Teen vaping has become an epidemic in the United States. What teens don’t know is that vaping causes damage to their minds and bodies, negatively affecting their physical and mental health.
Nearly all vape devices contain nicotine – the addictive drug found in tobacco products. Nicotine is extremely harmful to the developing adolescent brain, which is not fully developed until age 25. Introducing nicotine to an adolescent body can cause harm to the areas of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Nicotine can also increase the risk for future drug addictions in teens predisposed to addictive behaviors.
The most common reason teens give for vaping is they are feeling anxious, stressed or depressed. What they don’t know is that nicotine addiction can be a source of stress on the body, leading to the development of nicotine dependency. Researchers are still exploring the effects of quitting vaping on mental health, but studies show that quitting smoking cigarettes led to lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress.
We all know vaping is bad. What seems to lie under the surface is how bad it is for mental health. By bringing awareness to the negative effects of vaping on mental health, we can begin to encourage people to kick the habit and breathe freely once and for all.
The Rapides Foundation is a philanthropic organization that develops initiatives and provides grants to organizations in its nine-parish service area that share the Foundation’s Mission to improve the health status of Central Louisiana. Through its Healthy Behaviors Initiative, the Foundation addresses the health behavior priorities of tobacco prevention and control, alcohol/substance abuse prevention, healthy eating and active living. For more information, visit www.rapidesfoundation.org.