Has your teenager asked for a vape pen for Christmas this year? Do you know what a vape pen is? Vape pens are a growing phenomenon that is gaining popularity every day. And there are many reasons why, but for some, especially teens, they have a multitude of reasons. Vape pens, vapouriser pens, are one type of electronic cigarettes. They are a nifty device that ranges in size.
They come in a standard pen size to a large cigar that you can inhale an e-liquid (propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin) that heats up and the user then blows out the vapour. There are 3 components to a standard vapouriser which are:
- E-Liquid: A liquid cartridge that produces the vapour. They come in a variety of flavours and contain nicotine.
- Heating Element: This is also called the atomiser.
- A Battery: They are rechargeable and power the atomiser.
How Do They Work?
When you are ready to vape, you turn on the atomiser to that it heats up the e-liquid. This turns the e-liquid into an aerosol that you inhale and blow out. The question that many have about this is how safe is it to inhale the Propylene Glycol, that fruit flavour your smell and taste?
Just How Safe Is Vaping?
At this time, there hasn’t been any firm conclusion from any study about the safety of e-cigs or vape pens. Because vape pens are still rather new, there hasn’t been enough scientific studies performed yet, so the health risks long term are still unknown. Basically, anyone that is vaping right now is a lab rat.
What we do know so far is that there are potentially harmful elements according to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention). It has been documented that some e-cig cartridges contain irritants like animal carcinogens and genotoxin. Carcinogens are known to cause cancer in living tissues and genotoxin causes damage to cellular DNA which results in cancer and mutations.
And this is approved by the FDA? Isn’t that surprising? They have no requirement for the manufacturers to publish the ingredients of their e-liquids, better known as the juice. But there have been some studies done on those and that delicious chocolate flavour juice has a chemical that is toxic to humans in it called diethylene glycol. The same chemical found in anti-freeze! And this is only one of many toxic chemicals found in e-liquids.
Okay, so you’ll just buy house blend juice from the local smoke shop? Well, they are tested and regulated, so who knows if you’re really getting all that purity they advertise. Just what is in that house blend of pina colada flavoured e-liquid? Will you find out after it’s too late?
Cigarettes Are Illegal for Minors, Are E-Cigs?
Depending on what state you live in, it can be illegal for any electronic smoking devices or the paraphernalia to be sold to a minor. However, like all laws, there is a loophole! The law does not say a minor cannot have possession of electronic smoking devices or the paraphernalia that go with them.
So, your teen with braces and straight A’s in school can own and hold possession of an e-cig or vape pen legally, they simply can’t purchase them. When it comes to alcohol or standard tobacco products, they can’t have possession or purchase it. Perhaps when more conclusive studies are done and the danger of e-cigs has been proven, then the laws will be changed.