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Vaping May Be Bad For Kids, Good For Adults

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Estimated 3 min read

Man vaping

The claim that e-cigarette use may encourage youths to start smoking has been making the rounds everywhere recently, despite the fact that all evidence points to the contrary.

If youths were finding their way into smoking through e-cigarette use, why has the use of e-cigarettes risen dramatically since their invention but the youth smoking rate has declined just as rapidly to reach it’s current all time low?

If vaping was a gateway, wouldn’t you expect to see a rise in smoking to go along with the rise in vaping? Or at the very least, the decline of smoking to slow down as a result of all the new smokers who started because of vaping?

The report by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is based on more than 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies on the health effects of electronic cigarettes. The report was compiled at the request of the US Congress, amid a growing international debate over whether e-cigarettes are safe or harmful.

E-cigarettes contain fewer numbers and lower levels of toxic substances than conventional cigarettes”

E-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than tobacco products”

But they are also addictive, which seems to be groundbreaking news to most mass media outlets. “Wait, are you saying nicotine is addictive now?” Given humans have thousands of years of tobacco use, it shouldn’t still be a surprise.

Is nicotine really the problem anyway? Nicotine itself is addictive, yes, but does it cause any of the negative effects associated with smoking?

A more controversial subject nobody seems willing to touch is the one regarding the health benefits associated with nicotine itself.

Some of the many conditions that could be helped or treated using nicotine include ulcerative colitis, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, pain, mild cognitive impairment, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

In Parkinson’s sufferers, the neurons responsible for releasing dopamine begin to deteriorate, levodopa is a drug used to treat this because it’s a precursor to dopamine. Nicotine also increases dopamine, as well as reduces symptoms in Parkinson’s patients and slows the progression of the disease. It can even decrease one of the more serious side effects of levodopa itself.

So what about people who don’t have any conditions needing treatment?

In healthy adults, the most promising use of nicotine is to improve mental function. The reasons behind this are closely tied to the reason nicotine appears to be useful for Alzheimer’s sufferers – The acetylcholine receptors that nicotine acts on in the brain are crucial for maintaining performance on a variety of tasks. Alzheimer’s sufferers have fewer of these receptors, and treatment with nicotine can minimize the effect of this deficit. As for healthy adults, these effects still exist.

A paper by the British psychologist David M. Warburton entitled “Nicotine as a Cognitive Enhancer” looked into evidence on the effects of nicotine on attention and memory, suggesting that nicotine helps with various tasks requiring attention and mental focus.

Rather than listening to the unintelligent screams trying to convince you vaping is just big tobacco’s new attempt to kill a younger generation, vaping should be seen as an advancement into a new way of delivering nicotine. It’s starting by giving smokers a healthier way to feed the addiction – an addiction to a drug that isn’t necessarily damaging on its own (the jury is still out on that) – but one which the public, up until now anyway, only knew the dark side of because it’s always been delivered with 4,000 other more dangerous chemicals.

Currently located in Sydney, Australia, I have been vaping since 2009 and became active in the e-cigarette industry in late 2015. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over 700 shops in 6 countries.

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