Teen Guides to Health & Wellness Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Disorders Diets, Cleanses, and Fitness Drugs and Alcohol School and Your Health Sexuality and Gender Identity Sleep and Hygiene Smoking and Vaping Social Media and the Internet Suicide and Self-Harm Tattoos, Piercings, and Body Modifications

Teen Guides to Health & Wellness

H.W. Poole

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Copyright © 2023 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-4419-7 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4222-4428-9 ebook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7391-3 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress

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CONTENTS Introduction. ...................................................................6 Chapter 1: Understanding Tobacco and Nicotine. ............9 Chapter 2: The Tobacco Industry and You...................... 27 Chapter 3: Vaping and Juuling.......................................45 Chapter 4: Let’s Talk about Pot......................................63 Chapter 5: What Do I Do Now?. ......................................73 Organizations and Hotlines............................................88 Further Reading and Online Resources...........................90 Series Glossary of Key Terms.......................................... 92 Index. ............................................................................94 About the Author / Credits..............................................96 K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in 1979, an engine fell off a plane shortly after take-off, causing a crash that killed 270 people on board and two more on the ground. It was the worst plane crash in US history. You might wonder why a book about smoking and vaping would open with a story like that. It’s intended to give you some context for this next fact: across the world, roughly 5 million people die from smoking-related illnesses every year. That’s the equivalent of 30 plane crashes . . . every day. Or maybe look at it this way: there have been more smoking-related deaths than the total number of deaths in all of America’s wars . . . multiplied by 10. Or this: smoking kills more people every year than do guns, illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, cars, or HIV/AIDS . . . combined. Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death in the United States. It may be hard to believe that such a deadly product is legal, particularly since drugs that cause fewer deaths, such as heroin, are not. Why this is so is a complicated story that we’ll touch on in the course of this book. We’ll also look at the reasons why tobacco is so deadly. And, importantly, we’ll look closely at the new trend of vaping. Some say it’s an improvement on smoking traditional cigarettes. But is that


true? The answer is yes . . . but also no. It’s complicated, as you’ll see here. Last, but definitely not least, this book will offer advice and guidance for people who want to break the habit. Make no mistake—if you have a smoking or vaping habit, you are not free. You are at the mercy of the companies who sell those products. At the back of the book, you’ll find hotlines and websites that can connect you with experts who are waiting to help you get back your freedom.

Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death in the United States.


Cigarette smoking causes roughly one in every five deaths in the United States.


emphysema: a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs are severely damaged halitosis: bad breath malleable: able to be molded or changed tolerance: here, when the body adjusts itself to the presence of an addictive substance withdrawal: the negative reactions people experience when a drug they are dependent on is taken away


Understanding Tobacco and Nicotine

Whether you’re smoking cigarettes, using a vape or a hookah, or putting a plug of tobacco in your cheek, you’re taking nicotine into your body. The nicotine is what keeps addicts coming back for more. There are many other chemicals in tobacco products as well, but we’ll get to those later. First, let’s explore what nicotine is and how it affects you. Facts about Nicotine Nicotine was discovered in 1828. It was named for Jean Nicot, a French ambassador who had given tobacco to Catherine de Medici to ease her migraines. Nicotine enters the bloodstream through the nasal passages, the mouth, and the lungs. When a person inhales nicotine (whether through a traditional cigarette, a vape, or some other method), it takes from 8 to 10 seconds for the drug to reach the brain. Nicotine is what’s known as


a stimulant , meaning that it temporarily speeds up bodily processes. Like other stimulants, nicotine triggers the brain to release a substance called epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, which causes a short-term burst of energy. That’s why, for example, many people like a cup of coffee first thing in the morning (coffee contains caffeine, another stimulant). This also stimulates what is often called the “reward center” of the brain, which is why humans find stimulants to be pleasurable.

Many people drink coffee because of the stimulant caffeine.

Teen Guides to Health & Wellness: Smoking and Vaping


The down side of stimulants is that a short burst of energy is followed by a “crash” when the stimulant wears off. After the stimulant wears off, the reward is gone, and users may feel tired and even depressed. They then start thinking about using more of the stimulant to feel good again. This cycle of highs and lows makes stimulants very addictive. Over time, the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug; this phenomenon is called tolerance. When tolerance develops, users need increasingly higher doses to achieve the good feeling they used to experience. That’s also why users tend to feel pretty bad when the drug is taken away—if the person tries to quit, for instance—because the body expects to receive a chemical that it suddenly isn’t getting. This unpleasant experience is called withdrawal. Although nicotine is legal to use (among people over 18), it nonetheless ranks as one of the most addictive of all drugs. This is partly because nicotine gets into the bloodstream quickly but doesn’t linger long, which leaves the user constantly craving more. Also, there are a lot of social and psychological factors at play. Having a cigarette gives anxious people something to do with their hands, for example, while taking a “smoke break” can provide a respite from a hectic day. For many people, smoking isn’t just about the stimulant effect—the activity of smoking itself becomes a “crutch” that helps them in times of stress. The psychologist Dr. Sharon Hall told the New York Times that “heroin addicts say it is easier to give up dope than it is to give up smoking.” This is why so many people remain addicted to smoking despite the clear dangers.

