More Than Just Nicotine

The Risks Of Vaping

The whispers around the school get louder and louder each day. Student after student ask each other the same question, “Do you have your Juul?”

The Juul is an e-cigarette device that resembles a USB flash drive. The discreteness of this device makes it easy to slip by a teacher, making it very popular among high school students. However, many of these students don’t know what they’re “juuling.”  

Most Juuls contain a highly addictive chemical called nicotine. When vaped, nicotine is quickly absorbed into the body and goes directly to the brain. It activates areas of the brain that make a person feel happy and satisfied. It leaves this person wanting more and quickly leads them down the road to addiction.

The brain of a young person is not fully developed until the age of 25. So, when a teenager exposes their brain to nicotine, it can disrupt the formation of brain circuits that control perception and learning.

According to, “Young people are uniquely at risk for long-term effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine, including mood disorders and permanent lowering of impulse control.”

Some vaping devices do not contain nicotine, but these devices are far from harmless. Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful ingredients such as ultrafine particles which can be inhaled deep in the lungs, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals including tin and lead.

The aerosol from e-cigarettes can also contain harmful ingredients, including nicotine, which can harm both the users and for others who are exposed to it secondhand.

It is said that e-cigarettes were made to help people quit smoking. However, the evidence is unclear if this is actually true. E-cigarettes do contain less chemicals than the traditional cigarette, but that does not mean they are safe for young people to use.

Less harmful doesn’t necessarily mean healthier. So, before you decide to take a “hit” from your vaping device, you might want to consider the long term effects it may have on your health.