Vaping has become increasingly popular among young people. That’s primarily because of its lower per-use cost and belief that it’s less harmful than traditional cigarettes. But vaping nicotine is not the safest alternative to smoking cigarettes as it poses serious health risks, especially among youth and young adults.

Vaping devices use e-liquids that contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing brain. Vaping also exposes users to toxic chemicals and metals that may damage the lungs and increase the risk of respiratory illnesses. In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed over 2,800 e-cig or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) cases and 68 fatalities linked to the condition. EVALI cases are most evident among those who modify their vaping devices or use modified e-liquids.  

Despite these risks, many young adults continue to vape. Most of them overlook or underestimate the effects of nicotine. And the marketing tactics don’t help either, as companies promote their products as a trendy, cool, and harmless activity. They also use candy, fruit, mint, alcohol, and food flavors that appeal to youth, increasing the risk of nicotine addiction.  


What to Know about Vaping

Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by an electronic device called an electronic cigarette or vape pen. The device heats a liquid, called e-liquid or vape juice, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, to create a vapor that is inhaled.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, which creates a pleasurable sensation. When a person uses nicotine repeatedly, their brain adapts to the increased dopamine levels and becomes dependent on it to function normally. This is what leads to addiction.

 A National Youth Tobacco survey found that over 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigs in 2021. Sadly, 99% of e-cigarettes found in most places in the US contain nicotine. But these products don’t disclose that they contain nicotine. And even those who say they have 0% nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.

Nicotine harms the developing brain and can affect impulse control, mood, learning, and attention. It can also increase the risk of future addiction. Beyond addiction, here are some other scary vaping facts:

Vaping might be safer than smoking, but it’s still not safe

Most people ask, is vaping worse than smoking, or is vaping safe? Vaping is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes because it does not involve burning tobacco, which produces harmful tar, carbon monoxide, and many other toxic chemicals. However, it is essential to note that vaping still involves inhaling chemicals and potentially harmful substances such as nicotine, flavorings, and other additives. These substances can cause health issues such as lung damage, respiratory problems, and nicotine addiction.

E-cigarettes are just as addictive as traditional ones

E-cigarettes can be just as addictive as traditional cigarettes because many of them contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. In fact, some e-cigarette products may even have higher nicotine levels than conventional tobacco products. It is also worth noting that some e-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine more efficiently than traditional cigarettes, which can further increase the risk of addiction.


Vapes are not the best smoking cessation tool

Despite being promoted as a smoking cessation tool, electronic cigarettes have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a smoking cessation device. A recent study found that a majority of those who vape as a way to quit smoking ended up continuing to use both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Besides, e-cigarettes can still deliver nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can make quitting smoking more difficult. The same goes for nicotine pouches, snus and other oral nicotine products.

Not just nicotine

Many vaping devices can also be used with other drugs, including marijuana. A 2018 study found that 10.9% of college students had vaped THC in the past 30 days, an increase from 5.2% in 2017. Worse, other substances like methamphetamine, DMT, crack cocaine, and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists can also be vaped. In 2016, the US Surgeon General cautioned that e-cig use among young adults is a significant public health concern in the country.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are physical and psychological symptoms when people who smoke tobacco or vape stop using. Symptoms usually peak within the first few days after quitting and can last several weeks or months. However, the severity and duration of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:

Impacts of Vaping on Adolescents and Strategies for Preventing Youth Vaping

As mentioned earlier, nicotine exposure during adolescence can affect brain development, including attention, learning, and mood regulation. It may increase the risk of addiction to nicotine and other substances later in life. 

Preventing youth vaping requires a multi-faceted approach, which may include the following: 


Managing Nicotine Withdrawal

Managing nicotine withdrawal can be challenging, but some strategies can help alleviate symptoms and increase the chances of quitting smoking or other nicotine-containing products. Here are some ways to manage nicotine withdrawal:

It is also essential to seek professional help when trying to manage nicotine withdrawal, especially for individuals with a history of addiction or other health conditions. A healthcare professional can provide guidance and support, prescribe medications or nicotine replacement therapy, and help develop a personalized quit plan.

Drug abuse and addiction can affect almost every part of your body, including your veins. The chemicals in these drugs can cause the walls of your veins to break down, making them more susceptible to rupture. 

In addition, the debris from these breakdowns can block blood flow and cause inflammation. As a result, your veins can become very painful and may even require surgery to repair. In some cases, you may need compression stockings to manage the side effects. 

