New e-cigs trend may have undesirable consequences

The effects of nicotine in electronic cigarettes

By: Raven Cipes

Electronic cigarettes are a trending topic among teens’ conversations, and can now be found on 10% of high school students according to NBC News. E-cigs are battery-powered pens that release water vapor. Cartridges are bought and added to the vapor pens to give them flavor, and, if desired, nicotine can be inserted.

Many teens pick up hookah pens, e-cigs, or vaporizer pens as an alternative to smoking, when in fact the nicotine is just as damaging in an e-cig as it would be in a regular cigarette.

Aside from the assorted flavors, the only non-harmful part of the pen, there are many risks that accompany smoking vaporizer pens. One of these is the nicotine addiction that develops.

Nicotine is commonly thought to relax you and your brain, but in reality this is not the case. It actually speeds up your emotions and creates a spike in adrenaline.

A few common side-effects that are associated with this drug can be heartburn, stomach pains, belching, and coughing. Whether the cigarette used for smoking nicotine is electronic or regular, the drug has the same effect on the body and brain.

Other than just being used as an alternative to smoking, it is a portable and easy  way to get high when liquid THC, the chemical in marijuana, is inserted. THC mainly affects your brain and can cause serious disorientation, ruin your ability to problem solve, see correctly, comprehend, and can make you very drowsy. Long-term use can damage your lungs and heart and their ability to fight infections, and can cause paranoia and other psychotic emotions.

No ban at the moment has been placed on e-cigs because there is no risk of second-hand smoke, but THC and nicotine are still drugs that are illegal for minors. Aside from the assorted flavors, the only non-harmful part of the pen, there are many risks that accompany smoking from vaporizer pens.

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The healthier choice?

By: Opal White

When electronic cigarettes were released and began to move up the popularity scale, smokers and nonsmokers alike rejoiced. An electronic cigarette, or e-cig as it’s more commonly known, is a casing, usually made of plastic, that has a battery. The user then adds a cartridge of a flavor, or for smokers, nicotine, that will mix with the water vapor when the e-cig is turned on.

Many people say that e-cigs are much healthier than a regular cigarette because the user is inhaling water vapor instead of smoke. The problem is, the smoker is still addicted to nicotine, which is a drug. When asked her thoughts, Delaney White, a Sophomore, stated, “I think people are more drawn to them because of the supposed ‘healthier’ choice.”
Another issue is that there is an array of fun flavors that can be added into the e-cigs, making them much more appealing to teenagers. The fact that the e-cigs are much cheaper because they do not have heavy tobacco taxes and instead have only sales taxes (though this will most likely change in the near future) makes them much more accessible.
Raeanne Johnson, also a Sophomore, has a slightly different opinion from White. “I think that they are pointless and people use them as a fashion statement, and I don’t think they are any harm,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal website states, “The proportion of middle- and high-school kids who have used e-cigarettes doubled to nearly 7%, or almost 2 million students, between 2011 and 2012, according to a recent report by the CDC.” This poses a problem, because many people believe that the e-cigs will turn into a gateway for nicotine addiction in younger kids.

Although studies show that e-cigs are healthier than the traditional option, many people still believe that they are unhealthy. There are not many restrictions because there is no second-hand smoke.

Ms. Correia, an assistant principal at Santa Rosa High School, stated that they would treat a student with an e-cig the same way they would treat a student with a traditional cigarette.
The debate is whether or not restrictions should be placed on e-cigs at the state and federal levels. Not many tests have been conducted on e-cigs, causing it to be hard to determine the lasting effects.

They may be the healthier choice now, but they will most likely be modified in the future. It is impossible to tell what the real effects will be on this younger generation.