Understanding Tobacco and Nicotine


Nicotine and the Teen Brain Doctors are particularly concerned about nicotine being used by young people. Although the law declares that we are “adults” as soon as we turn 18, the human body doesn’t actually play by those rules. Our brains continue to develop well into our 20s. The last part of the brain to completely mature is the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of complex tasks such as decision making, self-control, and social interactions. The unfinished nature of the teen brain is one reason why teens are more prone to risk-taking than adults.

Teens are even more susceptible to nicotine than adults, due to how the brain develops.

Teen Guides to Health & Wellness: Smoking and Vaping


Teenage brains are also more malleable than adult brains; this is referred to as synaptic plasticity. Synapses, which enable brain cells to communicate with one another, are more plentiful in kids and teens than in adults. That’s a good thing, because it means that kids and teenagers are able to pick up new things, and do so faster, than older people. Young brains are, essentially, “wired” to learn new things. Unfortunately, this also means that they are quicker at picking up unhealthy things, such as an addiction. The earlier someone develops an addiction, the harder it can be to overcome that addiction later, in part because of the impact it has had on the person’s synapses. Furthermore, teen brains are more sensitive to nicotine than fully grown brains are—it affects themmore strongly. They also seem to experience fewer withdrawal effects than adults. These factors, combined with peer pressure and weaker impulse control, result in teens becoming addicted to nicotine more easily than adults. According to a study in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, “adolescents progress faster to nicotine dependence than adults, find nicotine more rewarding, underestimate the risks of smoking, and are more influenced by smoking behavior in [social settings].” Scientists have discovered that exposure to nicotine in the teen years causes changes at the molecular level of the brain. The more frequent and intense the exposure, the greater these changes will be. Over the long term, these exposures can damage memory, attention span, and cognitive processing (how well a person can assess a situation and make decisions). Studies have also suggested that smoking in teens is associated with certain mental health issues later in life, including depression and panic disorders.

Understanding Tobacco and Nicotine


Smoking and the Human Body Picture a smoker with health problems—what springs to your mind? Most likely, you envisioned an older person with lung cancer or emphysema. If so, you’re not wrong: about 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. But what you may not realize is that cigarettes affect every part of the human body, and the problems don’t wait for the user to get old before they start showing up. Consider these facts:

Smoking can damage every part of the body.

Teen Guides to Health & Wellness: Smoking and Vaping


The average smoker tries their first cigarette at age 12. Every day, about 3,500 kids try a cigarette for the first time.

• Smoking is implicated in a huge variety of cancers, not just lung cancer: other sites include cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, liver, kidney, bladder, and more. • Smoking can cause fertility problems in women, and smoking by pregnant women can cause problems for the developing fetus. • Nicotine raises levels of “bad” cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. • Smoking raises blood pressure and can cause blood clots. • Longtime smokers are at increased risk of hip fractures and blindness. • Smoking damages the lungs, resulting in wheezing, coughing, and asthma. • Smoking can cause acid reflux and make gastrointestinal problems worse. • Recent research has even found links between smoking and type 2 diabetes.

Understanding Tobacco and Nicotine


You might be wondering how it’s possible for one object—a cigarette—to cause that many potential problems. One answer is that a cigarette is not really just one object. Cigarettes contain about 60 different ingredients, and when they are turned into smoke, some 7,000 different substances are produced. Nearly 70 of those substances are proven carcinogens. Here is a list of just a few components of cigarette smoke, along with their traditional industrial uses: • acetone (nail polish remover) • cadmium (battery acid) • methanol (rocket fuel) • tar (pavement) If you smoke, all these chemicals are going into your bloodstream, right along with the nicotine—which, by the way, can also be used as an insecticide. Buy Now, Pay Later Given all the toxins in cigarette smoke, it might be hard to understand why anybody would choose to smoke in the first place. One factor is that the benefit of smoking (meaning the stimulant effect) is felt immediately, while the consequences only become apparent in the future. The decision to use a drug or not often boils down to “I could feel good right now, or I could postpone feeling good so that I feel good many years from now.” When phrased like that, it’s a little easier to understand how people get tricked into smoking. Humans as a species are not great at reckoning with situations where • arsenic (rat poison) • butane (lighter fluid)

Teen Guides to Health & Wellness: Smoking and Vaping


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