Each year, Americans who vape pay $15 billion more in health care.
Last week, Doja Cat announced she was canceling all of her remaining tour dates after a tonsil infection she believes was caused by vaping. Now, the singer says she has to get a surgery to remove an abscess from her tonsil, a procedure that typically costs thousands of dollars. “im too scared to hit it cuz my throat hurts so bad,” she Tweeted. “i cried for hours. its not worth it.”
While we’re horrified for her and wishing her a speedy recovery, it turns out that Doja Cat is just one of many Americans who will have to spend a pretty penny to deal with vaping-related health issues. According to a new study, health problems exacerbated by e-cigs are costing Americans an average of $15 billion per year.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the UC San Francisco School of Nursing and published on Tobacco Control, was the first to look at the healthcare costs of e-cigs among people 18 years and older, per EurekAlert. The researchers looked at data from the 2015-2018 National Health Interview Survey and found that on average, people who vaped paid $2,024 more per year than those who didn’t use any tobacco products. Potential issues from vaping are exacerbated by toxic chemicals in nicotine solutions that not only lead to throat problems, but also lung and cardiovascular diseases, per the American Lung Association.
This is even more concerning when you think about the fact that e-cigs are relatively new, which means that all of the health problems we’re seeing now developed pretty quickly — and we have yet to find what the long term effects are. Some stats estimate that one in five High Schoolers vape, which means that we are probably going to see even more e-cig-related health problems as Gen-Z grows up.
What is scary about Doja Cat’s case specifically is that she exemplifies our nonchalant approach to vaping, since my generation was sold e-cigs as a “risk-free” alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. I’ve tuned in several times to Instagram Lives of Doja Cat interacting with her fans while taking hits from an e-cig. One week ago, she took a big fat puff of her vape before going on stage at the Billboard Music Awards. Vaping has pretty much been part of her brand until now.
To summarize: If taking care of your health is not enough of a motivation to get you to quit vaping, maybe the astronomical healthcare costs will be. Two grand per year isn’t nothing: You could take several trips to Cancun, get 506 Big Macs, or pay off your student loans with all that coin, so choose wisely.