Vaping has become very popular over the last few years. Many people enjoy vaping because they believe it is healthier than smoking regular cigarettes.
But does vaping really pose fewer health risks than traditional cigarettes?
Vaping involves inhaling vaporized liquid nicotine through a device called an e-cigarette or vape pen. The liquid comes from cartridges filled with nicotine salts, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings, and other chemicals. There are two main types of e-cigarette use: disposable and reusable.
- Disposable devices are usually battery-powered and contain a cartridge containing liquid nicotine.
- Reusable devices are typically refillable and come with pre-filled cartridges.
The most common vaping method involves inhaling aerosolized liquid through a mouthpiece at the end of an electronic cigarette. This aerosol contains nicotine, flavoring agents, propylene glycol (a humectant), vegetable glycerin (a humectant), and water. It may also contain small amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs).
What are the health risks of vaping?
A 2016 report by the World Health Organization found that “ENDS [electronic nicotine delivery systems] use poses serious threats to adolescent and fetal development.” The report also highlighted potential health risks from long-term exposure to nicotine, including addiction and various adverse health effects, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Vaping is mainly used by smokers and others as a substitute for tobacco cigarettes because it reduces some of the harmful health effects (like lung cancer) associated with smoking. As a result, many people assume that e-cigarette use is a healthier alternative to smoking or other tobacco product.
Past studies have shown that vaping is still not risk-free. There is concern that e-cigarettes may be as harmful as cigarettes or even more harmful. This is because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can cause nausea and vomiting if too much is ingested. Some people become addicted to the act of vaping rather than the nicotine itself. In addition, while burning tobacco produces several harmful substances and toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide and tar, these chemicals are not found in e-cigarette vapor.
However, that does not mean that vaping is safer. Initial studies have shown that there are many potentially toxic and harmful chemicals present in e-cigarette vapor. In addition, vaping can expose the user to other harmful substances, such as the diethylene glycol used in some vape liquids. Diethylene glycol is used in antifreeze and brake fluid and may cause serious problems if ingested. Vaping liquids also contain other ingredients, such as propylene glycol. Propylene glycol has been reported as a respiratory toxin, which can irritate the lungs or cause other health problems.
What happens if you vape too much?
The debate about long-term health effects over how harmful e-cigarettes really are continued when a study was published in 2016. The study looked at how nicotine exposure affected mice exposed to traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes for 12 weeks. The mice exposed to e-cigarettes had increased nicotine levels in their bodies and later revealed that cigarettes showed a more robust response to nicotine. It was suggested that the e-cigarettes may have “primed” the mice’s bodies and made them more susceptible to addiction.
The study concluded that: “Acute nicotine exposure by means of ENDS [electronic nicotine delivery systems] provides long-lasting effects that may enhance vulnerability to nicotine addiction and may potentially contribute to relapse.” As such, if you use e-cigarettes as a way to break your cigarette smoking habit, it may actually increase your risk of relapsing into smoking. As the debate continues over whether or not vaping is harmful, it is essential to consider all available studies to make an informed decision.