Harmful Effects of Vaping

Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among middle schoolers, teens, and young adults. But what exactly is vaping? And more importantly, what are the risks associated with it? 

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette, vape pen, tank, mod, ENDS, or similar device. The device heats a liquid (which may or may not contain nicotine or marijuana) to create the vapor, which is then inhaled into the lungs. Besides nicotine salts, chemicals in e-cigarettes often also include acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde.

Why Do People Vape?

People vape for different reasons. Some people vape because they think it’s cool and will make them popular. Others vape because they think it’s less harmful than smoking cigarettes. And still others do it when they’re trying to quit smoking cigarettes and start vaping because they think it will help them achieve that goal. 

No matter what the reason is, though, it’s important to understand that vaping is not without its risks. In fact, some of those short term and long term risks are just now starting to be more clearly understood. 

Risks Associated with Vaping

While many people view vaping as a harmless way to enjoy nicotine, there are serious potential risks of vaping that parents and teens should be aware of. 

  • Nicotine addiction: Vaping is often advertised as a less addictive alternative to smoking cigarettes but it’s important to note that there is currently no scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, many studies have shown that vaping is just as harmful as smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices contain nicotine salts, which is a highly addictive substance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers who vape are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than adults who vape. 
  • Respiratory problems: Because vaping involves inhaling vapor into the lungs, it can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis and popcorn lung. This occurs when vaping damages small air sacs in your lungs and can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. 
  • Increased heart rate: Studies have shown that vaping can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular problems over time. 
  • Cancer: While vapes may contain fewer additives than cigarettes, some of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been linked to cancer. 
  • Birth defects: Women who vape while pregnant are at risk of giving birth to babies with birth defects. 
  • Secondhand vapor risks: Even if you don’t vape yourself, you may be exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand vapor if you’re around someone who does vape. Secondhand vapor contains many of the same harmful chemicals found in traditional tobacco smoke, including nicotine, metals, and chemicals that can damage your respiratory system. 
  • Brain development disruptions: The nicotine content in vapes changes the signaling of dopamine in the brain which means it will not be able to release its own “pleasure” chemicals easily. Nicotine exposure also affects parts of the brain that control impulse, learning, focus, anxiety, irritability, and depression.
  • COPD
  • Acute lung injury
  • Asthma 

If you or your child has started to vape, please consider these risks carefully. If someone is trying to quit vaping or if you have any questions about vaping or other tobacco products, please contact us now!