E-cigarettes, a very recent phenomenon, are like the classic cigarette with a couple of changes. Most importantly, they’re electronic, but they don’t contain tobacco. Instead, they contain a fluid, which has nicotine. When the fluid heats up it creates vapor that is then inhaled.

Studies show that a product that was intended to wean smokers off cigarettes is developing into a separate addiction. PHOTO VIA FLICKR USER VAPING360

Studies show that a product that was intended to wean smokers off cigarettes is developing into a separate addiction. PHOTO VIA FLICKR USER VAPING360

Initially thought to help smokers wean off cigarettes, recent studies have shown that the device is actually most widely used among young adults ages 18 to 24. Polls show that 22 percent of those who said they had at least tried an e-cigarette were in that age group, and 10 percent of who had never tried a regular cigarette had tried e-cigarettes. What is most interesting to note about this statistic is that young adults who have never tried a traditional cigarette have tried an e-cigarette, and they’re becoming hooked. This is worrisome, as it may start a generational addiction to e-cigarettes.

Although part of the intention with these electronic cigarettes was to help smokers to quit, people are using them like traditional cigarettes, and may become just as addicted. Just like cigarettes were a big trend, the same seems to be happening again, this time with e-cigarettes. While the makers of the e-cigarette do not see this as a negative outcome, the health risks with this are still very unclear, and a potentially dangerous new addiction is in the making.

From a young age I’ve recognized that smoking is bad. My mother always used to say, if there’s anything she never wants me to try, it’s smoking. My mother, father, grandparents, aunts and uncles, however, all smoked at some time in their life. When they were our age that was the thing to do. People smoked, it was social, but once the health risks came out many made an effort to stop. The family I have that smoked, quit. So since I was a little girl, I’ve always been against smoking. Knowing the risks that go along with it turn me off, but also frequently make me wonder why our generation does it anyway. Some kids seem to think its “cool,” but in reality it’s a habit that is just not worth it, completely ruining your body.

After reading an article from NPR, it’s become apparent to me that there’s a new addiction arising. Young adults, some who have never touched a real cigarette, are picking up the electronic one, thinking it’s better for you and comes with fewer health risks. Because there is no tobacco, they assume it is not as bad, but there’s still nicotine in it, and nicotine is a drug. As many know, habits involving drugs are never good ones, but people walk around smoking it because they think it’s cool.

The e-cigarette makes me nervous. While we may not yet know all the health risks yet, I foresee too many people becoming addicted, only to find out in a few years that this is another cause of cancer, or some other life-threatening disease. I am a huge supporter of not smoking in any sense, and hope that health risks for this product come out sooner rather than later so that we can stop the new addiction in its tracks.