Vaping linked to anxiety and loneliness in young adults, study reveals

A new study of British students has found that those who use e-cigarettes are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, such as anxiety, loneliness, and insomnia.

The study, conducted by the University of Surrey, analysed a group of young adults in England and found that vaping “significantly impacts sleep quality and anxiety levels” in young adults. The study was based on a survey of 1,000 students aged 18 to 25, who reported on their vaping habits, mental health, sleep quality, and alcohol consumption.

The study found that vapers were 20 per cent more likely to have symptoms of anxiety than those who never used e-cigarettes, and 15 per cent more likely to have symptoms of insomnia. Almost all of the vaping students in the study reported clinically significant symptoms of anxiety, and three in four had clinically significant symptoms of insomnia.

The study also found that vaping affected the quality and quantity of sleep, as well as the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Poor sleep can have negative effects on physical and mental health, such as increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and impaired cognitive function.

Vaping associated with loneliness and rumination

The study was also the first to assess the impact of vaping on loneliness and rumination, which are two psychological factors that can affect mental health. Loneliness is the feeling of being isolated and disconnected from others, while rumination is the act of repetitive thinking and dwelling on negative feelings.

The study found that both loneliness and rumination were more common in the young adults who vaped, compared to those who did not. The study suggested that vaping may be a coping mechanism for some young people who struggle with social and emotional issues, or that vaping may exacerbate these issues by affecting the brain chemistry and mood.

The study also found that people who used e-cigarettes drank twice as much alcohol each week as those who did not, and had lower levels of self-compassion. Self-compassion is the ability to be kind and understanding towards oneself, especially in times of stress or failure. The study indicated that vaping may be linked to lower self-esteem and self-worth, or that vaping may reduce the motivation and ability to practice self-compassion.

Vaping may harm brain development in young people

The study’s lead author, Dr Simon Evans, a neuroscience lecturer at the University of Surrey, warned that vaping may harm brain development in young people, and increase the risk of developing substance abuse issues. He said that nicotine, the main addictive substance in e-cigarettes, can negatively affect brain development and function, especially in areas related to learning, memory, attention, and emotion.

Dr Evans also said that many young people are unaware of or downplay the dangers of vaping, believing that something that tastes “fruity” could not be harmful. He said that this is not the case, as e-cigarettes contain various chemicals and toxins that can damage the lungs and other organs. He also said that vaping can act as a gateway to other forms of smoking or drug use, as some e-cigarettes can be modified to deliver cannabis or other substances.

Dr Evans urged young people to quit vaping or seek professional help if they have difficulties quitting. He also advised parents, teachers, and health professionals to educate young people about the risks of vaping and provide them with support and guidance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *