Why Teens are Attracted to Vaping

Video Length: 2:02


[Dr. Volkow speaking]

Vaping becomes very appealing for teenagers because to start with its new technologies, a gadget and some of these gadgets are actually very sleek and cool-looking so it's basically you get conditioned to the gadget.

On top of this, these devices are delivering whether it's nicotine or THC flavors.

And flavors are a very powerful way to conditioned you to other stimulants, so anything that's ultimately very basic into the way that we get conditioned to food - through flavors and smells.

So, here you have a device that has a new technology, the appeal of being it cool, and then on top of that it has these very tasty flavors that then become appealing on themselves.

Then you put in nicotine, which is going to make everything more reinforcing because nicotine is a drug that activates that dopamine neuron.

And dopamine neurons are there in your brain to assign something as salient - as worthwhile, as motivating and... then the flavor is good and then you have nicotine, which enhances that it makes it even more salient and that is really a terrible combination for accelerating the addictiveness of a product.

The other appealing component for a teenager and of great concern is that you can use the vaping devices to deliver a 9THC which is the active ingredient of marijuana the reason why people get high on it. But you can put it in a concentrate that's almost a hundred percent.

That vaping is now the way by which teenagers are getting cannabinoids into their system in a way that's actually going to have a higher purity and therefore may be associated with more even worse adverse effects.