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What If Addiction Came In Mango Flavor? If You Vape, it Does

February 23, 2021

A 2019 National Institute of Health study showed that teens preferred mango and mint as their favorite vaping flavors. The variety of e-cig flavors can mask some of the less palatable facts and trends in the world of vaping.

Here are some facts you may not know:

People who vape could be inhaling lead.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes can contain potentially harmful substances, including ultrafine particles inhaled deep into the lungs, flavorings such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to serious lung disease), cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. During COVID-19, it is critically important to reduce risks to your health and specifically to the functioning of your lungs.

Vaping can change the way your brain functions.

In 2018, the surgeon general stated that “nicotine exposure during adolescence can impact learning, memory and attention.” Compromising any of these brain functions can affect your ability to function optimally in the future. People addicted to nicotine also experience preoccupation throughout their day with administering more nicotine, a vicious cycle that interrupts their ability to sustain attention and to feel emotionally balanced.

Vaping can increase your risk of developing other drug addictions. The surgeon general also said, “Using nicotine in adolescence can also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs.” Addiction is a life-altering disease that, while treatable, can create severe issues in daily functioning as well as emotional suffering.

Vaping can increase your risk of becoming a cigarette smoker.

There is some evidence that e-cigarette use increases the frequency and amount of cigarette smoking in the future, based on research reported in 2018 by the National Academy of Science. Cigarettes are more harmful than vaping in many ways, though this does not mean that vaping is safe.

The popularity of vaping has recently decreased in high school-age students and increased in college-age students.

There has been a historic increase in the number of college students in the U.S. vaping nicotine based on the last Monitoring the Future survey, which collects data on youth substance use trends and perspectives. The college vaping trend represents the largest year-to-year increase in the use of any substance since this survey began 45 years ago!

Vaping may be trendy right now, but students may not realize that this trend will likely subside and that they may have difficulty quitting — even if they want to — once vaping is no longer popular.

How to Quit

If you are interested in quitting nicotine now or talking about how to quit in the future, there are online, telephone and on-campus resources that can help.

Visit the CT Quitline online or by telephone (1.800.784.8669) to be connected with a free, trained Quit Coach. They also provide free nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine gum or the patch, to people who are deemed eligible. Students can also make an appointment with the Counseling and Wellness Center or see Pam Mulready in the Health Center, who has specific training in nicotine dependence and smoking/vaping cessation.

Students can also speak to any Health Center nurse for more information about the impact of vaping on their health and for information about how to cut down or quit.

SMART Recovery is also a great resource for learning evidenced-based skills for changing any harmful habit. Trinity College runs the national college-age SMART meeting on Zoom every Thursday at 6 p.m. Students can attend using any screen name and with their camera off to promote privacy. You are welcome to join the meeting by clicking here.