Top 5 Things to Know About Vaping

Vaping has become a popular alternative to smoking, with more people turning to vape pens and e-cigarettes, believing it is a safer option. With this rise of vaping over the last few years, it’s understandable that it has been a hot topic of discussion, with the many unknowns about vaping leading to a variety of questions about this new technology. We’ll tackle the most commonly asked questions about vaping and more in our guide to the top five things everyone needs to know about vaping.

Is Vaping Dangerous?

The short answer is yes, vaping can be dangerous but because there is a lack of significant long-term research, there is a lot we don’t know about its effects on human health.

is vaping okay for any age

The fact then remains that vaping has unknown risks associated with its use. A few things that we do know are that some vapes contain other chemicals besides nicotine like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and diacetyl, which can cause harm to people who are exposed to them directly or through secondhand smoke (although the concept of secondhand “smoke” from vaping is hotly debated). Some studies have suggested that vaping may be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes due to the lack of tobacco, yet concerns remain about the potential health risks associated with inhaling vaporized chemicals. Additionally, some vapes have been known to explode due to faulty batteries or design flaws, resulting in injuries or burns.

Is Vaping Addictive?

Vaping can be addictive depending on the type of vape being used. Nicotine is found in regular cigarettes as well as many types of vapes and e-cigarettes and is proven to be highly addictive, so vapes with nicotine are addictive. While not all e-juice contains nicotine, some users may become addicted due to the pleasurable flavors and sensations of vaping certain juices, as well as the social aspects associated with the act of vaping. Even if a vaping product does not contain nicotine, users should remain aware that vaping can still be habit forming due to other factors.

Is Vaping Okay For Any Age?

From a legal standpoint, no! In most areas around the world, vaping is illegal for minors under the age of 18 years old. Some countries increase the legal age of vaping to 21 and other countries have even banned vaping completely for any age. This is due to the still unknown potential health risks and because of the highly addictive nature of nicotine, which is used in many vapes. Furthermore, it is also illegal for an adult to purchase a vape or vape juice for a minor and anyone under the local legal age can be in trouble with the law for possessing a vaping device or juice. From a health standpoint, as the health effects of vaping are yet unknown, vaping is still not advised for any age.

Is Vaping Bad for You Even If It’s Just Flavoring?  

Just as with food flavorings, e-juice flavoring in itself is not harmful in small doses. However, there are serious concerns about the chemicals used in flavors such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, diacetyl, and acetyl propionyl. Vaping flavored e-juice (inhaling vaporized chemicals), even without nicotine, has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses such as “popcorn lung,” lung inflammation, and more. 

Which Is More Habit Forming – Smoking Cigarettes Or Vaping Nicotine?  

The jury is still out on this topic. Both smoking cigarettes and vaping nicotine can lead to addiction. However, some research suggests that vaping nicotine may be more habit forming than traditional cigarettes because it contains a higher concentration of nicotine per unit. Other research indicates that cigarettes actually create more intense cravings because they contain a higher level of nicotine, as well as the fact that other ingredients and chemicals found in cigarettes add to the addictive quality of cigarettes. Regardless of nicotine levels and concentration, addiction depends largely on the person and their individual response/tolerance levels for such substances. 

Support for Vaping Addictions

The takeaway from this all is that as with any substance, it’s important, regardless of age or location, to do research before using any vaping product to ensure that you understand the potential consequences and health risks. 
If you, your child, or someone you love would like help with vaping addiction of any kind, take our free and fast online SBIRT assessment. This tool can help you determine if there is a problem and provide local resources to help with recovery. Help is just a click or call away!