How does vaping affect my health?
E-cigarettes are relatively new products, and both scientists and the vaping industry are still learning about their health effects.
This means that there’s still a lot that we don’t know about vaping, and the risk to your health.
Smoking cigarettes was considered ‘healthy’ in the 50’s, and look how that turned out. Essentially, the impact of vaping is still largely un-researched, but here’s what we know so far:
Inhaling the unknown
E-cigarette and vaping aerosol generally contains fewer harmful chemicals than the smoke from traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, some e-cigarette aerosols contain tiny particles that reach deep into the lungs that may have chemicals in them which irritate the lungs. These chemicals are potentially cancer causing, increase inflammation to the lung, and can potentially lead to other lung diseases.
Young people are especially at risk. Putting weird unknown chemicals into your body at this stage is even worse than it is for adults, because you’re still developing. We know there are physical effects from smoking as a teen, so who knows how vaping as a teenager could affect the body?
E-Cigarette, or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI)
Vape use has been linked to severe lung disease that has led to hospitalisations in more that 2500 people across the United States, with 60 reported deaths. Some cases of EVALI included teenagers and young adults using vapes that contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), however, there were also many cases where this was not a factor.
Vaping, and second hand vape, can also impact other respiratory conditions such as asthma, and has been found to increase coughing and worsen asthma symptoms, especially among young people.
The liquids in vapes, by the way, can sometimes burn skin just through contact. They can also rapidly cause nicotine poisoning if swallowed. Now, you’re probably not going to drink it, but a baby brother or sister might, and it could literally (yes, LITERALLY) kill them to do so.
Vape devices also, if modified incorrectly, can explode. Yes it’s happened, and it’s not pretty. So, you know, yikes.
Vaping and pregnancy
Although the aerosol of e-cigarettes generally has fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke, e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy. Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs.