The Effects of Smoking Tobacco and Vape for the Teenage Population

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Over the years, smoking tobacco has remained one of the main factors in the increased levels of premature deaths and diseases. As many people know, smoking tobacco is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. Many of these diseases include respiratory problems and vascular illnesses, which are caused by the many carcinogens found in the smoking of tobacco. Smoking cigarettes can stimulate anxiety on the smoker that is caused by the nicotine it contains. Because these health consequences are not immediate concerns, tobacco smokers are less willing to quit even though there have been efforts to increase public awareness of the dangers of tobacco smoking such as higher taxes and advertisements. Recently, electronic cigarettes (ECIGs) gradually seeped into our lives and have become very popular among the younger generations. These are devices that utilize heat to vaporize substances for inhalation. Although considered a healthy alternative to tobacco cigarettes, the negative health effects of smoking ECIGs are being studied. Some results have shown that ECIGs are associated with increased inflammatory cytokines in epithelial cells and endothelial cell dysfunction. Regardless of the potential benefits of smoking either tobacco or ECIGs, the negative health consequences play a major role in the decreased life expectancy of smokers, leading to the fact that smoking cessation should be heavily implemented. ECIGs are becoming more common among the adolescents because it is so easy to obtain, the variety of the flavors, and the belief that they are safer than traditional cigarettes. The effects that this product has on the brain are caused by the nicotine that the liquid contains. Nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine hormone. Even if adolescents vape non nicotine products, the chemical that the liquid contains can irritate and damage the lungs. Since vaping is still a new product, the long term effects are not known yet. Also, whenever adolescents start with vape, they are susceptible to start doing other drugs such as marijuana and cigarettes. Although ECIGs are designed for long time smokers, adolescents are buying this product; therefore, adolescents are starting to smoke. Smoking tobacco or vape can also affect you if you play sports. Cigarettes does not only contain nicotine but also other chemical substance that will directly affect your body; therefore, your sports performance. One of the problems you will suffer if you smoke and do sports is that your maximum performance will be diminished. The alveoli that the body has will stop functioning. This means that your body will not be receiving the correct amount of oxygen it requires, which is an essential factor if doing sports. At this time, banning the use of cigarettes and vaping products should be prioritized to avoid teenagers go to the wrong path of doing drugs. Smokers are not the only ones that are affected. Passive smokers also suffer the same consequences of a smoker by being around smokers. Banning these products will also improve the health of both long time smokers and teenagers that are starting to smoke; therefore, reducing the percentage of death that are caused by smoking.

Tobacco is one of the most easily obtained legal addictive drugs and, unfortunately, its consumption has become a daily thing in our society. Although it is true that many smokers know certain negative effects that tobacco can have on their physical health, few can relate their addiction to anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion that puts us on alert, activates us, physiologically and behaviorally, given the possibility that in a given situation we obtain a negative or unwanted result. This results cause people to smoke cigarettes believing that it will “relax” them. It is stated that smokers are more anxious than nonsmoker. This is because it is produced by the nicotine that the cigarettes contain which produces smoking cessation. Panic attacks are also linked by the consumption of tobacco. Smokers are two to four times more likely to suffer from panic attacks than people who have never smoked or who have quit smoking. And people with lung diseases are at an even greater risk. They suffer six times more panic attacks than non-smokers. Lung damage caused from smoking can activate neural pathways in the nervous system induce anxiety and panic attacks. One way to avoid having anxiety and panic attacks is to stop smoking. Banning tobacco products will improve the health of smokers by lessening the chance of having cancer that can produce in the trachea, bronchus, and lungs and reducing anxiety, stress and panic attacks. Recently, an alternative product was created with the purpose for long-term smokers to use instead of cigarettes.

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Although vaping is considered a healthier alternative, most of the teens from this generation are starting to vape. Teenage vaping is a bad decision since smoking nicotine can get you addicted to the product, leading you to buy more frequently and potentially make the teen become a drug addict. Vaping can open doors to other drugs such as cigarettes and marijuana. Daily use of ECIGS can lead teens to experiment what smoking marijuana both in its raw form and through other ECIGS devices, as has been common recently with the outbreak of vaping related illness. Teens that start smoking ECIGS will also be tempted to start smoking cigarettes because of the nicotine it contains leading teens to start having anxiety and panic attacks. Although this is an alternative product for smokers, this is an extremely dangerous product for teenagers who are nonsmokers. ECIGS should be banned in order to prevent lung diseases and teenagers to try other drugs. It has already been stated that there were 31 deaths and more than 1000 lung injuries because of the use of ECIGS. Most of the patients that have lung injuries caused by vaping were related to shortness of breath which resembles to pneumonia.

By the simple fact that ECIGs are new, teenagers believe that the ECIGs have no side effect on their body. When it first came out, they announced that there is a sweet flavor in the e-juice (liquid that is vaporized in the electronic cigarettes) such as mango, crème brulee, tropical fruit, and many more. This led adolescents to buy and try this product. The first product that became so popular was the Juul. Teenagers wanted to try this new sensation and since it does not leave an odor they will usually take it to school. Since the product was still new, there was not any law or age restriction for the purchase of the product. For example, in Panama, most of the students around 9th to 12th grade already possess a Juul. One friend of mine has difficulty of breathing because he was vaping since he was little, yet he cannot stop vaping because he got addicted to the product. Everyone was vaping mango pods and will spend 20$ for each packet of pods. And because they started vaping, some started smoking cigarettes and marijuana. The Juul was created to become an alternative product for daily smokers but people took it the wrong way. As a result, teenagers started smoking at a small age.

The action on the brain would be produced by electronic cigarettes that have nicotine in the liquid from the vaping container. The same applies to traditional cigarettes since it also contains nicotine. The nicotine enters the body through cigarettes or vape and activates normal brain structures, known as receptors. When the receptors are activated, they release a chemical called dopamine, which causes a feeling of well-being. The pleasure a person feels in response to dopamine is one of the major components of the nicotine addiction process. Over time, the person that continues to smoke, the amount of nicotine receptors increases in the brain. Addicted smokers have billions more of these receptors than non-smokers; however, not all smokers have the same high level of receptors, and that is why some customary smokers can quit without much difficulty. With nicotine as one of the major components of vape and cigarettes, it makes it difficult for smoker to stop smoking. This chemical also urges the smoker to smoke making it seem as if nicotine is already part of their body. Many people need to resort to some medical treatment to overcome nicotine addiction and cope well with withdrawal symptoms.

Tobacco smoke and vape particularly affects the lungs, which is where the smoke enters. Lesions are seen at different levels of the respiratory system: Increased secretions in the trachea and bronchial tubes, which leads to chronic cough and habitual expectoration. The increase in secretions is associated with an increased risk of infections that are caused by viruses and bacteria associated with chronic bronchitis. Destruction of the surface of the alveoli that produces a decrease in the passage of air. Tobacco use damages the lung since smoking begins. Smoking teenagers already have mild airway obstruction and decreased lung function growth. Women seem to be more susceptible to this than men. Like tobacco, the electronic cigarette produces alterations in lung function. The changes found in respiratory function, such as bronchoconstriction, are smaller than those produced by cigarettes. There is some study that shows that it causes asthma in children, as well as irritation to the eyes, throat and airways. There are no long-term safety data. This new way of smoking also causes pneumonia. Some cases have been described in large consumers, related to glycerol (chemical the e-juice contain) deposition in the lung. There is also a case where an 18 year old woman that vaped for only 3 weeks, producing hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an inflammation of the lungs due to an allergic reaction to chemicals.

Smoking is associated with lower athletic performance since the lungs have lower capacity. As we know, smoking either cigarettes or vape can cause damage to lungs. This lung damages prevent the athletes to make their upmost performance during their matches. It will prevent the body to receive enough oxygen and will make the athletes be tired faster. Stamina is an essential factor for athletes since most of the sports require them to run long distances for a long period of time. For example, my high school friend that started vaping not so long ago was in the soccer team. As he vaped more, his performance began to lower and he could not run as long as he was used to. Tobacco is also a big factor; it causes a decrease in muscle strength and a decrease in muscle flexibility. As you well know, an athlete needs good flexibility and muscular strength to improve their performance. But if tobacco is causing these problems, then the athlete will have it complicated to overcome his results. Smoking marijuana can also affect an athlete’s results. Marijuana can cause an increase in heart rate, even at rest, meaning, it can be a symptom of a small decrease in athletic performance. Many athletes smoke marijuana with the aim of being able to relax. Stress and tension often prevents athletes from relaxing and resting as they should. Based on this, we can say that athletes should not smoke in order to prevent a decrease in their performance.

Tobacco smoke in the environment causes diseases and premature death in not only on teenagers but also in adults that do not smoke and children. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke irritates the respiratory tract and has immediate harmful effects on the person's heart and blood vessels. Children and teenagers exposed to tobacco smoke in the environment are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis.

In conclusion, because there are so many negative effects on by smoking tobacco and electronic cigarettes, banning the sales of tobacco and electronic cigarettes on teenagers should be prioritized. It will reduce the number of panic attacks and anxiety that are caused by smoking, saves the money spent on cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, improve athlete’s performance during their matches, and prevent teenagers to start doing drugs, and the health issues of many people, even those who does not smoke.

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The Effects of Smoking Tobacco and Vape for the Teenage Population. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“The Effects of Smoking Tobacco and Vape for the Teenage Population.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
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