Did you know tobacco is the leading cause of disability, preventable diseases, and death in the United States? Estimates show that more than 28 million grown-ups in the country rely on cigarettes, with more using e-cigarettes (commonly known as vaping).
Vaping refers to using vape pens (E-cigarettes) to heat a flavored liquid (vape juice) and inhale its vapor. Usually, the burned substance contains nicotine or marijuana, which are highly addictive. Today, e-cigarette usage is a global trend, including among teenagers. Here are some facts about vaping that you should know, though.
1. Hon Lik Developed the First Commercial E-cigarettes
In 1927, Joseph Robinson filed to patent an electric cigarette. However, documents do not show the product type or its manufacturer. In the 60s, Herbert A. Gilbert created a product almost similar to the modern-day e-cigarettes.
Even though Gilbert claims to have received a patent in 1965, his product was not commercialized, just like Robinson’s. In his defense, Gilbert argues that companies opted to wait for his patent to expire instead of licensing his product straightaway.
Despite further attempts to develop the first e-cigarette in the 80s and 90s, the breakthrough came in 2003 when Hon Lik, a 52-year-old Chinese pharmacist, created the first commercial vaping device. Lik was a smoker whose father died of lung cancer due to the habit.
While it’s unclear why Hon Lik didn’t successfully patent the product individually, Golden Dragon Holdings, the company he worked for, did so. His employer developed the e-cigarettes and changed its original name to Ruyan, loosely translating to “like smoke.” The products then spread to other parts of the world.
2. Vaping Is Mostly Associated With Teenagers and Young Adults
Since commercial e-cigarettes started hitting the markets in the 2000s, vaping has been prevalent in teenagers and young adults. In the USA, the habit became popular in 2013 thereabout. Today, results show that about half of high school students in the country have tried vaping at least once, with about a third being regular vapers.
Another research showed that vaping is more common among young adults aged 18-24 in Australia. With more vaping products hitting the market, the fact that the habit isn’t illegal, and the marketing strategies sellers use, vaping is bound to hit an all-time high.
3. Vaping Was Once Considered a Smoking Cessation Aid
Vaping is less dangerous than traditional nicotine smoking. So, when they first entered the market, e-cigarettes were advertised as the ultimate smoking cessation aid. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain about 7,000 chemicals, with plenty being toxic. Vaping exposes the user to fewer.
However, even though vaping is not illegal, the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, hasn’t approved it as a legitimate alternative for people trying to quit smoking.
4. Vaping Is Banned In Some Parts of the World
In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) came out to strongly refute claims that it advocated for vaping as an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. The organization also removed materials that suggested e-cigarettes were safe and effective.
The following year, Australia banned the possession and sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. Authorities cited that nicotine was poison and every product containing it as one ingredient was illegal. Jordan also followed suit, with their move motivated by WHO’s latest press release.
In the same year (2009), Canada banned the sale, import, and advertising of vaping products. The authorities cited the presence of propylene glycol, a notorious irritant, as their reason for the move. In Hong Kong, e-cigarette possession and selling were outlawed. It attracted a HK$100,000 fine for offenders.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the USA, which gave the FDA total power over nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.
5. Vaping Can Cause More Problems than Addiction
Since vape juice usually contains nicotine, addiction is an obvious outcome. In fact, users don’t have to smoke daily to develop reliance. However, this habit causes more harm than people know. For instance, vaping has been directly linked to depression and anxiety.
Additionally, teenagers and young adults who start vaping are more likely to become regular cigarette smokers. Other problems associated with e-smoking include sleep problems, chronic bronchitis, lung damage, and impotence.
E-cigarettes might be less harmful but they expose users to almost all the repercussions of smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.