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How Teenage Vaping Puts Structure in Place for Heroin and Cocaine Addiction
THE RAPID ADOPTION OF E-CIGARETTES HAS BEEN DRIVEN, AT LEAST IN PART, BY A HUGE JUMP IN THE POTENCY OF E-LIQUIDS.
By Indra Cidambi, M.D.
June 13, 2018
U.S. News & World Report
CIGARETTE SMOKING AMONG teenagers is on the wane. While data show smoking among teenagers has dropped over the past few years, it's not all good news. Teenagers are vaping nicotine instead. One in 8 – or 12 percent of – teenagers in New Jersey have tried e-cigarettes and/or hookah at least once. When cigarette smoking and nicotine vaping are added together, nicotine use may actually have increased. The rapid adoption of e-cigarettes has been driven, at least in part, by the huge jump in the potency of e-liquids (both nicotine and marijuana) used in vapes. Nicotine and marijuana act on the brain in ways similar to other substances of abuse and prime the brain for addiction to other potent drugs down the road.
Exponential Jump in E-Liquid Potency
Part of the reason for the adoption of e-cigarettes by teenagers is the exponential jump in the potency of e-liquids (nicotine and marijuana) used in vapes. E-liquid products like JUUL contain nearly 50 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid, whereas a cigarette has about 12 milligrams of nicotine. THC content in liquid concentrates, used in vapes, can range between 50 and 90 percent, as compared to 20 percent in marijuana. Vaping high-concentration marijuana can deliver a more intense high, but it can also lead to addiction.
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Publications from SAMSHA
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane | Rockville, MD 20857
1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) www.samhsa.gov
Tips for Teens fact sheets provide information about the effects of short- and long-term use of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and inhalants. These insightful and easy-to-read brochures provide important facts teens need to know, answer frequently asked questions, and help to dispel common myths about each of the substances covered.
Cocaine is a white powder that can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected to cause a brief high. Cocaine is highly addictive and affects both the brain and body. It can increase the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis and change emotions. Inventory#: PEP18-01
Tips for Teens: The Truth About Heroin
Heroin can be a white or dark brown powder or a black tar, and is often mixed with other substances that can make it even more dangerous. Heroin slows brain activity, heartbeat, and breathing, and is highly addictive. Inventory#: PEP18-02
Methamphetamine (meth) is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting, crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. It can be made from ingredients found in household products. Meth causes brain changes that affect impulse control and stress, making it harder to stop using meth. It also increases heart rate, blood pressure, and risk for stroke. Inventory#: PEP18-03
Inhalants are gases or fumes from everyday products that are inhaled or sniffed to cause an immediate high by cutting-off oxygen to the brain. Starving the body of oxygen forces the heart to beat rapidly or irregularly, or even stop. Use of inhalants also affects other parts of the body. Inventory#: PEP18-04.