The craze of vaping has grown significantly in the United States, and smoking is becoming a taboo. According to the American lung association, cigarette use has dropped by 68% among the adult population. It’s because manufacturers are touting vaping as a healthy replacement for smoking. In vaping, Delta-8 vapes have become particularly popular.
Vapes are e-cigarettes designed to simulate traditional cigarettes using aerosolized vapor instead of smoke. In vaping, users inhale the vaporized liquid by a specialized heating mechanism that vaporizes the liquid. These vape devices often look like pens or USB flash drives with disposable cartridges containing the flavored e-liquid.
Most of these e-cigarettes vary in their flavored liquid content, whether D8 THC or nicotine. Moreover, depending on the brands and delivery methods, the labeling also varies. The unreliable labeling makes it harder for users to know the risks associated with these products, which manufacturers don’t show.
Statistics on Vaping
According to the 2018 Annals of Internal Medicine survey, 1 out of every 20 American citizens uses vaping devices. Moreover, 1 out of every 3 users vapes daily. Research suggests that vaping is quite prevalent among youths, and 20% of Americans aged 18 to 29 use vape products.
The data from the Truth initiative survey, 2019, shows that e-cigarette use among youths has increased by 1800% from 2011 to 2019.
The health effects of vaping:
While vaping products manufacturers may tout their products as a “healthy alternative” to smoking, this isn’t always the case. More than two-thirds of the young vape users don’t know what their product contains. Though some products might be healthier, there isn’t much clinical opinion.
For instance, vapes contain nicotine, and it’s a well-known fact how addictive they are. Due to this, several rules and regulations are in place to stop their access to young hands.
The vape devices heat nicotine and other chemicals to create an aerosol. Traditional tobacco products contain over 7,000 chemicals, many of them quite toxic. While at the moment, the chemicals in vapes are not known completely, however, experts believe vapes have fewer harmful chemicals than smoking traditional cigarettes.
Problems arise when users modify their vaping devices or use liquids obtained from shady sources. Vape products containing vitamin E acetate may cause vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI); even the CDC has identified it as a chemical of concern.
Minimum sales age laws in the US:
Teen vaping is projected as a multibillion-dollar industry, and companies are working hard with the army of marketing teams. Youths are particularly susceptible to these edgy advertisements. To counter this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced federal regulations in 2016.
These regulations prohibit the sale of all tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, liquids, and other devices to minors. However, there is still an upward growth in teen vaping. The use of e-cigarettes has increased among teens by 78% between 2017 and 2018. In this period, more than 20.8% of high school students reported using vaping products recently.
While the responsible answer for the question “Is vaping legal for minors?” is no. Federally, it is illegal to sell vape products to minors, but these laws are inconsistent across states. However, there are some gray areas in these laws, such as nicotine-free vape pens and flavored e-liquids.
Only federal regulations see e-cigarettes as tobacco products; most states don’t agree. Due to this, retailers use inconsistent rules to sell e-cigarettes to anyone. The minimum age to buy tobacco products in the United States is 21 years which may vary from state to state previously, and it was 18 years.
Vaping laws in some states:
Authorities in Florida don’t treat vapes as tobacco products. However, in Florida, the sale and possession of nicotine-containing products are illegal for anyone under 18. Though minors can have nicotine-free vape pens, some schools have banned the possession of these products on this campus.
The state treats vaping devices and products the same as tobacco. There is a restriction on public use of vape products in Colorado, including nicotine delivery devices. The minimum age for possession of nicotine-containing vape products is 21 years.
Like Florida, Ohio doesn’t treat vaping products like tobacco; however, it is banned in educational campuses and capitol buildings. The minimum age for buying vaping products in Ohio is 21 years unless brought by a parent or legal guardian.
Pros and Cons of Vaping:
Like every other product, vapes also have their pros and cons. Recently, in a first, FDA authorized the Vuse e-cigarettes and cartridges, observing their potential benefits to smokers who want to switch.
- Risk of Addiction:
The trend of vaping is skyrocketing among youths as these products also contain some amount of nicotine.
- May cause serious health risks:
The presence of nicotine may increase the risk of depression, lung disease, and stroke.
- The devices may catch fire:
Using low-quality vape devices may cause serious injuries if it catches fire. There has been evidence of loss of body parts and third-degree burns.
- It helps in quitting smoking:
According to a study, e-cigarettes are twice as effective in helping people to quit smoking compared to traditional nicotine replacements. Moreover, vaping also contributes to stopping youths from entering into smoking.
- Vaping is safer than smoking tobacco:
According to the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health, vaping is at least 95% less harmful. It doesn’t produce tar and carbon monoxide.
- No odors:
In vaping, users don’t have to worry about the smell of smoke. E-liquids come in various flavors; thus, they might even get you some compliments.
- Control over nicotine intake:
Vaping helps in controlling your nicotine dosage. There are plenty of options to choose from nicotine-free to high quantity nicotine. While most producers sell high quantity nicotine stuff, you can find low nicotine or nicotine-free liquids from reputable sources.
Despite the minimum sales age law, vaping has increased among youths. For youths, it is becoming more like a fashion symbol. Most of them have started to vape to see what it’s like or because of the taste . Nowadays, the average vape user is a 15 to 19-year-old high schooler compared to the earlier 25 to 45 year old trying to quit smoking. Although, vaping is definitely a better alternative to smoking and this can be seen with its increasing popularity.