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04th Jun 2024

Gen Z is ageing more quickly because they are addicted to vapes, expert says

Nina McLaughlin


Dermatologists have noticed a phenomenon dubbed ‘vape face’

Gen Z’s love of vaping is leading to side-effects such as rapid ageing and skin problems, an expert has claimed.

Whilst many go to great lengths to try and maintain a youthful look, you could be undoing all your good work by vaping.

And an expert has now suggested that Gen Z’s love of vapes means they are ageing quicker than other generations.

Gen Z is the term used for people born between 1997 and 2012, so the generation that hit their late teens and early 20s just as the vaping industry started to boom.

Those aged 18-24 are the group most likely to use vapes and e-cigarettes, and a recent study found that 35 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds in the UK vape.

Although widely accepted as being safer than smoking cigarettes, there are still concerns over the long-term health risks of vaping.

Initially developed as a way of helping smokers quit, there are now concerns that youngsters are vaping without ever having smoked.

This is thought to be down to the sweet flavours some vapes have and their colourful marketing.

Vaping hasn’t been around long enough for experts to properly work out the long-term health risks of regular vaping.

But some dermatologists have described a symptom dubbed as “vape face”, where vaping has caused issues with people’s skin health.

More than a third of 18-to-24-year-olds in the UK vape (Getty)

Dr Bav Shergill from the British Association of Dermatologists explained to the Daily Mail that nicotine consumption can have a negative affect on skin health.

He explained: “Nicotine is the active ingredient, and it is associated with all kinds of skin problems. It is associated with acne, psoriasis and breakouts.”

Nicotine also accelerates the breakdown of elastic fibres within the skin that offer some “ding” or some “lift-up”.

Dr Shergill continued: “They get degraded by people who have a lot of nicotine usage.”

These impacts as a result of vaping are more noticeable among younger people.

“If you get two people, twins for example, and you had one who is a smoker and likes a bit of sunshine, and you look at them at the age of 25 and you can see the difference between them,” Dr Shergill explained. “The ageing starts quite early with smoking and sun exposure.”

Nicotine can also cause dehydration, which can cause a loss of collagen in the skin.

Dr Shergill explained that collagen acts “like the stuffing in the mattress.”

“If you get rid of that, the mattress goes saggy and your skin goes saggy,” he added.

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