Since its launch, vaping has attracted thousands of users looking for different reasons to try it. However, with alarming numbers of recently injured and alleged fatalities, there are many secrets being revealed behind this new addiction.
Vaping consists of a device with a battery that heats a liquid, which most of the time includes nicotine (although there are some exceptions) and an appealing flavor for the user. Once the liquid is hot, vapors are created which then the user inhales and exhales.
So far, just in the United States, there have been 33 victims whose deaths caused by lung damage have been closely related to vaping. While these numbers are nothing compared to deaths caused by regular cigarettes or other addictions, it’s starting to create a conversation. Vaping has always been promoted as a completely safe and harmless recreational activity, but how much of this is actually true?
Something that started as an alternative to quit smoking cigarettes quickly became a trend, especially among young people including minors. All of these factors have led to vaping being under a lot of scrutiny, with some experts calling it a deadly product that threatens health. With this being said, we will go through some of the dangers of vaping according to scientists and legal experts in the subject.
- Chemicals: According to a study published by the “New England Journal of Medicine,” victims whose death have been linked to vaping were found during their autopsies to have lung damage similar to the damage done by inhaling highly toxic chemicals. This alerts consumers, making them question their hobby. If this is an issue with vaping in general or with some specific devices and brands that are lower quality.
- Vape juice: Even the seemingly most innocent and attractive part of these products has been criticized in recent scientific studies. A researched done by the medical journal “Nicotine & Tobacco Research” showed that the substances and components added to the formula which create that eloquent and unique combination of flavors can react in a negative way with other solvents causing chronic inflammation of the bronchial mucosa. Other cases have also reported detecting signs of heavy metals such as chromium and lead. Another issue with vape juices is that they are often mislabeled on what they really contain, whether it’s ingredients or lack of information on nicotine levels.
- Intoxication: Both children and adults have intoxicated themselves while ingesting, inhaling or absorbing vape juice through their mouth, skin or eyes.
- Vaping during pregnancies: Vaping is not safe at all during pregnancies. Nicotine can damage brain development in fetuses. Not to mention prenatal exposure to nicotine appears to affect the normal neurodevelopment of the fetus as well as producing a nicotine withdrawal syndrome.
- Vaping among teenagers: We mentioned how vaping among teenagers is becoming almost a national crisis in the United States. It is currently a huge problem in high schools with students even vaping in the facilities’ restrooms. According to statistics, around 66% of young vape users say that what they like the most about vaping is the flavor. Another shocking number is that around 30% of young vape users ended up smoking cigarettes just within 6 months. 7 out of 10 teens are heavily exposed to vape advertising.
- Comparison with cigarettes: Many experts have noted how the media and other relevant sources of information to the public minimize the damage that vaping can cause because they keep comparing it to regular cigarettes. While the damage may be less, it doesn’t mean it’s not harmful on its own way, it should be considered a unique product, instead of an extension or direct alternative to cigarettes.
- Teeth and gums damage: A research published by the journal Oncotarget showed how vaping has a similar negative effect like tobacco does on our teeth. When users inhale the vapors after they are burnt, they cause certain cells to release inflammatory proteins, thus aggravating cell stress and causing damage that can lead to the development of various oral diseases and infections.
- Second hand users: Just like with cigarettes, there are a lot of people affected by constantly surrounding themselves with people who vape on a daily basis. It is highly recommended to avoid this as much as you can, if you are exposed to this it’s likely that you are also exposing your body and health to potential harms caused by chemicals found in vapes.
Since vaping is still a relatively new product, there are still many tests and theories to be proved regarding how dangerous they actually are. Some results may take years to be able to be compared within each other regarding the actual negative effects on its users. For now, we do know that vaping is not the ideal best alternative to cigarettes and it’s always recommended to slowly quit the nicotine addiction completely.