Nicotine exposure to the developing brain has been known to rewire a young person’s brain pathways and causes a tolerance to the addictive substance to build up. This results in the person needing a higher dose of the drug to satisfy the addiction, just like in the case with an opioid addiction.
Researchers in California followed students who used e-cigarettes that had either low (1-5 mg/ml), medium (6-17 mg/ml), or high (18 mg/ml+) levels of nicotine in them and tracked how often they used either e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. After 6 months, students who used high nicotine e-cigarettes were more likely to increase e-cigarette use and smoke more cigarettes than other groups.
Approximately 15.7% of Indiana high school students use e-devices on a monthly basis. While e-device use has decreased in teens over the last few years, we don’t know if this is a coincidence or a sign of a continuing downward trend.