Monday, March 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About Hookah Pens

As many of you know, and many of you probably do not know, there is a new craze sweeping through teen and young adult life.  This new item, the Hookah Pen (also known as the e-cigarette or vaps), has become highly popular among teens.  I think it is important that you are informed about Hookah Pens, you need to know what they are, their purpose, and their risks.  Whether a teen or a parent I want you to be informed to make the best decisions about them for yourself and your family.

So What Is a Hookah Pen?

A Hookah Pen is an alternative form of smoking.  It contains zero tobacco, but instead heats flavored glycol (found in chewing gum) until it vaporizes for inhalation.  While tobacco is absent, most Hookah Pen cartridges do contain the same amount of nicotine as a regular cigarette.

What Is a Hookah Pen Used For?

Because there is no tobacco, a hookah pen is currently a legal way for teenagers to smoke.  It is being marketed by tobacco companies (who produce these products) as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes because of the absence of the tobacco.  They are often brightly colored and intentionally designed and marketed toward youth and young adults.  The reality is that the tobacco companies are using these to circumvent the laws and reach a younger dynamic--hooking you on nicotine from a young age.

Many people use hookah pens when  trying to stop smoking.  While this use may be legitimate, it is not the reason they were created.  They were not created to help people quit smoking, but to turn a larger population into "safe" smokers.  It's all about revenue, and the tobacco companies want more of it.

Are They Safe?

Here is the truth:  We don't really know.  There has been extremely limited scientific or health studies on the affects of using hookah pens.  The only current research done thus far was published through the cigarette companies, which is not the best  source of reliable information.

Here is what we do know.  They contain nicotine, and nicotine is extremely addictive.  Using these will create a dependency for the "nicotine high." just like a cigarette.

We do not know if the inhalation of this water vapor causes any damage (short or long term) to the lungs.  We do not know if this inhalation would cause similar problems of cancer.

Some Things To Consider:

1. The Bible makes clear that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Our body is the dwelling place of God.  It is to be controlled and empowered by God alone.  By using addictive substances, are we allowing ourselves to come under the influence of something other than God?

2. Is it possible that the companies creating these products are simply using these as "gateways" to more traditional types of smoking?  Have I considered why the companies are marketing these with bright colors and disguising them to look like pens?  Should I trust these companies?

3. Another question to consider is that of our finances.  Are you being a good steward of what God has given to you by spending your money on these substances?  Do you think God would be proud of the way you are spending this money?  What are some other options for spending money that may be more beneficial to your community, your church, or the world?

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