Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young people. In fact, a 2023 survey found that 20.5% of children and teens had tried vaping, an increase from 15.8% in 2022. The most frequently used vaping devices were recorded as disposable, or single use, vapes with the most popular brand being Elf Bar.
Types of vapes
There are many different types of vapes available on the market and, while it is illegal to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18, many children still report being able to purchase vapes from shops.
The most frequently used vaping devices were recorded as disposable, or single use, vapes with the most popular brand being Elf Bar but there are several different types:
Cigalikes are the simplest form of vape and are designed to look and feel like traditional cigarettes with pre-filled cartridges containing e-liquid.
Pod vapes are similar to cig-a-likes but use smaller, more portable cartridges and are often seen as a more stylish and discreet alternative to cig-a-likes. Elf Bar is a brand of pod vape and they offer a range of pod kits or pod systems.
Vape pens are slightly more advanced than cigalikes and pod vapes and offer more customisable options like the ability to adjust the airflow and wattage. Vape pens are often refillable, allowing vape pen owners to use their own e-liquid, like those containing nic salts.
Mods are considered the most powerful and customisable type of vape and offer a broad range of features like temperature control and variable wattage. Mods are most often used by experienced vapers who desire the most control over their vaping experience.
Disposable vapes are becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst younger vapers and come pre-filled with e-liquid with a built-in battery. Once the e-liquid is gone, the vape is simply disposed of and a new disposable vape is purchased as a replacement. Lost Mary is a popular brand of disposable vape.
Other vaping types:
The above are the main types of vapes available for general purchase but there are a number of specialised vapes available. These include CBD vapes, dry herb vapes, essential oil vapes, and wax pens. CBD vapes are designed to vaporise CBD oil, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Dry herb vapes are designed to vaporise dry herbs such as cannabis CBD vapes that contain THC and can lead to addiction to cannabis as well as vaping. Tobacco can also be used in dry herb vapes. Wax pens are designed to vaporise waxy concentrates like shatter and budder, which are concentrated forms of cannabis.
The dangers of vaping
While vaping is often marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, there are a number of dangers associated with it, including:
- Nicotine addiction: Many E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can be just as harmful as the nicotine found in cigarettes. In fact, some studies have shown that nicotine levels in e-cigarettes can be even higher than those in cigarettes. Nicotine can cause a number of health problems, including addiction, heart disease, and stroke.
- Lung damage: Vaping can damage the lungs in a number of ways. For example, it can irritate the airways and make it difficult to breathe. In some cases, vaping has been linked to the development of serious lung diseases, such as EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury). EVALI is a rare but serious lung disease that can cause inflammation, fluid buildup, and scarring in the lungs. It can be fatal.
- Heart problems: Vaping can also increase the risk of heart problems, such as heart attack and stroke. This is because nicotine and other chemicals found in vape products constrict blood vessels, which can raise blood pressure and make the heart work harder.
- Teenage use: Vaping is especially dangerous for teenagers, whose brains are still developing. Nicotine can interfere with brain development and lead to problems with attention, learning, and memory. A study by the University of California, San Francisco found that teenagers who vape are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
- Secondhand exposure: Vaping can also expose bystanders to harmful chemicals. This is especially concerning for young children, who are more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke. A study by the University of California, San Francisco found that secondhand vape exposure can cause respiratory problems in children.
How to quit vaping
If you are addicted to vaping, there are a number of things you can do to quit. Here are a few tips:
- Talk to your doctor: Your doctor can help you develop a plan to quit vaping and can provide support and resources.
- Set a quit date: Once you have decided to quit, set a quit date and stick to it.
- Tell your friends and family: Let your friends and family know that you are quitting vaping and ask for their support.
- Get rid of your vaping devices: Get rid of all of your vaping devices, including e-cigarettes, vape pens, and cartridges.
- Find healthy substitutes: Find healthy substitutes for vaping, such as chewing gum, drinking water, or exercising.
- Join a support group: There are a number of support groups available for people who are trying to quit vaping. These groups can provide support and motivation.
- Use a quit-smoking app: There are a number of quit-smoking apps available that can help you track your progress, provide motivation, and offer tips on how to quit.
- Be patient: Quitting vaping takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you have a setback. Just keep trying.
- Don’t give up: There will be times when you want to give up. But remember why you want to quit vaping and don’t give in.
- Reward yourself: When you reach a milestone in your quitting journey, reward yourself. This will help you stay motivated.
- Talk to a therapist: If you are struggling to quit vaping, talking to a therapist can help. A therapist can provide support and help you develop coping mechanisms.
You can do it!
Quitting vaping is not easy, but it is possible. With the right support and resources, you can break the addiction and improve your health.
Here are some additional tips for quitting vape addiction:
- Identify your triggers: What makes you want to vape? Once you know your triggers, you can start to avoid them or develop coping mechanisms.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: There are a number of people who can help you quit vaping, including your doctor, friends, family, and support groups.
- Be patient: Quitting vaping, just like any other addiction, takes time and effort. If you have a setback, don’t let it put you off and throw away all the progress you’ve made. Take time to reset and continue your addiction recovery journey.
- Don’t quit quitting: Never give up. There will be times when you want to reach for a vape again. Remind yourself why you decided to quit vaping in the first place, reset your goals, and keep going.
If you are concerned about the dangers of vape addiction, please talk to your doctor.