Vaping and Smoking

Cigarette use among college students has declined and the use of alternative ways of smoking has increased. As of 2017, over 2,000 college campuses across the nation have made an effort to reduce cigarette use, with many of them becoming smoke-free campuses. SPU went smoke-free as of 2005.

What is vaping and is it safe? Despite the myth that vapes and e-cigarettes consist of flavored water vapor, vaping is actually the inhalation and exhalation of a chemical aerosol. In contrast, when smoking a cigarette, you are inhaling and exhaling tobacco smoke. What vaping, e-cigarettes, and cigarettes all have in common are various levels of nicotine, which is known for its addictive effect. While vaping and e-cigarettes have less nicotine than cigarettes, this has led to many believing that vaping or e-cigarettes are a safe or better alternative to smoking cigarettes.

While research is in progress to understand the long-term effects of vaping and e-cigarettes, the chemicals found in these devices are already known to cause lung damage and other physical health problems. Nicotine in any form acts as a stimulant, increasing your heart rate, and effects dopamine levels (the neurotransmitter in your brain that tells you something feels good). Media popularizes the idea that vaping and e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes, however, less harm does not mean harmless.

Stress plays a big role in why people smoke or vape and stress can come in many forms – maybe it’s stress from wanting to join in with your friends when they smoke or vape, or maybe it’s academic or financial stress. While quitting cold turkey or switching to things like nicotine gum or the patch can help with quitting, reducing your stress overall will be helpful. Check out these tips on reducing stress to help with making healthier choices.

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