It's difficult to find a child in America these days who doesn't know that smoking is bad for them. Even if their family members smoke, their schools, doctors and advertising explain the dangers.
Smoking is slowly decreasing but one smoking choice is on the rise and that is e-smoking via battery-operated e-cigarettes.
These relatively new options are filled with nicotine but do not contain tar and many other dangerous chemicals that affect smokers and those around them, including carbon monoxide. There is no smoke, rather the nicotine is expelled via water vapor.
Unfortunately, nicotine remains highly addictive and teens are beginning to take up the e-cigarette habit in troubling numbers.
Cigarette smoking leads to several hundred thousand deaths every year in the United States by way of many cancers including lung cancer, mouth and throat cancers, cervical cancer, emphysema, heart failure, stroke and more. It can also cause dramatic aging.
An EmpowHER article states that almost 1 in 5 deaths in the United States are caused by cigarette smoking, adding up to about 443,000 deaths a year.
In fact, the CDC states that “more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.”
Bearing these warnings in mind, teens are switching to electronic smoking. While it does not carry risks to others around them, it still remains addictive to users. NPR has written about a new study from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that has seen the use of these e-cigarettes double in just one year (2011-2012).
Based on the numbers evaluated, it is estimated that approximately 1.78 million children in middle and high school have tried this newer way of ingesting nicotine. Ten percent of American high schoolers reported that they have smoked e-cigarettes.
Because these new tobacco products have yet to withstand the test of time, long term effects cannot be evaluated.