Teenage and young adult tobacco use has been steadily declining since the 1970’s. A victory in so many different ways. While marijuana has long been touted as being the “gateway” drug, leading to the use of harder narcotics, many experts believe that nicotine and alcohol are the substances that people use precipitating the use of other illegal drugs. So, it is vital that prevention efforts stay strong, discouraging young people from starting down a path that could lead to addiction.
Over the last few years there has been less talk about cigarettes, and more talk about electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs. Such products vaporize liquid that contains varying strengths of nicotine. When the devices first hit the market, mind you with zero regulation or research, countless smokers were led to believe that they would finally be able to quit smoking with the aid of e-cigarettes. One’s oral fixation could be sated; they could get their nicotine fix and slowly step down the amount of nicotine until they were just vaporizing flavored e-juice.
To be sure, some people have managed to quit or cutback their traditional cigarette smoking dramatically through the use of an e-cigarette. Additionally, the consensus among health experts is that e-cigs are in fact safer than their traditional counterparts. However, when it comes to young people there are multiple concerns about the devices leading to nicotine addiction.
In fact, e-cigarette use has surpassed traditional cigarettes among young people, Reuters reports. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a report: E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults, with the hope of encouraging the use of techniques, which proved effective for preventing cigarette use among young people, with e-cigarettes. Murthy points out that dangers of e-cigarettes use among young people:
“These effects include addiction, priming for use of other addictive substances, reduced impulse control, deficits in attention and cognition, and mood disorders,” Murthy said in the report.