Vaping: Beyond Harmless Water Vapor

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell or Dr. BCW. I recently partnered with the Nevada Cancer Coalition to discuss the dangers vaping poses to young people. In recent years, e-cigarettes or vape pens have gained popularity among young adults as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, it is crucial to understand that vaping poses significant risks to the health of young individuals, particularly those under 25. Contrary to popular belief, e-cigarettes do not merely emit harmless water vapor. In this blog post, we will explore the potential dangers of vaping and shed light on the importance of raising awareness about these risks.

The Reality of Vaping

E-cigarettes produce an aerosol, commonly mistaken for water vapor, that can contain harmful chemicals found in the e-juice used to fuel them. When inhaled, these aerosols enter the lungs, similar to traditional tobacco cigarettes, and like combustible cigarette smoke, this aerosol is also exhaled into the surrounding environment. This exhaled aerosol can pose a potential danger to those nearby, making passive exposure a cause for concern.

Nicotine and Its Impact

One of the most common concerns associated with vaping is the presence of nicotine. Nicotine, when inhaled, can disrupt the development of both the lungs and the brain, particularly in individuals under the age of 25. Young adults are still in a critical stage of growth and development, and exposing their developing bodies to nicotine can have long-lasting effects. It is important to realize the dangers of vaping extend beyond addiction; they can affect overall health and well-being.

Unintended Consequences of Flavoring

Flavored e-juices are extremely popular among e-cigarette users, with approximately 85% opting for flavored options. However, these flavors were not designed to be inhaled and may pose serious health risks. Artificial flavors used in e-cigarettes have been linked to the development of lung diseases. Shockingly, these flavors can contain dangerous chemicals such as benzene and heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead. The inhalation of these substances can have severe consequences on respiratory health.

Taking Proactive Steps

Young adults must understand the risks to their health and the health of those around them. Recognizing that there is no safe use of e-cigarettes among youth, especially between the ages of 10 and 25, is the first step toward informed decision-making. By understanding the dangers of vaping, young individuals can make more informed choices about their well-being.


Vaping is not the harmless activity it is often portrayed to be. The risks associated with e-cigarettes extend far beyond harmless water vapor. The aerosol produced by these devices contains harmful chemicals, which, when inhaled, can disrupt the development of the lungs and the brain in young adults. Moreover, while enticing, the flavors used in e-cigarettes can introduce dangerous substances into the respiratory system. 

For more information on this topic, please visit or these other sources.

Remember, your health matters.

Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)


No Menthol Sunday

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW, and today, let’s talk about No Menthol Sunday. No Menthol Sunday is an important initiative that aims at addressing the issue of menthol cigarettes and their impact on Black communities. Let’s delve into this topic and shed light on menthol.

The Influence of Menthol Marketing

Menthol is a minty flavor added to tobacco products, enticing younger individuals to start smoking and making it more challenging for them to quit. Shockingly, research reveals that 85% of Black smokers prefer menthol cigarettes, while only 30% of White smokers do. This is not an accident. This results from decades of targeted marketing efforts by the tobacco industry in Black communities.

The Role of the Tobacco Industry

The tobacco industry has invested heavily in advertising menthol products in Black publications and communities for years. This deliberate strategy has perpetuated the disproportionate prevalence of menthol cigarette use among Black smokers. By specifically targeting these communities, the tobacco industry has contributed to the disparities in health outcomes Black individuals face.

The Difficulty in Quitting Menthol

Studies have shown that quitting menthol cigarettes is more challenging than quitting tobacco without this flavor. The menthol’s cooling sensation can create a soothing effect, making it harder for individuals to break free from the addiction. Consequently, many Black smokers find it especially difficult to quit smoking.

The Impact on Health and Quality of Life

More than 16 million Americans currently live with smoking-related diseases. Black smokers, in particular, experience a higher burden of smoking-related health issues, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, chronic cough, and recurring lung infections. These symptoms disrupt their ability to engage in daily activities and enjoy life fully.

No Menthol Sunday and Taking Action

No Menthol Sunday is an important initiative to raise awareness about the impact of menthol cigarettes and support Black communities in overcoming this challenge. By educating individuals about the harmful effects of menthol and providing resources for quitting, this campaign seeks to empower Black smokers to make healthier choices and improve their overall well-being.

Getting Involved

I highly recommend watching “Black Lives / Black Lungs” by Lincoln Mondy on YouTube (link here). This eye-opening video sheds light on the intersection of race, tobacco marketing, and the impact on Black lives. To learn more about “No Menthol Sunday” and the organization responsible for establishing it, The Center for Black Health and Equity, please visit their websites. By supporting these organizations and spreading awareness about the impact of menthol cigarettes, we can help reduce health disparities and promote healthier communities.


The impact of menthol cigarettes on Black communities is a pressing issue that requires our attention. We can make a difference by supporting initiatives like “No Menthol Sunday” and promoting health equity for all. Stay informed, take action, and remember your health matters.

– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)