Since vaping has quickly gained popularity in the United States and worldwide, many people who have never used an electronic cigarette before may wonder what the hype is about. But vape pens have a lot of potential health effects that remain unknown or not taken seriously. Many people who vape only use e-cigarettes for nicotine and are not concerned about the other chemicals that may be in the e-juice of the device.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by an electronic cigarette. E-cigs are battery-powered devices that use cartridges to hold e-liquid, which produces vapor. This liquid contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals that make smoking seem more like a recreational activity rather than a dangerous habit. E-cigarettes can be easily refilled and recharged and are relatively inexpensive. They also come in an array of bright and appealing colors.
What Are Vapes Made Of?
Vapes typically consist of three main components, the battery, a heating element (atomizer), and a cartridge. The batteries come in different sizes but most commonly they are made from stainless steel or lithium iron phosphate. Different cartridges contain different amounts of e-liquid, with some being refillable for convenience. Atomizers come in many shapes and sizes, but cartomizers have entirely replaced the majority. Vape pens and tank devices are among the most popular designs for an e-cigarette. While many people believe vaping is safer than smoking, the e-liquid contains caustic chemicals to the lungs.
Why People Use an E-Cigarette
Vaping is becoming a trend among youth and young adults, and many who have been cigarette smokers for years are beginning to use them to help them quit the habit. There are many different reasons why someone would choose to vape instead of smoke. It has been advertised to be the healthier option. Thus people view it as a “safe” version of smoking without the health risks. This, however, has not been proven true.
Vaping is inhaling vapors that contain chemicals. Some chemicals can irritate the throat and lungs and cause even asthma-like symptoms. Because an e-cig does not have a filter, there is nothing to catch combustible products before they leave the device. There are also chemical additives in e-liquids that are closely linked to cancer and other dangerous diseases.
Vaping and the Youth
It is a critical period in the United States as vaping has become very popular with teenagers. Many teens are using e-cigarettes more than traditional cigarettes these days. About 3.6 million middle school, high school, and college students in the United States reported using an e-cigarette over the 30 days leading up to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 80% of them using flavors like fruit, candy, and mint. The CDC says that over a quarter of college students who use e-cigarettes said they vaped daily. Many of them are unaware of the risks they are taking with vaping, and even fewer of them understand what is actually in their e-juices.
Vaping has become so popular with teens that some schools ban e-cigarettes from school grounds due to their popularity among underage students. In addition to banning e-cigarettes from their schools, the CDC released a new report about the dangers of vaping for teens and adults. The report states that when young people vape, they are exposed to nicotine, which is highly addictive and can negatively impact the brain development of teens.
Immediate Health Risks
The immediate health risks associated with vaping tend to be the same as those associated with other forms of smoking. Oral disease is the most common immediate health risk. While e-cigarettes produce less smoke, they still contain harmful chemicals that can cause gum disease.
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of vaping. Many people who vape experience headaches similar to migraines, but it is unclear why. The chemicals in e-liquids may be responsible for these headaches, or an allergic reaction may cause them.
The vapor produced by an e-cigarette can cause eye irritation and dryness. People who wear contacts will be particularly vulnerable to this.
Many people experience nausea after vaping. This is usually caused by the chemicals in the e-liquid and can make users feel sick. This may lead to vomiting, particularly when they are just starting with the habit. Some people also report hiccups after vaping, which can be harmful if someone has a weak heart or if hiccuping is carried on for long periods of time.
The vapor of e-cigarettes can cause chemicals to build up in the mouth. The chemicals in e-liquids can damage the gums and cause gum disease, which can be painful and challenging to treat.
The chemicals that make up e-liquids tend to irritate the mucous membranes in the throat, leading to sore throats, coughing, and difficulty swallowing. Just like regular smoking, the vapors will dry out air passages
Dizziness is another common symptom of vaping. The dizziness may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, or it may be a symptom in and of itself. Dizziness can also cause other symptoms if it is severe enough. Vaping may cause the body to experience an irregular heartbeat or palpitations, which can cause severe dizziness that lasts for several hours or even days.
Dry Mouth/Cracked Lips
Many chemicals in e-liquids can be challenging to wash out of the mouth, and they can cause a burning sensation when they reach the throat. Nicotine is known for causing drymouth. The chemicals in e-liquids can build up on the gums and cause rashes and dermatitis. These chemicals can also build up on the skin inside of the mouth, causing painful sores and chapped lips. Some people who use e-cigarettes and have cracked lips may have a higher risk of developing mouth or tongue cancers.
Blisters on Tongue
The chemicals that make up e-liquids can build up between the soft tissues inside of the mouth, causing sores and blisters to form. These sores are uncomfortable and challenging to treat and can damage the mouth if not treated quickly.
Long-Term Health Risks
Many people smoking for years may be concerned that they’ll develop long-term health risks and they switched to vaping thinking it is a step up from smoking. However, the health risks associated with vaping are similar to those associated with smoking cigarettes.
Many assume e-cigarettes are safe because they contain fewer chemicals than traditional cigarettes. This may be true, but some e-cigarettes still contain harmful chemicals that pose a severe risk to a person’s health. There are also many other unknowns about how vaping affects the body long-term. Some of the most common chemicals found in e-liquid include nicotine, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin.
The main ingredient in many e-cigarette cartridges is nicotine, which can cause a severe health risk. Nicotine is highly addictive and can lead to nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, and death. Even though there are lower levels of nicotine found in e-liquid than in cigarettes, it is still hazardous. This can lead to addiction and other health problems.
Severe Lung Injury
Some users report feeling ill and having a bad cough after vaping for an extended period. These symptoms may be related to the way that e-cigarettes work, according to some medical research. People who have smoked and vaped may experience lung damage due to the inflammation and irritation caused by smoking and the chemicals released into the lungs while inhaling. This lung damage is likely to worsen with time and can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even respiratory failure.
Seizures and Strokes
Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause seizures and strokes in adults. If an e-cigarette overheats, it can release toxins into the lungs, which are carried throughout the body. The toxins can then build up in the brain and cause a seizure. Additionally, if too much nicotine is used at one time, it can lead to a stroke.
E-liquid can also contain propylene glycol, which can cause seizures in some people. Young children and people with a history of seizures are much more likely to have a seizure after consuming propylene glycol.
E-cigarettes are very harmful to the body and can lead to an elevated risk of heart disease. E-liquids contain several harmful chemicals not present in non-vaping products like cigarettes. Nicotine is very addictive and can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. According to some studies, users are 56% more likely to have a heart attack compared to non-users.
Vaping and Cancer
Some studies show that people who use e-cigarettes have a much higher risk of getting lung cancer. Some indications suggest that using e-cigarettes can cause liver and kidney damage in some cases. Research is currently being done to determine the long-term health effects of vaping and whether the risks are similar to those associated with regular cigarette smoking.
Vaping and Pregnancy
Like smoking, vaping may also be potentially harmful to a developing fetus. Nicotine has been shown to harm fetuses and may lead to premature births and low birth weights. It is also important to remember that e-liquids contain flavorings that can be toxic if ingested by animals and children. Some studies have also shown that vaping during pregnancy can lead to specific congenital disabilities. Still, more research must be done before any definite conclusions can be drawn.
Vapes are still relatively new to the market, and not all of the effects are fully known. As more and more research is done on e-cigarettes, it will become easier to determine how vaping affects the body. It is always important to understand what you are ingesting and putting into your body. The popularity of vaping is rising, but it is wise to resist peer pressure and err on the side of caution.