Why Vaping is Bad


Jennifer Duong, Staff Reporter

E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That’s why using e-cigarettes is called “vaping.”

More than 450 people across 33 states have been affected by serious lung illnesses associated with vaping, and six people have died.

The illness is defined by severe pneumonia symptoms, shortness of breath, coughing, fever, fatigue, and respiratory failure, and has so far affected mostly young people. In one case documented in the Midwest, the patient also had a pneumothorax, or collapsed lung. Federal health officials are still trying to determine what ingredient or ingredients in vaping liquids is making people sick and whether the current outbreak is a new phenomenon or part of a long-running epidemic that is only now surfacing. The long-term health consequences of vaping are not known. Recent studies report serious lung damage in people who vape and even some deaths. Addiction in the growing brain may set up pathways for later addiction to other substances. Nicotine affects brain development in kids and teens. This can make it harder to learn and concentrate. Some of the brain changes are permanent and can affect mood and impulse control later in life. Studies show that vaping makes it more likely that someone will try other tobacco products, like regular cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco. The vapor made from e-cigarettes is not made of water. The vapor contains harmful chemicals and very fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs and exhaled into the environment. The signs of withdrawal are strongest in the first few days after stopping. They get better over the following days and weeks.

“When I first started vaping, I got extreme nicotine poisoning so I completely stopped and never did it again,” said Kevin Cornejo.