Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – E-Cigarettes and Addiction

Name: Kalista McKinley Wales

E-Cigarettes and Addiction


Awareness Scholarship Essay


and Addiction

a running start student that attends both high school and college, I
see how many students use electric smoking devices like e-cigarettes
or vaping pens. It seems that these smoking devices have taken over
many students lives, and I personally feel like these smoking devices
are much more dangerous then people want to acknowledge. Though there
is some evidence that electronic smoking devices are less hazardous
then standard cigarettes, they are still very detrimental to the
health of people who use them. Within this essay I will discuss the
harms that addiction to electronic cigarettes have on an individual
and an entire society.

it should be discussed what an electronic smoking device is, and why
they are so addictive. Electronic smoking devices are small machines
that mix nicotine products with heated aerosol that the user inhales
and exhales to get a high. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance,
and a person can get hooked after smoking just once. This leads to
extreme cases of addiction. The heated aerosol liquid can also be
flavored to the user’s preferences, which leads to a further desire
for electronic cigarettes. There are other dangerous substances
contained within electronic cigarettes such as “volatile organic
compounds” (Know The Risk), “…diacetyl, a chemical linked to
serious lung disease” (Know the Risk), and “heavy metals, such as
nickel, tin, and led”(Know the Risk). There are many variations of
electronic smoking devices that are accessible, and vaping shops have
recently begun appearing all over the entire nation.

are many harms that come with becoming addicted to electronic
cigarettes, specifically to younger individuals. The younger
generation, that being ages below thirty, are the most prominent
users of electronic cigarettes. A text states, “brain development
begins during the growth of the fetus in the womb and continues
through childhood and to about age 25. Nicotine exposure during
adolescence and young adulthood can cause addiction and harm to a
developing brain.”(Know the Risk). This statement shows that
smoking electronic cigarettes at a young age stunts brain
development. Exposure to nicotine will deter a student’s chances of
fully succeeding in school because it prevents the brain from
developing correctly. As a student, it is baffling to walk around my
college campus and see students vaping outside of buildings, knowing
that they are a similar age to me. Each one of those students is
stunting their brain growth which will prevent them from succeeding
in the future. Another statistic is that “in 2018, 1 in 5 high
school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past month.”(Know
the Risk). This statistic shows that my generation is plagued with
the use of e-cigarettes. There are hundreds of students who are
smoking these dangerous devices and stunting their brain growth.
These adolescents are damaging their brains permanently, which will
keep them from fully achieving potential academic accomplishments. It
is scary to think that this generation could be less educated because
of high amounts of e-cigarette usage.

great harm caused by electronic smoking is that it can cause deadly
diseases that can even end the user’s life. A source states, “
of September 2019, there have been more than 800 cases of a severe
lung disease, including 12 deaths, in the United States. All the
affected patients reported previous use of vaping devices, but there
is no confirmed link with a specific vaping device or
e-liquid.”(Cancer.Net). This statement highlights that electronic
smoking devices contain chemicals that damage the inhalers lungs.
That people are developing life threatening diseases that have
already caused several deaths in the United States shows how
negatively electronic smoking devices are affecting the public. There
is also no evidence that shows lung disease is caused by a singular
type of electronic smoking device, which means it is likely that any
of these smoking devices could be responsible for diseases as life
threatening as lung cancer. The source also states
to the same toxins as cigarettes but in higher quantities.
smoke contains high levels of many toxic compounds found in
cigarettes. These include carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and
chemicals linked to cancer.”(Cancer.Net). This evidence shows that
in many ways e-cigarettes can be more dangerous then normal
cigarettes. There are more toxins within the superheated liquid
within electronic smoking devices. Delivering higher doses of
chemicals into a person’s body puts them at a risk of developing
cancerous diseases at a very young age. The fact that there is a risk
that e-cigarettes are more dangerous then the already proven lethal
cigarette shows how dangerous becoming addicted to them is. To list
specific diseases that e-cigarettes cause, “cancers associated with
the toxins and chemicals are: lung cancer, stomach cancer, bladder
cancer, esophageal cancer. Other conditions associated with the
toxins and chemicals are: heart disease and respiratory diseases like
emphysema, which causes difficulty breathing.”(Cancer.Net). This
demonstrates that electronic cigarettes are dangerous devices linked
to many different diseases. That electronic smoking devices are
linked to so many life-threatening diseases shows that they are a
hazardous to the general public and need to be more regulated. People
who smoke electronic cigarettes are practically throwing their lives
away because of the diseases these devices can cause.

to electronic cigarettes does not just harm individuals; it has a
highly negative impact on society. When an individual who is addicted
to smoking vaping pens, and does this around other people, those
surrounding people can inhale the smoke released from that person and
cause harm to their own lungs. For normal cigarettes this is called
second hand smoke, but for vaping pens it is called secondhand
aerosol. Those people who are smoking e-cigarettes in public that are
flavored are actually causing more damage to surrounding people than
e-cigarettes without flavor. An article states, “ESD exposure
damages lung tissues. Human lung cells that are exposed to ESD
aerosol and flavorings—especially cinnamon—are showing increased
oxidative stress and inflammatory responses.”(Electronic Smoking).
This shows that when people are breathing in smoke released by an
electronic smoker, there is damage being caused to their own lungs.
It is especially bad for people who live in the same house as a
person who is smoking electronic cigarettes, because then they are
living in an environment where they are constantly surrounded by
vaping smoke, almost to the same level as the actual smoker. Being in
that environment where a person is constantly getting secondhand
aerosol can lead to them developing the same lung diseases as the
e-cigarette smoker, which shows how harmful addiction to e-cigarettes
is on the entire society.

to electronic cigarettes also negatively impacts the entire society
because it destroys relationships that an individual who smokes has
with their own family. This is more of a personal story, but a family
member of mine started smoking e-cigarettes and normal cigarettes
when I was young and when he got out of high school. We were very
close and always spent time together, but once he became so dependent
on electronic cigarettes it became harder to spend time with him. I
would begin avoiding him on camping trips or at family gatherings
because the smell of the substances lingered on him, and I didn’t
want to be around him when he was partaking in smoking. He would have
to leave to take smoke breaks and then he would always come back
smelling like the substance, which would make me not want to be
around him. I also didn’t want his bad choices to influence me or
my younger sibling, so my sibling and I began to distance ourselves
from him. This was really hard and difficult to do, because he had
not been just a family member to me but a good friend that I had
looked up to, but now he was a person I was embarrassed to be around
sometimes. It was and is very frustrating to see him still continuing
to make those bad decisions by smoking electronic cigarettes, because
I know it is greatly damaging his body and is driving him away from
his family because none of us want to be near him while he is
smoking. My relationship with this family member will never be the
same because of his addiction to electronic cigarettes and normal

it can be seen, the evidence above shows that addiction to electronic
cigarettes has a deadly impact on individuals and our society as a
whole. I hope that this essay can be used to raise awareness of the
impact e-cigarettes have on people, and will deter people from
becoming reliant on those dangerous substances. I hope that as more
scientific research is done and made for the public, people who are
addicted to electronic cigarettes will begin to make more of an
effort to get help to solve their addiction and end this crisis.


Risks of E-Cigarettes, Smokeless Tobacco, and
6 Nov. 2019,

Smoking Devices and Secondhand Aerosol – American Nonsmokers’ Rights

27 Jan. 2020,

the Risks: E-Cigarettes & Young People: U.S. Surgeon General’s