever they can, so are e-cigs better than cigarettes? Is all this 'vaping' a positive development or not?

The Pros - Anything Is Better Than Cigarettes

• No- one really know if e-cigs are bad for you, they haven't been around long enough for any research to be conclusive, but we do know they don't contain all the dirty stuff cigarettes have in them because that's why they were invented. Surely e-cigs can't be as bad for you as cancer-invoking tobacco? If they are going to smoke, this has to be the better option.

• Kids are not breaking the law when they use e-cigs, not yet anyway. Legislation banning the sale to under 18s may come in later this year, but for now they are available to all, with a voluntary ban for shopkeepers if they want to enforce it.

• E-cigs don't have any passive smoking effects that we know of. If a teenager is smoking one of those instead of a cigarette then their friends won't be getting dose of filth.

The Cons - E-cigs are nearly as bad

•E-cigs heat liquefied nicotine which is then inhaled. This is bad news for teens as their brains and bodies are still developing. Any kind of substance use can have long lasting consequences.

•E-cig use leads to other risky behaviours such as substance abuse and alcohol, according to research.

•Chemicals in e-cigs are comparable in terms of lung damage to those found in tobacco, recent research suggests.

•It's a green light that smoking as a concept is OK. Ironically for a device designed to help adults quit smoking, teens with no prior history of smoking are using them. This may lead to teens becoming accustomed to e-cigs and then trying the real thing.

•Teens start using e-cigs as a novelty item, presumably because they think they're safer. This 'playing' may lead to a serious nicotine addiction and end up with them developing lung disease, cancer and all the nasties that smoking brings.

Vaping - it sounds cool, something teenagers want to be. A recent study of 16,000 English school kids revealed that 1 in 5 had tried an e-cig and it shows no sign of stopping.

We need some concrete evidence soon, a ban on teens using e-cigs and some education to highlight that smoking e-cigs is dangerous. It's likely many are using them simply because they don't realise the dangers.

If you are trying to quit smoking but aren't sure what is the most helpful technique our experts have written a stop smoking aids guide to go through the different methods.

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