Malaysian Expert Claims Vaping Could Lead Teens to Drug Addiction

Addiction therapist and member of the Addiction Medicine Association of Malaysia, Chris Sekar, believes that vaping is very risky could lead teenagers into a world of so-called safe drugs.

“Teenagers will develop a false sense of confidence and control over the habit, which is a delusion,” he said. “Non-nicotine vape does not have physical withdrawals, but certainly there will be cognitive withdrawals as in anger, depression, loss of focus and family dissension,” added Sekar, a former smoker and drug addict himself.

“It must be noted that juices that come in cartridges can be laced with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), thus misleading the young users, especially their parents who think that their teenagers are safe vapers,” he added.

On the other hand, countless studies have indicated that even though there is a relationship between nicotine and other addictions, this is mostly attributed to the fact that certain people have the type of personality that is prone to addiction. Vapers with these personality types, highlight these studies, would anyway be smoking in the absence of vaping products.

In fact a recent study of high school seniors in the U.S., found that teens who crave excitement are more likely to use multiple illicit substances, including tobacco and vaping products.

Researchers Kevin Tan and Douglas C. Smith, found that those teens who are less satisfied with their lives and seek out risky and exciting experiences are the ones more likely to use multiple illicit substances regularly, including nicotine via e-cigarettes. Additionally, found the study, the participants’ attitude towards vaping is also reflected in how they viewed other substances.

“Polysubstance users” scored the highest in sensation seeking
Those who considered vaping to be relatively harmless, were more likely to smoke, drink and use other drugs. Referred to “polysubstance users” by the researchers, these teens scored the highest on sensation seeking. Tan and Smith are professors of social work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where Smith is also the director of the Center for Prevention Research and Development.

Students who scored the highest on sensation-seeking viewed substance use as less harmful than did peers who were low-level users that mostly abstained from drinking, smoking and using drugs,” said lead study author Tan.