By Ryan Carr

One in four teens that vape say they’ve use e-cigarettes in an alternative way, this technique is known as “dripping”. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, dripping produces thicker clouds of vapor, giving a stronger sensation in the throat and elevating the flavors. E-cigarettes heat liquid and turn it into vapor, which the user inhales and exhales. The normal process of vaping is composed of reservoir and wick, which automatically feeds liquid to the heating element within the e-cigarette. The dripping method consists of the user manually applying the liquid directly to an exposed heating coil. This method is used for better cloud (thicker smoke), more flavor and a stronger hit. In June 2009, the Food and Drug Administration began regulating all tobacco products including e-cigarettes.

Dripping generates higher heating coil temperatures than the conventional use of e-cigarettes, which is a safety concern. With these increased temperatures, it leads the emission of a class of harmful chemicals known as volatile aldehydes. Within this class of chemicals are formaldehyde and acrolein. According to Dr. David Carpenter, director of the University at Albany’s School of Public Health, both formaldehyde and acrolein are known to cause cancer in humans. These chemicals are also associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which makes it difficult to breathe. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine conducted dripping scenarios measuring temperatures and emissions. “The aldehyde emissions were much greater than what we measured using conventional e-cigs,” Sarin said. As puffing progresses and liquid is consumed, the temperatures and emissions rise “drastically” according to Sarin. There is more and more data showing that e-cigarettes contain many other chemicals like propylene glycol and glycerine. When these chemicals are heated at high temperatures they produce high levels of carcinogenic compounds.

The other issue at hand is nicotine is very addictive. Now that e-cigarettes are so popular among adolescents, they are going to become just as addictive as cigarettes. A December 2016 report from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy found that e-cigarettes are now the most used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional products such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and hookahs. According to the report, e-cigarette use has increased 900% among high school students from 2011 to 2015. The possibility of addiction arises because the devices are promoted as being safer than conventional cigarettes. Many people don’t know that fun flavored liquids contain nicotine, and users unknowingly develop the need to vape. Though e-cigarettes do not contain many of the toxic chemicals that regular cigarettes have, instead, they have multiple chemicals used for flavors. A lot of information about e-cigarettes are unknown and it is extremely important for parents to inform their children that it is not acceptable to smoke e-cigarettes.

It is extremely important for people to spread the word about the effects of e-cigarettes. People assume that e-cigarettes are not harmful. What does one expect? Through media cigarette companies depict e-cigarettes as healthy alternative. E-cigarettes may be a good tool for people trying to quit conventional cigarettes, but they are painting a bad picture for kids. Teens are using these products for doing smoke tricks, then unconsciously becoming addicted.