Quit While You’re Ahead: Teen Vaping Addict Imploring Others to Stop

In recent years, the number of teenagers who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping products has risen astronomically. There has also been an increase in teens for whom vaping was a slippery slope into other troubling behaviors and end up attending a residential treatment center for troubled teens.

Yet, many teens still buy into the propaganda that vaping is “safe” when compared to smoking cigarettes. Well, one Illinois teen has a story that says otherwise.

A Teen’s Journey From Healthy Athlete To Hospitalized

Recently, a young man named Adam Hergenreder made headlines as his story of vaping as a teen took him from being a healthy athlete to being hospitalized.

Adam started vaping at 16 years old and claimed that the majority of his high school was already vaping. The peer pressure and the desire to be cool snagged Adam, and he started to use Juul products—a popular and highly controversial vape product company.

The appealing flavors peddled by Juul—who has since pulled their flavored e-liquids—hooked Adam, as well as the highly addictive nicotine content. In one Juul liquid pod, there is the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. According to Adam’s mother, Adam was vaping a pod and a half, which is a truly staggering amount of nicotine consumption, especially for a teen.

From his daily habit of vaping, Adam then transitioned to vaping THC— which is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. However, this usage is likely what made Adam severely ill to the point where after a high fever and vomiting for 3 days, Adam’s parents took him to a hospital. He was put on a ventilator and had deeply damaged lungs.

A common denominator for patients in Adam’s condition—some of which who have died due to it—is that they vaped illegal THC that used vitamin E. In black market THC vaping liquids, vitamin E is commonly used to thicken the liquid but can leave chemical burn damage on the user’s lungs.

However, even without vaping THC, Adam is now becoming an outspoken advocate against vaping. In the article, he is quoted to say—

“Quit while you're ahead,” Adam Hergenreder said. “You don't want anything to happen like what happened to me. My advice for them is to take a few seconds and just think about what can happen,” he said. “It’s not worth it at all.”

No Such Thing As Safe E-Cigarettes

Some teens may take away from Adam’s story that they will be fine vaping if they avoid vaping THC liquid. That is far from the case. There is no such thing as safe e-cigarettes and responsible vaping, especially among teens who cannot legally obtain vape products. Key dangers of using e-cigarettes are:

  • The nicotine in vape liquids can impact your teen’s developing brain negativity and create deep dependencies.
  • Vaping can dry out the mouth and lead to more cavities and other serious dental infections.
  • Using e-cigarettes can also disguise gum disease as it restricts blood flow to the gums, which can lead to serious oral health issues.
  • Some types of flavoring can lead to a permanent form of bronchitis that is often called “Popcorn Lung”.

Signs That Your Teen May Be Vaping

As we have seen here at Liahona Treatment Center for troubled teens, vaping can be a gateway for teens to engage in further substance abuse. So, for parents, it is essential to intervene as soon as possible if your teen is vaping. Some of the top signs that your teen is using vape products are:

  • A drop in their athletic performance
  • Strange items you can’t identify
  • Teen smells sweet or fruity
  • Often has mood swings
  • Secretive behavior
  • Develop cough, mouth sores, or have to clear throat often
  • Easily winded

By proactively addressing vaping with your teen and enacting preventative steps, you can help protect your teenager from this particular scourge.

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