Society does not take kindly to those who have committed passive suicide with an overuse of that substance found in combusted tobacco and its new cousin, the e-cigarettes, or what is now commonly known as vapes.
E-cigarettes, although touted as a safer reduction method for helping smokers quit the habit, contain doses of nicotine and other toxic substances that disrupt lung functions.
Vapes are electronic devices that parallel tobacco smoking. They are handheld and powered by a battery that helps regulate the vaporizers. Invented by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, vapes come in various names: e-cigs, e-hookahs, vape pens, and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems).
They may look like the customary cigarette, a smoker’s pipe, and a compact-sized USB flash drive popular with young people hooked on computer gewgaws. Most are reusable, with replaceable and refillable cartridges. Those that are disposable may pose a destructive contributory problem in the accumulation of electronic waste in our environment.
To appeal to young people, vapes come in various flavors based on fruit, sweets, and popular snacks that help easily hook them to a life of nicotine and eventual dead-endness. Aside from the traditional cigarette taste, flavors match relishes of cupcakes, bubble gum, apple crack, watermelon, menthol, and lava flow.
It is never easy talking about the worst kind of activity young people are induced to willfully participate in. Each age runs up against ruinous tendencies. For young people, it is their sense of invincibility, and their snub for limitations and restrictions that, in the process, will mark them as wasted youth due to nicotine.
By holding on to that narrow self-imposed line of what’s cool and what isn’t, a young person invites deep trouble by his obstinacy and falls, then dies out, within the boundaries of that limiting space he has created for himself.
Vaping is an addiction with no cure. The craving becomes chronic and progressive, tolerance level amplifies, and all regard for the consequences of the habit is lost. Lung illnesses have been reported as results of using e-cigarettes. Corollary to this, vapes have been identified to an increased likelihood of engendering lung injury and diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.
While e-cigarettes are generally regarded as safer than combusted tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars, other “milder” upshots may follow: hypotension, seizure, rapid heartbeat, disorientation, abdominal pain, headache, blurry vision, throat and mouth irritation, vomiting, nausea, and deep, hacking raspy coughs.
In recent studies, aside from the adverse effects of nicotine in the e-cigarettes, other toxic substances have been found affecting lungs. E-cigarettes also contain propylene glycol, flavorings as diacetyl (for buttery taste), and cinnamaldehyde (for cinnamon), as well as particles of heavy metals.
Some contaminants are likewise present in e-cigarettes like an oil derived from vitamin E that causes vaping-related illnesses. Taken as a nutritional supplement or applied as skin treatment, vitamin E acetate causes no harm. When inhaled, as in vaping, it may coat the lungs and bring about symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pains. Nitrosamines, present in e-cigarettes, can also damage a vaper’s DNA.
Nicotine in any form is a highly addictive drug. A user loses much of his self-command and tends to be at the flintiness of his impulses. Smoking, and its in vogue cousin e-cigarettes, is resorted to as an expedient relief to an underlying depression, a lame illusion of a solution to the problem at hand.
There have been efforts to temper smoking and e-cigarette use to appease the storms of protest concerning health issues. Calls for action have somehow produced a flurry of regulations. Raised taxes, for example, didn’t go anywhere far enough to dampen a popular demand and its nonstop supply. Enforcement is spotty, thus the habit goes on knocking off one user after another in a slow renunciation of life. In some cases, the regulations don’t even get enforced; calls for governance are marked with mere whiffs of changes but there is an absence of a clear breakthrough.
In some countries, there are proposals to crack down on all vaping products such as lessening the nicotine content and banning the addition of flavorings. Other proposals also include preventing access to vapes by young people, adjustments on the price and tax policies, strict retail licensure, and regulations on e-cigarette advertisements, promotions, and marketing that are aimed at attracting the youth.
Even the most hopeful scenario, such as producing a truly coherent regulatory framework for the industry, the willpower to say “no” is still the initial main step to having control over one’s life.
Take the best option: DON’T START.
Photos by Diana B. Noche
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