What is vaping?
Vaping refers to the usage of e-cigarettes/ vape pens, or more precisely the process of inhaling the vaporized form of the chemical ingredients found in them. This phenomenon has gained mainstream popularity in recent years. This is especially among smokers who have been trying to quit smoking and see vaping as a healthier alternative. In addition, it is also attracting many young adults and teenagers who want to quench their curiosity about smoking. In fact, vaping on campus is starting to becoming a trend in colleges, globally.
Why is vaping on campus becoming more prevalent?
According to numerous studies vaping is considered to be a healthier alternative to smoking, which greatly excites the interest of young adults who do not want to face the risks of “real” smoking. As they enter a new season and start college, vaping might give them a sense of maturity, security, and confidence to face new adult challenges. Furthermore, vaping can also be seen as a part of a social routine—a practice that occurs during a conversation.
What are the potential health and hygiene concerns?
Even though vaping is considered far less dangerous than smoking, the vapor that is inhaled may contain numerous harmful chemicals. A real possibility is carelessness on their part to know more about what they are inhaling. The chemicals found in vape pens and e-cigarettes mainly depends on the manufacturer.
Some of the most common ingredients include:
- Propylene Vegetable
- Glycerine e Glycol
- Various flavorings
According to Sentinel Journal’s writer Raquel Rutledge in her 2015 piece on the subject, “There are no requirements that manufacturers test their e-liquids, nor are there any standards to meet. What testing is done is driven largely by the desire of e-liquid makers to market the safety of their products.” Consequently, one can never be sure what exact chemicals can be found in vaping pens and e-cigs, which also raises further concerns about potential health risks.
Additionally, hygiene can pose a problem, especially on campuses, where users might swap their devices and inhale from each others’ pens. In fact, this is the easiest way for various bacteria and viruses to spread, which can cause a host of undesired health problems, such as herpes and cold sores.
How should the issue be addressed?
Raising more awareness about the cons and side effects of vaping could be a good solution to address the issue of vaping on campus. Some of the side effects that many young adults may not be aware of include:
- Bleeding gums
- Susceptibility to colds, the flu
- Various skin issues
- An increase in coughing
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Rash/burning sensation on face
- Puffy/dry eyes
- Caffeine sensitivity
- Minor blood nose issues
Providing adequate information on campuses about this habit and creating informative workshops about vaping may also be effective in preventing the harmful effects vaping might cause.