Vaping is the inhalation of vapors from an e-cigarette or any other vaping device. These are battery-powered smoking tools, filled with nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The said devices come in different shapes and sizes, resembling conventional cigarettes, pens, or tech gadgets. Although vaping is stated to be less harmful than smoking, it is still hazardous to our health in several ways, from brain development to pulmonary health.
Ongoing research proves that vaping can have both short-term and long-term effects on the human brain and body. Let’s take a look at some of the harmful effects of vaping.
1. Brain Development and Behavioral Problems
A human brain develops until the age of 25. That means it keeps growing throughout the adolescent years. Exposure to nicotine and various other chemicals during childhood can harm the developing brain to a great extent. Likewise, the use of these drugs can bring permanent and long-lasting damage to the brain. Nicotine, a commonly used drug in e-cigarettes, changes the way synapses are formed. Therefore, it can lead to problems regarding learning, attention, memory, mood, and self-control.
Brain development and behavior go hand in hand. If the brain is poorly developed, the person will have the risk of poor behavior. Hence, leading to alcohol and drug abuse, and at the very end, addiction.
2. Harmful Substances and Superheated Chemicals
In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette vapor usually includes potentially hazardous substances like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals including nickel and tin. Users inhale and exhale the contaminated vapors, causing secondhand exposure towards the non-users. Moreover, the liquid used is dangerous. Children and adults likewise can be poisoned by breathing or absorbing the liquid through the skin or eyes.
These battery-operated devices use superheated chemicals, which are carcinogenic and cause several health problems. Apart from that, we can see a clear connection between e-cigarettes and a lung condition known as E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). They just do not affect the lungs- they can pose serious risks to cardiac health.
3. Cardiac Health and Pulmonary Health
Vaping can worsen the existing heart diseases and bring new ones too. It is known to impact blood cholesterol, increase blood pressure, and narrow arteries. When the artery walls are constricted, it can lead to a fatal heart attack. Likewise, it increases a hormone called adrenaline, and that spike in heart rate can also contribute to heart failure. Many e-cigarettes contain such flavorings that damage the endothelial cells, found in the inner lining of an artery. The damage varies with flavor, with cinnamon and menthol bringing the worst damage.
Alongside, it can lead to numerous lung problems. Diacetyl can cause lung diseases, along with the formaldehyde that brings cancer. Because of vaping, many individuals are at more risk of developing asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
4. Vaping Doesn’t Help Smokers Quit Smoking
You might have heard many times that vaping can help smokers quit smoking. However, the research on this topic is mixed. Although e-cigs are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, they carry their risks. Vaping can also be done indoors, making it difficult for smokers to resist the temptations. It is found in different flavors, ranging from almond to cinnamon to menthol, which adds to their popularity, especially among the young generation.
Usage of these devices to quit smoking varies between individuals. Many stated that vaping helped them satiate their desires and quit smoking, while several were not much successful in doing so.
In conclusion, the long-term health effects of vaping are not explored yet. As the research continues, it is being established that vaping and e-cigs are not safe and healthy alternatives to smoking. A piece of advice for nonsmokers: do not vape or smoke. Teens tend to think that vaping makes us look cool, but it isn’t certainly the case inside our bodies.
If you are a smoker trying to quit- a big, hearty applaud for you to finally stand up and gather the courage to quit the bad habits. Always be aware of the benefits and risks of vaping, and consult the professionals.