More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market. E-cigarettes are popular among teens and are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States.
The nicotine in e-liquids is readily absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream when a person uses an e-cigarette. Upon entering the blood, nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.
E-cigarette use exposes the lungs to a variety of chemicals, including those added to e-liquids, and other chemicals produced during the heating/vaporizing process. A study of some e-cigarette products found the vapor contains known carcinogens and toxic chemicals, as well as potentially toxic metal nanoparticles from the device itself
Nicotine affects the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning. Other risks include mood disorders and permanent problems with impulse control (i.e. failure to fight an urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others).
The teen years are critical for brain development, which continues into young adulthood. Young people who use nicotine products in any form, including e-cigarettes, are uniquely at risk for long-lasting effects.
Because nicotine affects the development of the brain's reward system, continued e-cigarette use can not only lead to nicotine addiction, but it also can make other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teen's developing brain.
Research shows that E-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and increased risk for addiction to other drugs.
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