E-cigarettes: Controversy, Nicotine, and Danger

Have you heard about Juul? If you are under the age of twenty-one or know someone who is, you may have heard of it. It’s popular with young people.

Juul is a device known as an electronic cigarette or an e-cigarette. It heats liquids and converts the liquids into a mist or a vapor.  Users vape (inhale) this mist, similar to how people inhale the smoke from tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars.

Like tobacco products, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance that can easily lead to addiction. E-cigarettes also often have added flavors and may taste like fruit or candy. These sweet tastes have led critics to charge that the makers of e-cigarettes are targeting younger people, hooking them at young ages so they use such products for the rest of their lives.

Some people believe that more traditional tobacco products, which contain tar, are more dangerous than e-cigarettes, which don’t. But, e-cigarettes contain considerable amounts of nicotine. How much? According to estimates, one pod of Juul contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and can be a tough addiction to break. People addicted to nicotine may experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit using substances with nicotine. These symptoms that may be similar the side effects produced when people quit using other drugs.

People can combat such symptoms. If people are

  • Stressed, they can try to discover the causes of their stress.
  • Anxious, they can do something physical, such as taking a walk.
  • Depressed, they can talk with others to discuss their emotions.

It’s interesting that these symptoms are mental as well as physical. Like other addictions, nicotine addiction changes the way the body and the brain operate. The body and brain come to depend on nicotine, so it’s important to address both when treating an addiction.

There are some positive developments relating to vaping. In November, 2018, Juul said that it would no longer sell its fruit-flavored vaping products in stores but would continue selling them online. That same month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also announced that only vape and tobacco shops could sell fruit-flavored vaping products.

E-cigarettes and addiction are complex. Effective treatment for nicotine addiction recognizes these complexities.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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