Many people have an addiction to nicotine, whether it be in the form of traditional cigarettes or new vapes and electronic cigarettes. While the dangers of cigarette smoking are now very well-known, the dangers of vaping addiction are not as clear, especially among teens and young adults. Many people wonder if it is okay to smoke or vape while recovering from drug and alcohol addiction – however, replacing one addiction with another is not a healthy strategy.
Like drug and alcohol addiction, vape and cigarette smoking addiction can have very adverse effects on your physical and mental health. You can develop the same cravings and experience withdrawal symptoms while vaping and smoking.
Cigarette Smoking Decreasing, Vaping Increasing
Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, with the popularity of electronic cigarettes not rising until the early to mid-2010s. According to a study by experts at Georgetown University, cigarette smoking is decreasing among teens and young adults while vaping is significantly increasing. The study looked at five surveys from across the United States that examined tobacco use between 2013 and 2017, following the rise of vape popularity.
As a general trend, the Georgetown study found a strong relationship between vaping and smoking across teens and young adults. As vaping rose in popularity, cigarette smoking decreased along with it. Vape companies often tote their devices as safe alternatives to cigarettes and imply that they are less addictive. In addition, today’s teens and young adults have seen more anti-cigarette programs than their older counterparts have.
As a result, more people of this demographic are turning to vaping due to their perceived safety. One study found that students in the 12th grade reduced their cigarette smoking by 4.6% after an initial long-term analysis of their smoking habits in 2014. Between 2014 and 2017, 12th-grade students in the United States reduced their smoking prevalence annually by 9.5%. Coincidentally, these years are when vaping rose to popularity.
The 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey and other national tobacco surveys found the following statistics in regard to vaping popularity:
The Addictive Qualities of Vaping and Smoking
Many people believe that vaping is less addictive than smoking. However, this statement could not be further from the truth. Both cigarettes and e-cigarettes are extremely addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, only 6% of smokers can successfully quit smoking each year.
In addition, a 2017 study found that e-cigarette use does not help people cut down on smoking as many people believe. In fact, many vapers become dual users or replace one addiction with another. According to a 2018 study, 90% of e-cigarette users cannot quit vaping after one year of attempting to stop.
Just like drugs and alcohol, cigarettes and e-cigarettes contain an addictive substance: nicotine. When someone smokes a cigarette or e-cigarette, they receive a surge of endorphins to create a brief high. While the high is not as long or as intense as other drugs, cigarette and e-cigarette smokers learn to associate the habit with a reward. Repeated smoking leads to long-term brain changes, dependence, and addiction.
The Risks of Smoking and Vaping
Thanks to increased knowledge of the dangers of cigarette smoking and educational programming, many people are aware of the dangers of long-term cigarette smoking. Some of these risks include:
Since vaping is a new phenomenon, many people remain unaware of its risks. In addition, advertising campaigns dangerously market vaping as a smoking cessation technique and a safe alternative to cigarettes. However, vaping can pose risks such as:
Smoking and Vaping While in Recovery
If you are considering vaping or smoking while in addiction recovery, you should avoid developing these habits at all costs. Partaking in these activities could hinder your addiction recovery. At Windmill Wellness Ranch, we recommend quitting tobacco and nicotine habits along with your other addictions.
There are several reasons why you should refrain from developing a nicotine habit while in recovery.
If you find yourself struggling with a nicotine addiction alongside your drug or alcohol addiction, help is available. At Windmill Wellness Ranch, we provide concurrent treatment to help you reduce replacement addictions, including smoking and vaping. We offer comprehensive recovery options at our secure and private facility in Canyon Lake, Texas.
Contact us today to learn more about our holistic treatment programs and how to enroll.