Is Vaping a Gateway Drug?


You’ve likely heard of vaping as a popular alternative to smoking. If you’re wondering whether vaping is a gateway drug, it’s essential to consider the meaning of that phrase. A “gateway drug” refers to any substance that may or may not be addictive and leads to the use of another substance. Vaping meets this classification.

In this guide, we’ll discuss vaping, how it works and any risks associated with the practice.

What is Vaping?

Vaping refers to any practice that involves inhaling smoke from an electronic device. A hand-held tool contains liquid and the user inhales and exhales the produced aerosol. These devices include vape pens, electronic cigarettes, electronic hookahs, JUULs and personal vapors called MODS. Companies use the lack of tobacco in the liquid to advertise their products as healthier than cigarettes.

Instead of tobacco, vaping requires an e-liquid containing nicotine. All of the flavors for JUULS also contain nicotine. Harmful chemicals occur when certain flavors react with propylene glycol. Some off-market e-cigarettes contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an ingredient in marijuana. These components possess addictive qualities and mix with other ingredients in the formulas, like carcinogens and toxic metal nanoparticles.

Vaping Side Effects

A vape addiction may develop due to THC and nicotine in the liquid. Nicotine is a stimulant extracted from tobacco plants, which increases dopamine levels while adversely affecting the lungs, heart, reproductive system and kidneys. Other chemicals in vape devices haven’t been thoroughly studied by scientists and offer various potential concerns. Some proven health side effects of vape usage include:

  • Headaches.
  • Raised blood pressure.
  • Spiked adrenaline.
  • Mouth and throat irritation.
  • Shortness of breath and coughing.
  • Increased chances of heart attack.
  • Reports of death.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report evidence that vaping usage at a young age leads to addiction developments, mood disorders, decision-making problems, impulse control issues and a greater risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Vaping poses substantial risks because of ongoing brain development at a young age.

How to Quit Vaping

If you’re considering quitting vaping, think of the positive outcomes as your motivation. A vape-free lifestyle offers a sense of relief, saves money and protects loved ones and pets from second-hand vape smoke. Begin this journey with these tips:

  • Practice quitting with one or two test days.
  • Buy gum, toothpicks and hard candies as alternatives.
  • Tell friends and family for support.
  • Get rid of vaping products.
  • Seek online addiction resources for help.
  • Talk to a counselor for recovery.

Find Help and Recovery in Asheville

Ready to quit vaping? Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, the Crest View Recovery Center offers help. Overcome addiction with various resources and the support you need.

Call 866-986-1371 or fill out a contact form today!

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