Is Vaping Addictive?
If you picked up vaping as a new and enjoyable habit, all the controversy surrounding the topic now might make you explore more about this subject. One of the questions that has everyone interested: is vaping addictive? The answer to that question is yes.
Similarly, to smoking, vaping can be highly addictive, but with one main difference. Vaping is far healthier than smoking tobacco cigarettes. The vaping boom happened in the late 2000’s when this “social practice” caught the eye of the younger generation.
First of all, we have to state that vaping is a trendy habit, and that can be perceived among the younger crowds as a cool routine. We have so many celebrity vapers today that are promoting, endorsing or vaping on shiny vape mods during the Golden Globes ceremony that only cements the cool status of vapers. From adults to ex-smokers, the number of vapers keeps increasing by the day.
According to a study done by Euromonitor International, more than 20.8 million people worldwide are using a vaporizer, and 43.2 percent of all users are located in the U.S. The vaping market has become so diversified that today we have numerous new vape devices and countless vape juices to choose from. Depending on your personal taste or nicotine craving, you can select an e-pen, portable vaporizer, e-cig, e-pipe or a shiny new vape mod.
Replacing and customizing the vaping equipment is a piece of cake, too. There are over 400 brands with online shops selling everything from atomizers and inhalers to e-liquids and coils. You can purchase a Havana Cream vape juice and a pack of coils without leaving the comfort of your home.
The vaping community has created a positive image when it comes to this pleasing habit, and the theory that vaping is addictive is up for discussion.
The Vape Addiction
Similar to regular cigarettes, the basis of vape addiction lays in nicotine. Some studies show Nicotine to be highly addictive and powerful because it produces mood-altering effects in your brain that cause you pleasure. If you stop using nicotine, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, including irritability and anxiety. When you inhale nicotine, the brain starts releasing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which can control your mood and regulate your behavior.
This is similar to a coffee or caffeine addiction.
The strongest neurotransmitter of the bunch is called dopamine, and it’s released in the "reward center" of the brain that stimulates the feelings of pleasure. However, nicotine by itself is not harmful, but it’s just pleasurable and may be addictive.
Furthermore, nicotine affects the liver to release more glucose, and it stimulates the adrenal medulla to produce more epinephrine (adrenaline). When you combine all of these processes that happen in your body with nicotine in it, the result is feelings of relaxation, sharpness, calmness and alertness.
This is where vaping comes in. Vape juices don’t contain the toxic substances like tar, but they do contain nicotine if you choose to vape with high-level PG e-liquids. Of course, there are also nicotine-free e-liquids on the market, too.
The main issue that media take with vaping is when teens become addicted on nicotine vape juices. When you vape, the nicotine is quickly released and absorbed into the bloodstream. The research we mentioned above shows that 30.7 percent of teens who vape started smoking within six months.
Marijuana users, on the other hand, can also use their vape devices to inhale the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) into the bloodstream without combustion.
Vaping CBD oil has become a new health supplement that is gaining many eyes due to it's positive effects on overall health and well being.
Another perspective regarding the subject of vape addiction is the psychological dependency and behavioral pattern that keeps people hooked on this habit. Conditioned behaviors and learned models affect the perception of the vaper in a way that prevents him or her from quitting. Many social stimuli and personal rituals that are accompanied by vaping (drinking beer, coffee, going out in pubs with friends) can also “enforce” this habit upon people.
The main conclusion is that vaping has turned into a very hip, trendy pattern, and vapers build a whole persona on this cool social construct, which is quite charming and alluring. In 2012, over 1.78 million students (6-12 grade) had tried vaping. However, as with any trend, you have to enjoy it and do it often for the action to turn into a habit.
The withdrawal signs when you’re addicted to vaping
The addiction/withdrawal signs you might experience if you’re addicted to vaping are the following:
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
According to a study done by the Penn State College of Medicine, on the subject of vaping addiction (e-cigs,vape pens, vape mods, etc.), researchers assessed the condition of ex-smokers who are current vapers. The results showed that they smoked an average of 24 cigarettes daily and had 24 vape sessions, which doesn’t show a progression in the addiction.
However, what was showed is that “… the majority of participants admit that they had fewer cravings for e-cigs compared to their former cravings for cigarettes.” Furthermore, the study found that most of the partakers felt less irritated when they couldn’t vape, in comparison to how irritated they felt when they couldn’t smoke.
Another study, conducted by the University of Southern California in 2014 on the subject of high school students vaping, found that 13 percent have tried or are actively using a vaping device. Only 9 percent of them tried a tobacco cigarette.
To wrap it up, vaping is addictive - according to some - and you should be aware of the consequences before you go on this adventure. However, vaping does not even come close to the health hazards of traditional tobacco cigarettes.