Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol through an e-cigarette, vape pen, JUUL, or similar device. These aerosols may or may not contain nicotine or THC (the potent chemical in marijuana) but usually contain flavorings of various kinds. Vaping is not exactly the same as smoking cigarettes because what is exhaled is not tobacco smoke but rather a mist of vaporized particles. This mist is often misunderstood as clean water vapor, but it's actually filled with varying amounts of toxic chemicals and carries the same danger as secondhand smoke. In the U.S., the legal age for purchasing vape products is 18.
Since the Bible doesn't talk about smoking or vaping specifically by name, we need to take some biblical principles into account when deciding whether to vape. Our conviction is that the detrimental effects of vaping far outweigh any perceived positives and that vaping is sinful for young believers. Here are the biblical principles we use to back up that conviction:
If your parents have already said "no" to allowing you to vape, then you must respect that rule. Regardless of if you are legally old enough or if vaping were perfectly safe, as long as you are under their authority, you do need to respect their house rules (Ephesians 6:1). If your parents say "no," then you also need to say "no."
After you're living independently, away from home, your decisions about what you do will be between you and God, but please take into account these next biblical principles as you consider vaping.
The apostle Paul talks about how we have freedom in Christ to do anything, but that doesn't mean that we should do any given thing. We need to use discernment when making decisions like this, asking if what we desire is beneficial to our lives and our health (1 Corinthians 10:23).
Some things will, as 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, "master" us (NIV). Other translations use the words "dominate" (ESV) or "become a slave to" (NLT). This verse refers to addiction, and it's a well-documented fact that nicotine is an addictive chemical.
As Christians, we should not entertain addictive activities or substances because it damages our ability to exercise self-control. Rather than being the one in control of ourselves, we allow the addiction to drive our words and actions. Galatians 5:1 says, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
Knowingly ingesting something harmful to your body violates the biblical principle of taking care of your earthly body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Some believe that vaping with non-addictive liquids such as flavorings is marginally "better" than using those laced with nicotine. However, there is still quite a risk involved with inhaling any substances on a regular basis. The aerosol contains ultrafine particles that can get caught in the lungs and lead to lung disease because the lungs are simply not equipped to process that much particulate matter. Flavorings, even if they are natural and could be processed by the stomach easily, are dangerous to the lungs because lungs can't handle a barrage of foreign materials.
God designed our lungs to process the air we breathe by separating the oxygen from the carbon dioxide and putting O2 into our red blood cells. Yes, the entire respiratory system can filter out foreign matter and organisms that we accidentally breathe in, such as smog, sewer smells, dust, etc. However, vaping introduces this foreign matter into your lungs rather unnecessarily on a regular basis. This puts a strain on your respiratory system, which is already trying to process the air you breathe, making it difficult for your lungs to filter out everything. Undoubtedly, some ultrafine particles will get stuck in your lungs, which can lead to illnesses, disease, or even cancer.
Vaping may seem harmless, but if you do your research, you're likely to find that it's not as safe as vape manufacturers would like people to believe. Many liquids that claim "zero percent nicotine" actually do have addictive nicotine—just less than one percent. The long list of negatives to one's health simply pulverize a Christ-follower's commitment to stay physically healthy and in control of their actions. Set a good example to those around you by being smoke- and vape-free.
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." —Colossians 3:17
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol through an e-cigarette, vape pen, JUUL, or similar device. Vape liquids may or may not contain addictive chemicals, but all vape liquids contain toxic materials that can lead to lung disease or cancer. Christians should avoid addictive temptations because addiction takes away our self-control (1 Corinthians 6:12). Knowingly ingesting something harmful violates the biblical principle to take care of your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Set a good example to those around you by being smoke- and vape-free (Colossians 3:17).
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.