We’ve all seen them— the super chill and ultra-stylish millennials on Netflix in neat bomber jackets, stunner shades and suave haircuts, and of course, an accessorized vape pen to put a bow on the whole ensemble. But you know what’s not so ‘lit’? Cancer, as well as the ton of health conditions you’re bound to encounter if you keep puffing on those death sticks.
Of course, vape loyalists always tend to vehemently and quite conveniently, do away with the negative implications of smoking E-cigarettes and argue that it’s just a harmless relaxing vice. Well, as your health experts, we’re here to serve you nothing but cold facts on the case and why you’re better off without engaging in the modern vain art of vaping.
You might be tempted to turn to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other vaping devices) as a way to ease the transition from traditional cigarettes to not smoking at all. But is smoking e-cigarettes (also called vaping) better for you than using tobacco products? Can e-cigarettes help you to stop smoking once and for all?
Have E-Cigarettes Always Been Considered Harmful?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began regulating e-cigarettes in mid-2016. Before that, little, if anything, was done to establish guidelines regarding sales, marketing and manufacturing of the popular devices and their e-liquid device counterparts.
Therefore, little was known about possible dangers, including a faulty design that contributed to lithium-ion battery explosions.
But over time, investigations have linked the devices to a number of potential health hazards.
Researchers found that users are being exposed to an assortment of potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine and formaldehyde, as well as heavy metals, such as lead. One chemical in many flavored e-liquids, diacetyl, has been linked to an incurable lung condition known as popcorn lung.
In 2019, the FDA catalogued more than 120 reports of e-cig users having seizures or other neurological reactions since 2010.
And the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several state health departments launched an investigation into a deadly lung condition directly linked to vaping that had sickened hundreds of people and killed several more.
Common Side Effects of E-Cigarettes
The liquid in electronic cigarettes typically delivers a vaporized mixture of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, various flavorings and other chemicals.
Side effects of vaping may include:
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Dry eyes
Studies have found that these common side effects are more pronounced the first time a person uses an e-cigarette but appear to diminish with continuing use.
Long-Term Health Effects of Vaping
While serious side effects are rare, the long-term health effects of vaping aren’t entirely known. Although the devices contain fewer than the 7,000 chemical ingredients found in traditional cigarettes, they have been found to contain a variety of potentially harmful substances, including cancer-causing chemicals.
We won’t fully understand the range of vaping’s harmful effects for some time to come, although we are already seeing many. Just like tobacco and cigarettes in the past, it took several decades for us to really understand what the full harmful effects of those products were.
And evidence suggests e-cigarette use may be related to multiple long-term health problems.
Potential Long-Term Side Effects of Vaping
- Lung injuries
- Respiratory problems
- Heart attack or stroke
- Reproductive issues
- Low birth weight related to vaping while pregnant
Doctors now consider whether vaping may be related to their patients’ medical problems. Many have started asking patients if they vape, just as they have asked if they smoke for years.
Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive, with some research saying it could be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.
Why E-Cigarettes May not be The Best Alternative to Stopping Your Traditional Smoking Habit
Although they’ve been marketed as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.
A New Generational Vaping Epidemic on the Horizon?
Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. In 2015, the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900%, and 40% of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco.
Why exactly is vaping more enticing to the youth?
First, many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes. Finally, vape cartridges are often formulated with flavorings such as apple pie and watermelon that appeal to younger users.
Both youths and adults find the lack of smoke appealing. With no smell, e-cigarettes reduce the stigma of smoking.
Are You Trying to Give Up The Habit?
If you have thought about trying to kick a smoking habit, you’re not alone. Nearly 7 of 10 smokers say they want to stop. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health — smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke.
There’s a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular disease, and between smoking and cancer. But the sooner you quit, the quicker your body can rebound and repair itself. Talk to your doctor or book a consultation with us about what smoking cessation program or tools would be best for you. Cheers to keeping your lungs healthy and choosing to inhale nothing but oxygen.