Whichever way you slice it, there’s simply no denying the fact that vaping is experiencing what could be called a moment. Such is the runaway nature of vaping’s burgeoning popularity, indeed, that it is swiftly absorbing markets once dominated by old-school tobacco.
Well and good as all this commercial momentum may be from a business perspective, it shouldn’t disguise the fact that there is still much about this popular phenomenon that remains misunderstood.
In particular, greater clarity is needed on health-related concerns like, for example, what does vaping do to your body? As luck would have it, answers to this and other similar questions are slowly revealing themselves.
To mark this, here is a quick rundown of 5 vaping facts you need to know.
Vaping is Highly Addictive
Although vaping is widely marketed as a means to quit smoking, there’s just no getting away from the fact that it’s highly addictive in its own right. Every bit as addictive as smoking, in fact. Or, for that matter, as heroin or cocaine.
The reason that vaping is quite so addictive is, of course, that e-cigarettes contain nicotine. This highly toxic substance, effectively, compels the brain’s reward system to deliver a hit of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Simply put, nicotine is highly addictive because it makes you feel good.
The thing with e-cigarettes, however, is that they can be modified to discharge higher quantities of nicotine than even traditional cigarettes release. Extra strength cartridges, for example, are purposefully designed to contain higher concentrations of nicotine. What’s more, by simply upping their e-cigarette’s voltage, users can, in effect, manufacture an even bigger nicotine hit.
To cap things off, even some e-cigarettes branded as nicotine-free have been found to contain nicotine.
Vaping is Far from Risk-Free
Even if vaping isn’t quite as harmful as smoking, that’s not to say it’s good for you. In fact, truth be told, it’s quite the opposite. You see, what research is unequivocally telling us is that vaping increases the risk of a whole host of adverse health conditions.
As if to underline that fact, there’s even a condition called EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury), which results exclusively from vaping. More to the point, as of late January 2020, 60 people had died of this condition in the United States alone.
But, in truth, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Vaping has likewise been linked to everything from lung disease to cell dysfunction, delayed cognitive development to heart disease, and malignant tumors to oral health deficits.
Vaping Exposes the Body to Toxins
An inescapable reality is that vaping entails inhaling toxic chemicals and particulates. There’s just no sugar-coating that fact. To make matters worse, however, it turns out that many of those toxins happen to be harmful.
In that vein, it’s perhaps predictable that nicotine should head the list of toxic ingredients. But that’s just a starting point. Among other toxins, Vaping exposes users to;
Diacetyl: a chemical linked with the development of “popcorn-lung.”
Acrolein: a herbicide associated with irreversible lung conditions
Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines: among the most potent carcinogens present in tobacco products. These chemical compounds have been linked to various forms of cancer
Heavy Metals: including chromium, zinc, lead, and cadmium
Vaping is Not the Best Way to Quit Smoking
Plainly put, vaping is not recognized by the FDA as a way to quit smoking. Moreover, lending credence to this stance, the CDC has responded to the EVALI outbreak by recommending that people should stick to FDA-approved methods when looking to quit.
To be fair, there is some evidence that under certain circumstances vaping can, in fact, be of some benefit. But, even here, the overall picture is somewhat murky. Other research, for example, refutes such claims, arguing instead that the method simply encourages smokers to vape on top of smoking.
All of which goes to show that although vaping is regularly billed as a method to quit smoking, the empirical basis for such claims is still sorely lacking.
Vaping Acts as a Gateway to Smoking in Teens
Recent findings suggest that teens who start vaping are three times more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes. As if that weren’t bad enough, the results suggest that this gateway effect is particularly pronounced among so-called “low risk” teens.
Now bear in mind that the FDA estimated that as many as 3.6 million high school and middle school students used e-cigarettes in 2018. Worse still, this may only hint at things to come. For instance, the US Surgeon General reports a steep upward curve in the number of high school students taking up the vaping habit.
Boiled down to the cold hard numbers, it is estimated that 5,700 teens start vaping every single day. But why so many? Well, in many regards, that’s the million-dollar question.
For their part, experts attribute the boom to a constellation of interlinked factors. Expressly, they suggest a complex web of factors which include;
Aggressive marketing strategies
Societal misconception regarding the health risks
The relative affordability of vaping products in comparison with traditional cigarettes