How Vaping Affects Youth Physical Health


It seems like everywhere you go, you see plumes of vape smoke rising into the air. Vaping has taken over the country, and this includes teenagers. Unfortunately, while vaping is dangerous to people of all ages, teenagers are especially susceptible to the detrimental effects vaping can have on one’s physical health.

Vaping and Brain Development

Most experts agree, the human brain does not finish developing until the age of 25. While still developing, the brain is incredibly fragile and susceptible to damage from outside substances, like the nicotine found in vapes. Nicotine can wreak havoc on a developing brain. In fact, using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, memory, and learning. Every time a new memory is made, or a new skill is learned, connections are formed in the brain. These connections are called synapses. Nicotine makes it much more difficult for a developing brain to form these synapses. This damage, caused by vaping, can alter a youth’s life forever.

Nicotine Addiction in Youth

Just about everyone knows that nicotine is addictive. What many people do not realize is that vaping can cause an even heavier nicotine addiction than smoking traditional tobacco. Vapes often have a higher percentage of nicotine than cigarettes and can easily cause a young person to quickly become addicted. Even youths who try to avoid nicotine by buying nicotine-free vapes are at risk. Many nicotine-free vapes are misnamed, actually containing more than enough nicotine to start an addiction. A young person addicted to nicotine will find it almost impossible not to vape, feeling an irresistible urge to do so. When not able to get their nicotine fix, they will become stressed out, moody, and may even feel sick. A nicotine addiction started young will often follow someone for the rest of their life.

Mood Disorders

Youths addicted to vaping are likely to experience mood disorders. This is due to nicotine’s effect on the part of the brain responsible for mood regulation. Even under the best of circumstances, teens can often have trouble controlling their moods and emotions. Add in the effects of nicotine, and extreme mood swings become commonplace. Once addicted to nicotine, a lack of it can even cause the addict to act moody, as they can only focus on getting more nicotine into their system.

Lower Impulse Control

Experts believe that nicotine use can cause the user to exhibit poor impulse control. This is especially dangerous for teens who vape. This lack of impulse control can cause a teen to partake in dangerous activities without thinking through the consequences.  This can have life changing consequences if the teen gets injured or in trouble with the law due to their poor impulse control. Teens are not generally well known for having amazing decision-making skills to begin with, and the use of nicotine just exacerbates the problem.

How to Combat the Youth Vaping Epidemic

The vaping epidemic running rampant among our youth is not something that should be ignored. There are multiple ways that this issue can be slowed down or even stopped entirely. One method is education. If the youth are made to fully understand the risks of vaping , they may choose not to partake in it. Another method is the use of vape detection devices. These work by detecting the presence of the vapor exhaled when someone vapes. The detectors can be set up to sound an alarm or to just alert an authority figure. The idea is that by taking away places where youth do vape, they will have no choice but to stop vaping.