While the US recorded its first death due to symptoms reportedly related to vaping last month, four more patients deaths have since then been linked to the use of e-cigarettes. In the case of the first patient, the cause of death is believed to have been an illness prompted by a substance present in e-cigarettes which affected the lungs, similarly to an inhalation injury. While further investigations are on-going for more conclusive findings, health officials have raised their concerns about the dangers of e-cigarettes, which is being adopted in rising numbers by young people.

Due to the creation of juuls, vape pens and various electronic cigarettes, a generation that was statistically unlikely to develop nicotine addictions, or to even start smoking in the first place, has taken to the habit. What has been marketed as an innovative and safe way of helping smokers to quit nicotine, has in fact had a perverse effect: in the US alone, up to 5 million young people have taken up vaping over the course of only one year.

For a generation that has grown up learning of the dangers of smoking comes the electronic cigarette for the electronic age. Studies have found that marketing for electronic cigarettes are specifically targeted towards younger demographics. And it’s working, with evidence showing that young people smoke e-cigarettes more than any other age group

E-cigarettes have been marketed by the industry as being less health threatening than tobacco cigarettes. However, the World Health Organisation warns that there’s no evidence to suggest that any sort of vapes with tobacco, Heated tobacco products (HTPs) have less risk than normal cigarettes. Although some vapes don’t contain tobacco, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) still have nicotine, which is not without its own major health issues, due to the toxic substances used to make them.

Steps are being taken to combat the risk that e-cigarettes pose. Researchers continue to study the effects that they are having and talks are being had to discuss potential legal sanctions.

Photo by Nery Zarate on Unsplash

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