The media has found yet another aspect of vaping to freak out about: dripping. Dripping is a form of vaping done by directly applying e-liquid to an exposed coil, producing denser, more potent vapour.
In an article entitled “E-Cigarette ‘Dripping’ a Dangerous Trend Among Youth”, the Epoch Times explains a recent Yale study focused on a method of vaping called “dripping” and its rise among teens. And I agree with them. This is a concerning trend. But not for the reason that the title of the article implies.
Dripping among youth is a serious problem, just as vaping among youth is a serious problem, just as smoking among youth is a serious problem. Any nicotine consumption in youth is known to be damaging to their development, and early nicotine exposure can increase the likelihood of establishing a full-blown addiction.
However, research such as this skew the facts in order to portray such activities as more dangerous than they actually are and generalizes those claims to the entire vaping community.
The article quotes some pretty big claims from the study:
Dripping exposes vapers to higher levels of nicotine and toxic chemicals, say researchers who warn of impacts ranging from cancer to brain damage. Overheating e-liquids releases more cancer-causing substances, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone, according to the study published on Feb. 6 in the journal Pediatrics.
These findings, meant for a largely non-vaping audience, give readers much to be concerned about in regards to dripping and vaping in general. However, as the article rebuts, this information is simply a misguided, misinformed version of the truth.
In many studies, they overheat the liquid; it creates a very adhesive taste that no one can vape. The results are correct, but it has nothing to do with realistic exposure and realistic use; no one can use the device in those conditions. It’s nothing different from breaking a piece of meat and cooking it at temperatures to create a piece of charcoal, basically. Of course it’s going to be full of carcinogens. No one can eat that. So exactly the same thing is happening with the e-cigarettes.
My problem with the study, and the reporting of such in the media, is that they don’t focus on the issue at hand, but turn the act of dripping into a monster.
Yes, dripping among teens is very concerning. But it is just as concerning as teens vaping in general. These claims should not be generalized to the majority of vapers, who are beyond the legal age for nicotine consumption and who use methods of vaping as an alternative to more dangerous activities.