SHORT ANSWER: While vaping is not as bad as smoking cigarettes, it can still be harmful, especially for teens.
Vaping has been touted as a less harmful alternative to smoking, and the practice is increasingly popular among teenagers. A 2022 survey conducted by NHS Digital found that, in England, nearly one in five 15-year-olds were vapers.
Is this a problem? Well, vape pens and e-cigarettes certainly aren't as unhealthy as actual cigarettes, but they may pose some health risks of their own. Read on to find out more.
What are the dangers of vaping?
Vape pens and e-cigarettes work by heating liquids (called 'e-liquids') into vapour, which the smoker then inhales. These liquids come in a variety of flavours - like mango, lime and mint - and contain nicotine in addition to those flavourings.
Nicotine, of course, is also found in cigarettes. And while nicotine is not responsible for the many health risks associated with tobacco use, it is very addictive. Smokers looking to kick their habit often transition from cigarettes to vapes, because vaping offers them a less harmful way to get their nicotine fix.
Unfortunately, some of the e-liquids available for vapes contain as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes. This can cause problems for teenage vapers in particular, because (according to this study) "nicotine exposure during adolescence alters acetylcholine and glutamate receptor signalling in the prefrontal cortex, one of the last brain areas to mature". In other words, getting addicted to nicotine as a teenager can actually affect the way your brain functions. This may lead to mood disorders, loss of impulse control, a reduced attention span, and other problems.
Because vaping is still a relatively new thing, we don't know very much about its long-term effects. Vape pens and e-cigarettes sold in the UK are tightly regulated, so potentially toxic chemicals should be present only in very small amounts. But it's too early to say that vaping is perfectly safe in the long run, and teens should be especially cautious since their bodies and minds are still developing.
School vape detectors
The growing popularity of vaping among teens means that many schools are now installing vape detection systems. Vape detectors work rather like smoke alarms, using a particulate sensor to detect the presence of the particles released by vaping. When these particles are detected, the vape alarm silently alerts school officials so that they can put a stop to it.
Here at IDS Security, we’re proud to offer bespoke vape detection system installation for schools and other premises across South Wales. After surveying your premises, we will recommend the best solution for your needs.
Vape Detectors for Schools Request an Installation Quote
Image source: Pexels