Vaping trend among Pakistani teens is worse than cigarettes
The latest vogue of vaping among teenagers is skyrocketing day by day. Called a Juul, it’s a small and sleek device that can be mistaken for a USB drive. With its low profile design, it makes it easier to carry and can be sneaked into school hallways and restrooms.
Although considered a harmless alternative to traditional cigarettes, it’s not entirely harmless. “It’s crucial that the progress made in reducing conventional cigarette smoking among youth and young adults can’t be compromised by the initiation of e-cigarettes”, said a 2010 US Surgeon General’s report.
With the widespread utilization of Juuls and e-cigarettes, even 11-year-old kids show tricks on Youtube telling how to do ghosts etc and hide the Juul in your shirts. It is becoming a new health epidemic among kids and teens alike.
According to a Monitoring the Future report, in 2017, 12% of school students claimed that they vape and about 63% of Juul users are aged between 14-24. Juul contains Nicotine which is as addictive as the traditional cigarette is. It was designed as an alternative to traditional cigarettes for cigarette addicts to minimize the risk of smoke but the usage of Juul plummeted among teens, which in turn, is fueling the fire.
The report also said that 16.6% vapers do not even know that it contains Nicotine, they think that it is flavored vapors. Interestingly, one Juul pod contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes and Nicotine adversely affects the heart, reproductive system, lungs and kidneys.
Yet the long term effects of Juul are still unknown because no experiments have been made on it.
However, the aerosol contains harmful chemicals such as lead and other metals like diacetyl which is linked to lung diseases. It has carcinogenic ingredients which can cause cancer. Vaping also causes pneumonia – causing bacteria to stick to our airways and thus can increase the risk of getting pneumonia; these are the dreadful diseases linked with the ingredients used in flavors for e-cigarettes.
Even more, the report said that people who too often have a 97% chance of starting to smoke traditional cigarettes which makes the situation even worse, instead of reducing the number of cigarette smokers, it is increasing day by day.
Then there have also been cased of vapes exploding due to excessive usage and resulting in deaths.
With the increasing trend of this gruesome practice, it is high time to be concerned about the damage it is causing to the youth. If it can’t be tackled right away, the government should set the purchasing age to 21 and there should be strict regulations on the sales and marketing for e-cigarettes.
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The author is a high school student from Turbat currently on a exchange year in United States and loves to write about issues generally ignored.