How Does Drug Use Affect The Circulatory System?

Drugs can have a big impact on your circulatory system. This includes your heart, arteries, veins, and blood. Drugs can affect your heart health in several ways, including:

These effects can strain your heart and lead to different types of heart disease. Drugs can also damage the lining of your arteries, making them more likely to become blocked. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. In addition, drugs can thin your blood, making it more difficult for your circulatory system to do its job. 

Drugs That Can Hurt Your Circulatory System



When you think of cocaine, you might picture the white powder snorted through a rolled-up bill. But what you might not realize is that this illegal drug is extremely dangerous and can cause severe damage to your veins and circulatory system. Here’s how:

Cocaine use increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by damaging the veins and causing them to constrict. This can lead to a build-up of blood in the veins, which increases the likelihood of a clot forming.

In addition, cocaine use leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, further damaging the vessels and leading to DVT. 

DVT is a type of heart disease that can occur when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg. If the clot breaks loose, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. DVT can also cause post-thrombotic syndrome.

Cocaine can also cause dehydration and damage organs such as the liver and lungs. In fact, chronic cocaine use has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Ecstasy (MDMA)

MDMA is a popular party drug, especially among young people. Also known as ecstasy, the drug produces feelings of euphoria and increased energy. However, MDMA can also have serious consequences for your circulatory system. The active ingredient in ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), interferes with the body’s ability to regulate blood flow.

As a result, blood vessels constrict, and blood pressure rises. MDMA also speeds up heart rate and can cause irregular heart rhythm. In some cases, these effects can lead to overheating, dehydration, and even death. 



Heroin is a powerful opioid drug that can have devastating effects on the circulatory system. When heroin enters the bloodstream, it binds to receptors in the brain that are responsible for pain relief, heart rate, and respiration. This binding process slows down the body’s natural processes. This happens more faster when the drug is injected via needle or syringe. They can also cause dangerous side effects including slowed heart rate and breathing, constricted blood vessels, and increased blood pressure.

In some cases, these side effects can lead to collapsed veins, tissue damage, and even death. Heroin users are also at risk of developing serious infections, such as endocarditis (an infection of the heart’s inner lining). 


Methamphetamine is a powerful and dangerous stimulant that can adversely affect the cardiovascular system. In particular, its use can lead to elevated blood pressure, acute vasospasm, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. These conditions can cause serious and potentially fatal damage to the arteries and blood vessels.

Meth can also damage the lining of blood vessels, making them more susceptible to rupture. In extreme cases, this can lead to stroke or even death. In addition to its effects on the circulatory system, methamphetamine also increases the risk of cancer, psychosis, and memory loss.

Prescription Drugs

When you think of the dangers of prescription drugs, you might not consider the risks to your veins and circulatory system. However, certain medications can hurt these vital systems. 

For example, prescription drugs like antipsychotics and antidepressants can have serious side effects. One of the most potentially dangerous is venous thromboembolism, which occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins. This can lead to heart conditions, stroke, and even death.

In addition, these drugs can also damage the circulatory system. Antipsychotics can cause high blood pressure, while antidepressants can cause irregular heartbeat.

Some prescribed blood thinners can also cause small cuts and tears in the veins, leading to inflammation and pain.


Tobacco use affects the entire cardiovascular system, including the heart, blood, and vessels. The side effects of smoking can be severe.

Over time, they can increase the risk of heart disease, heart failure, or stroke. This is thanks to the chemicals in tobacco that damage the veins and destroy the elasticity of the arteries. This is a common cause of heart problems.


Smoking has other side effects, including shortness of breath, heart arrhythmias, and increased risk for congenital heart defects. Nicotine, a chemical present in smoke, is also known to cause high blood pressure and increased heart rate.

How Can You Protect Your Circulatory System From Drug Abuse And Damage?

There are many ways to protect your circulatory system from drug abuse and damage. 

1. One way is to avoid using drugs that can damage the circulatory system. These include tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

2. Another way to protect your circulatory system is to eat a healthy diet. Eating foods high in fiber can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Exercise is also important for maintaining a healthy circulatory system. Regular physical activity helps keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and helps lower blood pressure. 

4. Finally, it is important to manage stress healthily. Stress can contribute to cardiovascular disease, so it is important to find a healthy way to cope with stress.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. With treatment, you can prevent the damaging effects of drugs on your body. can match you up with the right rehab that will help you regain control of your life. 

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