The Obsession With Vaping


Mollie Phillips, Reporter

If you have been keeping up with trends on social media you have probably heard about e-cigarettes, better known as vapes. They have been an internet craze for a while now, but what is all the excitement about? Looking cool? Getting addicted to a harmful chemical?

According to an article by Michael Joseph Blaha, M.D., M.P.H.  Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine.  Blaha  says, “Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. There are many unknowns about vaping and what it can do to your health, but it doesn’t seem to have many positive effects for your body.” Blaha says that it is comparable to poison.

Nicotine consumption forces your brain to release dopamine, a chemical the body uses to feel a sense of pleasure, so after you’ve had a “hit” of the nicotine your brain convinces you to do it more. This leads to addiction and symptoms of withdrawal when you are out of juice to fuel your e-cig. Our brains have systems they use to tell us what is good and what isn’t. For example: after you eat something good for you or drink water, your brain recognizes that it is good and tells you to keep doing it. When dopamine is released, your brain is tricked into telling you to do the activity again, even if it’s not so good for you. After it becomes a habit, it is incredibly hard to break it.

So vaping is pretty bad, but it’s not as bad as smoking cigarettes, right? According to an article from the American Heart Association, “… While it’s true that e-cigarette aerosol doesn’t include all the contaminants in tobacco smoke, it still isn’t safe.” Even though e-cigarettes don’t have the same ingredients as regular cigarettes, they still have the harmful chemicals and more concentrated amounts of nicotine. E-cigarettes have been linked to thousands of cases of serious lung injuries, and the CDC does not recommend e-cigs.

Out of 65 attendees or graduates of GBHS that answered a poll, 22 people said that they have owned or used a vaping device. Starting early is a sure-fire way to get addicted to something more easily. The dopamine creates pleasure in the brain, but it leaves a potentially long-lasting obsession that is not healthy, especially for young kids. Don’t start something that you know is bad for your health. If you don’t know what it could lead to, research it. And lastly, STAY VAPE FREE!,of%20having%20a%20heart%20attack ,