Exploding E-Cigs? Vaping Weed? The Dangers of the “Safe Smoking” Alternative

Think e-cigs are the "safe smoking" alternative that manufactures say they are? Think again.

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It seems like new research regarding the dangers of electronic cigarettes surfaces on a weekly basis. And the bad news just keeps on coming.

In a Yale University study of nearly 4,000 Connecticut high schoolers, about 30 percent of students said they had tried marijuana in some form, and more than half of that 30 percent reported using an e-cig to vape the drug.

Lead study author Meghan Morean, who teaches psychology at Oberlin College and psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, suggested that while vaping marijuana has yet to be proven more dangerous than smoking the substance, it may be easier for teens to get away with than more traditional methods. She explains:

“It doesn’t smell as strong as when you smoke it. It’s hard to tell what’s in [the e-cigarette]: Is it a nicotine solution? Is it a no nicotine fruit-flavored solution.”

But maybe it’s not only what teens are vaping that parents and teachers should worry about; the device itself has also proven to be cause for great concern.

A young man from Florida recently suffered burns to his eye, hand, chest, face, and mouth, plus fractures to his neck and finger when an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. The frequent vaper was airlifted to the nearest burn unit and is now being fitted for a prosthetic to fill the hole that the device blasted through the roof of his mouth.

At least there may be an upside to all of this terrible, alarming news: The more we know about the dangers of electronic cigarettes, the more we can use that information to implement preventative measures. 

Research shows that teens aren't familiar with the risks of e-cigarettes, so educate them (and yourself). Use this story, "E-Cigarettes: Can They Kill You Too?", as a starting point.