The truth is, when we begin discussing e-cigarettes, the first thing that comes to mind is that (because they ARE NOT conventional cigarettes), that they are safe. Like anything else, the truth is quite the opposite. I know, I know… people have been claiming that this is “just vapor” and vapor doesn’t hurt you! As much as this is true, vapor alone wouldn’t hurt you. However, the ingredients that are added to the liquid, are the harmful parts of e-cigarettes. In fact, e-cigarettes, being that they are synthetic, they tend to have MORE nicotine in them than normal cigarettes. Also, the additives in e-cigarettes tend to raise adrenaline levels in the body. For younger people this poses a SERIOUS risk as it can have an adverse reaction to growth and development. And for the older smoker, it poses a VERY SERIOUS threat to the health of the smoker’s heart. Higher levels of adrenaline in the body will cause the heart to be overworked and eventually fatigued; which can then turn into failure.

As anything else that hits the streets with a shroud of safety covering it, e-cigarettes are a BIG source of revenue for tobacco companies. Since the movement got tougher on them to sell regular cigarettes, many of them turned to technology to keep them afloat in business. (according to reports in the Surgeon General’s website) E-cigarettes are a 2.5-million-dollar business in the USA. And they report that as of 2014, the e-cigarette industry spent $125 million a year to advertise their products. These numbers are STAGGERING to say the least. They are also apparent since it seems like everyone happens to have one of those electric ‘wands” in their hand, nowadays.

This next part is the most concerning. The reason being is that it is a fact, that one out of six teens have tried smoking e-cigarettes. And, more than 6 out of 10 believe that they cause little to NO harm. Nearly 20% of young Americans ages 18-25 & teens believe that e-cigarettes aren’t harmful, (nearly) half of them believe that they are some-what harmful and only 26.8% of them believe there is harm in using them. This boils down to the truth that most young people that use e-cigarettes believe them to be fairly harmless compared to those that have never tried them.

Usage by teens in high school has increasingly grown since e-cigarettes (as we know them today) were widely introduced in 2011. In the beginning, the usage numbers were low – 1% among girls and 2% among boys. The numbers show that in 2015, 13% of the girls were using them and 19% boys. These numbers jump out at you because they are HUGE!

So, as educated adults, it is our job to help our younger generation. This may seem like an uphill battle, but I can personally assure you that they are listening. I have had many instances where students that I have mentored, have contacted me as grown adults to let me know that the lessons helped. I am pleased to receive such phone calls! Not only because it means that our efforts are working but also because it gives me the information I need to bring forth to other adults that would like to get involved and help.

Here’s a message from The Surgeon General. Any Volunteers??

 

As closing, I would like to personally invite you to join our cause. As part of our coalition, we can together help lower some of the staggering numbers that surround our community in regard to common misconceptions surrounding substances of all sorts. If you can’t make the meetings, it’s ok! Just help us spread the word about our movement. Forward, re-tweet & share our posters and positive propaganda. Help us put up physical posters in your business space and whenever possible, volunteer to help us take care of our youth during our “Alternative Events”. In the end, any help you can provide and involvement would be GREATLY appreciated!

PLEASE, click HERE to watch a video containing more information on e-cigarettes. You may learn something!

Thank you all for your time and input!

Rudy Fausto – CSHE – Renz Addiction Center 2018