Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Up in Smoke: The Truth About Vaping

Originally published in the spring 2019 issue of Your Court, the official magazine of USA Volleyball.

Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigs or vaping, have gained popularity among kids and teens over the past decade. Marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, vaping has become a concerning trend. However, the reality is far from the marketing claims.

Dr. Linda Richter, an expert in policy research and analysis for the Center on Addiction, warns that vaping is associated with respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease. These products are not well regulated, meaning their contents are not standardized or monitored. Users may unknowingly inhale harmful substances.

Nicotine, a highly addictive substance, is present in almost all vaping products. It increases the heart rate, causes respiratory and lung damage, can lead to acid reflux, and negatively affects reproductive organs. The impact of vaping on the human body includes disrupting brain growth, nicotine addiction, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, narrowing arteries, and exposure to harmful chemicals through secondhand vapor.

For years, the vaping industry and certain members of the medical and public health community falsely promoted vaping as a safe alternative to smoking. This misleading perception has been perpetuated, despite the mounting evidence against it. The variety of flavors and discreet appearance of vaping devices also contribute to their appeal, making it easier for users to hide their habit. However, athletes should be vigilant as vaping can interfere with training, performance, and have long-term health implications.

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Handling Peer Pressure

When faced with peer pressure, it can be challenging to say no to vaping. Dr. Caroline Silby, a sports psychologist who has worked with Olympic and World Championship athletes, emphasizes the importance of making decisions based on factual information.

Peers may try to emotionally manipulate their peers into partaking in vaping, but young athletes need to prioritize their health and well-being, just as they do with their athletic decisions. While nicotine use is not yet prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), athletes should consider the long-term consequences.

Dr. Silby suggests surrounding yourself with friends who share your perspective to make it easier to resist peer pressure. Be confident in choices that align with your values, beliefs, and long-term goals.

Elite athletes invest significant effort and energy into developing mental skills to maintain clarity and filter out distractions. Introducing a self-imposed distraction like vaping into a sport environment makes no sense. Instead, athletes should focus their energy on identifying and executing positive actions that improve performance while enjoying the process.


Q1: Is vaping safer than smoking cigarettes?

A1: No, vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. It is associated with respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, and addiction to nicotine. Vaping products are not well regulated, and their contents are not standardized or monitored, posing unknown risks to users.

Q2: What are the negative effects of vaping on the human body?

A2: Vaping can disrupt brain growth, cause nicotine addiction, increase heart rate, raise blood pressure, narrow arteries, and expose individuals to harmful chemicals. Flavorants used in vaping liquids can contain chemicals linked to serious lung disease. Additionally, secondhand vapor can harm those around the vaper.

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Q3: How can athletes resist peer pressure to vape?

A3: Athletes should base their decisions on factual information and prioritize their health and well-being. Surrounding themselves with like-minded friends can provide support when facing peer pressure. It’s crucial to stay confident in choices that align with personal values, beliefs, and long-term goals.


Vaping may seem like a trendy and harmless activity, but the reality is quite different. It poses significant risks to health, particularly for young athletes. Vaping products are not well regulated, contain nicotine, and can have severe respiratory and cardiovascular effects. Athletes need to make informed decisions and resist peer pressure to protect their well-being. Instead of succumbing to distractions like vaping, they should focus on positive actions that enhance performance and enjoyment of their sport.

For more information on the dangers of vaping and how to make informed choices, visit Alpinetgheep.com. Let’s prioritize our health and well-being over harmful trends.