Vaping is in the news a lot lately. Many are calling it a vaping crisis. Children are being hospitalized. Parents worry. Following years of questions and speculation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is taking action. On Friday, September 6, 2019, the CDC issued a formal investigation notice regarding the effects of vaping and e-cigarettes. According to the government organization, vaping is connected to over 450 cases of lung illness and hospitalization. Five deaths directly related to vaping are confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.
What Vaping Does to the Body
What is the vaping crisis about? Vaping nicotine is dangerous to one’s health—potentially no less harmful than cigarettes. And due to the lack of regulation, users can’t be sure what they’re ingesting when they use e-cigarettes. We know nicotine is a toxic, deadly substance. It is responsible for approximately 1300 deaths per day.
“Tobacco kills more than 480,000 people annually – more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Tobacco costs the U.S. approximately $170 billion in health care expenditures and more than $150 billion in lost productivity each year.” —says Tobacco Free Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting youth from the harmful products
In addition, nicotine raises blood pressure and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate. It is directly connected to the risk of a heart attack. Vaping brings forth many questions. Without proper labeling or monitoring, we can’t know what one is ingesting. There is a lot we don’t know about vaping. Furthermore, we don’t know how it affects physical health over time. This past week, the FDA sent a warning to a vaping brand, Juul, letting them know they illegally market their products as safer than cigarettes. The tobacco industry overall has a long, detailed history of predatory marketing practices. The famous organization truth.org publicly campaigned for years to bring these facts to light. Marketing to younger people creates lifelong addictive behaviors. Therefore, lifelong consumers.
Habitual nicotine use can lead to addiction. And that’s just one concern. Over the past few months, there have been many hospitalizations due to vaping and approximately five deaths. Doctors don’t know what’s causing the epidemic. The symptoms might start with coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and lung congestion, to start but other potential symptoms include headaches, weight loss, and diarrhea.
“Many victims have ended up with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and prevents the oxygen people’s bodies need to function from circulating in the bloodstream.” —reports the Washington Post
Nicotine, Vaping, and Addiction
Studies show that for those who struggle with substance use and alcohol use disorders, cessation of smoking and nicotine products play a role in long-term recovery. Statistics on the issue range, but quitting smoking can raise long term abstinence from substance and alcohol use disorders anywhere from 15% to 40%. For many early in recovery, nicotine is hard to quit, but it greatly benefits long-term, sustainable sobriety.
Vaping in Colorado
Just 2 weeks ago, Boulder, Colorado, officials moved forward with plans to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarette products. In addition to banning flavored e-cigarette products, Boulder City Council is asking voters to move the minimum purchase age to 21 for all tobacco products.
Colorado, specifically, has seen a rise in vaping and other e-cigarette consumption. The market grows and e-cigarettes are money-makers. With new warnings from the CDC, it re-enforces the idea that vaping, and e-cigarettes are equally, if not more problematic than traditional smoking.
The Redpoint Center, in Longmont Colorado, can help those that wish to find freedom from substance use disorders. This includes recovery from vaping or smoking. In teen addiction treatment the problems of vaping and smoking are especially prevalent.
We believe in a holistic model of care that helps to provide support, medication, therapy, and community immersion for those that are struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling with any type of addiction, contact us. We’re here to help.