From my point of view and in general over the past few years, I have seen an increase in popularity of vapes between users, stores, advertisements, etc., and also from personal experience in seeing close friends and family using vape devices. I have heard my friends and family members mention that they wish they hadn’t started vaping and thinking “why can’t you just stop?” This led me to further research information and suggestions that I could share with them to help. My curiosity and senses heightened about this topic. Why vaping became so popular, its impact, and how could an individual adjust to lessen the usage of or even quit vaping altogether?
The technical name for this phenomenon is ENDS, meaning electronic nicotine delivery system, which is an umbrella term surrounding vape pens, pods, tanks, mods, and electronic cigarettes. These devices are designed to simulate cigarette or cigar smoking and instead of using smoke, they use aerosolized vapor. Some people just call it a habit when using these devices, but these products contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can lead to serious nicotine addictions. Sometimes vaping devices may contain just as much nicotine or more as a cigarette. Vapes are also easier to use anywhere and are more accessible.
Statistics show that usage is on the rise; children of younger age ranges of 15–17 years old are more likely to vape than adults of age ranges of 25–34 years old.
With the belief that vaping is the healthier alternative to smoking, that does not mean that it is healthy, nor does it lack harmful effects on our health. These e-cigarettes provide major costs both to users’ finances and health. Vaping is often cheaper than traditional cigarettes, but is still quite costly and prices are expected to rise in years to come. There have been cases of serious lung injury due to vaping which caused hospitalizations, emergency room treatments, and even fatalities. These trips to the hospital and emergency rooms also impact the individual financially. These devices have been linked to problems such as increased blood pressure, gum inflammation, lung disease, severe lung injury, heart disease, and brain development effects.
When vaping became popular, I personally heard that people were vaping because it was healthier than a cigarette and a step toward quitting. I also observed people were engaging in vaping as a social activity or to look cool and it ended up worse than they ever thought it would. According to The Checkup article, people are drawn to the variety of flavors and the favorable odors as well.
To stop the highly addictive act of vaping is a hard task. One way to do so is going “cold turkey” where an individual uses his/her/their willpower to just completely cut off the device and stop altogether, but this is known to be difficult and not as effective as gradual change.
To create gradual change toward quitting, users should:
- Identify motivators for vaping
- Know/learn their triggers for mental preparation
- Find support from family, friends, and others, and
- Find activities that replace vaping such as chewing gum, using fidgets, chewing sunflower seeds, chewing toothpicks, etc.
An individual may also reach a rough patch where they experience withdrawal effects, depending on the number of vape products used.
For more facts, sources, and a vaping Q&A go to this website:
If you are struggling with these problems or know someone who is here at Marquette University, here are some campus resources that provide extra help:
Wellness Coaching: https://www.marquette.edu/student-wellness/
Counseling Center: https://www.marquette.edu/counseling/
SingleCare Team | Updated on Jan. 21, et al. “E-Cigarette and Vaping Statistics 2020.” The Checkup, 21 Jan. 2021, https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/vaping-statistics/#what-is-vaping.