The Most Frightening Sign of Vaping Dependency, as Identified by a Psychologist

In recent years, vaping has become incredibly popular as an alternative to smoking, with many people turning to e-cigarettes to kick tobacco use. Although vaping is considered a safer alternative, there are concerns that more children and young adults are using it to become addicted to nicotine. Medical and psychological experts have shed light on the scariest sign of vaping addiction: nicotine toxicity. Here are some of the risks associated with nicotine use and vaping addiction, including how it affects children and young people and the startling rise in cases of nicotine poisoning.

What is vaping and why are people addicted to it?

Inhaling and releasing vapor created by an electronic cigarette or other device of a similar nature is known as vaping. The word “vapor”, which describes a substance in its gaseous state, is where the term “steam” comes from. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that produce an aerosol for the user to inhale by heating a liquid solution that contains nicotine, flavors, and other substances.

Although still a relatively new phenomenon, vaping is already very popular among the youth. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10% of high school students in 2023 reported using flavored e-cigarettes or vapes in the previous 30 days. Because the nicotine in e-cigarettes is so highly addictive, vape addiction develops. Nicotine, a stimulant, acts on the central nervous system and brain, resulting in feelings of relaxation and pleasure. In addition, it increases blood pressure and heart rate, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. (2)

Growing concern

According to hospital records, the number of hospitalizations for young people in the UK due to vaping has doubled in a year. As a result, concerns about the addictive properties of vaping have grown, especially among people who have never smoked. In order to address this issue, the UK Government has raised its concerns and launched a consultation. While vaping can be a useful quit tool for adult smokers, there is a serious risk that it will lead to nicotine addiction in young people.

In the US, the news is no better.

According to the findings, vaping among young people is growing at an alarming rate overall. Extreme addiction to nicotine is a major contributing factor to this problem, especially among young people. They are trying to voluntarily put down the vape even though they don’t think they will have any problems.

Marina Picciosotto, PhD, a neuroscientist at Yale, says the adolescent brain is more sensitive to reward. When they vape, their brain gets a hit of nicotine, nothing more.

“Adolescents don’t think they will become addicted to nicotine, but when they want to quit, they find it very difficult,” says Dr. Picciotto. (3)

Nicotine Addiction: Telltale Symptoms

Australian psychologist Claire Wakefield identifies several worrying indicators that nicotine addiction may be developing. When vaping ideas become overwhelming and distracting, this is a major red flag. Individuals may find that they are anxious when they can’t get their next vape, or that they are constantly wondering where to get another one. This compulsive obsession with vaping suggests a more serious addiction and possible addiction.

female vaping

“I find the clues when you start thinking about it when you don’t want to think about it to be troubling,” Wakefield said. “Your first thought when you wake up in the morning is, ‘Where’s my vape?'” Or if you’re worried about where you’re going to get your next one.” (4)

Scary omen: Ingestion of toxins

Wakefield goes into more detail about the potentially fatal effects of nicotine addiction, including nicotine poisoning or “nic sick.” The nicotine content in vapes and e-liquids is higher than in regular cigarettes. Due to the higher concentration of nicotine, there is a higher probability of developing nicotine poisoning, which is characterized by the rapid consumption of an excessive amount of nicotine.

The American Lung Association warns that nicotine poisoning can have serious side effects, including headaches, confusion, diarrhea, shallow breathing, excessive exhaustion, and in severe cases, death. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. (5)

Read: ‘Stop vaping, please,’ doctors advise 17-year-old double lung transplant recipient.

Impact on young adults and children

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Young adults and children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of nicotine addiction associated with vaping. The addictive properties of nicotine can have long-term effects on their developing bodies and brains. It is alarming to learn that some children have reported developing signs of nicotine toxicity after prolonged vaping.

Wakefield describes the terrifying case of a young lady who started throwing up strawberry-flavored vomit, a sign of heavy vaping. These reports highlight the seriousness of nicotine poisoning and raise questions about the long-term health and mental consequences it can have on children.

“She says she knew she had a problem when her vomit started to taste like vape,” added Wakefield. Strawberry-flavored vomit from her excessive vaping. It’s not pretty when you google “Vape on fire”.

The prevalence of nicotine addiction is increasing along with the popularity of vaping, especially among young adults and children. Nicotine poisoning is by far the scariest sign of this addiction because of its potentially fatal consequences. It is imperative that parents, schools, medical professionals, and legislators take immediate action to address this problem and protect youth from the negative consequences of vaping-related nicotine addiction.

Although regulations are being put in place to control the availability of vaping products, the prevention of nicotine addiction and subsequent nicotine poisoning is mostly dependent on education and awareness campaigns. We can try to stop this trend and protect the well-being of our younger generation by being aware of the dangers and indications associated with vape addiction.

In conclusion, the rise in popularity of vaping has raised significant concerns about nicotine addiction, especially among young adults and children. As vaping devices continue to evolve and become more affordable, the risks associated with nicotine use are becoming more apparent. Nicotine addiction not only poses immediate health risks but also has long-term effects on the developing body and brain of young individuals.

The scariest aspect of vaping addiction is the possibility of nicotine poisoning, which can have serious and even fatal consequences. Symptoms such as headaches, confusion, vomiting, and, in extreme cases, death, underscores the urgency of addressing this problem.

Psychologists and medical experts identify warning signs of nicotine addiction, such as obsessive thoughts about vaping and withdrawal symptoms when you can’t vape. These indicators serve as crucial signals for intervention and support for individuals struggling with addiction.

It is imperative that parents, educators, health professionals, and policymakers work together to implement effective strategies to prevent and address vaping-related nicotine addiction. Education and awareness campaigns play a vital role in equipping individuals with the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions about vaping.

Ultimately, by prioritizing the well-being of our youth and taking proactive measures to address vaping addiction, we can mitigate the risks associated with nicotine use and protect the health of future generations.

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