You’re not the only one who has thought about quitting smoking. Nearly seven out of ten smokers want to leave. Smoking harms your heart and almost all other organs in your body. Smoking and second-hand smoke are responsible for nearly one-third of heart disease deaths.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes and vape pens) are a great way to help you transition from smoking traditional cigarettes to quitting altogether. Is vaping (also known as e-cigarettes) healthier than smoking tobacco? Can e-cigarettes help you quit smoking for good? Michael Blaha M.D. M.P.H. shares information on vaping with Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Although vaping is less harmful than tobacco smoking, it’s not safe.
E-cigarettes use heat to transform nicotine (extracted tobacco) and other chemicals into an aerosol you can inhale. The 7,000 chemicals in tobacco cigarettes are mostly toxic. Blaha says we do not know the exact chemicals in e-cigarettes, but “there’s almost no question” that vaping exposes users to less harmful chemicals than traditional cigarettes.
A recent outbreak of lung injury and death has been associated with vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in February 2020 that 2,807 cases and 68 deaths were attributed by the C.D.C. to e-cigarette and vaping-related lung injuries.
These cases primarily affect people who modify their devices or use modified liquids from the black market. This is particularly true for vaping products that contain T.H.C.,” explains Blaha.
The C.D.C. has identified Vitamin E acetate among people with EVALI as a chemical to be concerned about. Vitamin E acetate, a thickening substance often found in T.H.C. vaping products, was detected in the lung fluid of all EVALI patients.
The C.D.C. advises people to:
- Vaping or e-cigarettes containing T.H.C. are not recommended.
- Do not use informal sources like family, friends, or online sellers to purchase a vaping product.
- Modify or do not add substances not intended by the device’s manufacturer.
A study by The Johns Hopkins University, published in October 2021, reveals that vape products contain thousands of chemicals. Most of these ingredients have yet to be identified. The team identified several potentially harmful substances, including caffeine, three chemicals not previously found in electronic cigarettes, a pesticide, and two flavors linked to possible toxic effects and respiratory irritants.
Vaping can be harmful to your heart and lungs, according to research.
Nicotine, the main ingredient in cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, is highly addictive. You will crave cigarettes and experience withdrawal symptoms if the craving is ignored. Nicotine is toxic. Nicotine increases blood pressure, adrenaline, and heart rate.
Is vaping bad for me? Vaping is a complex topic. It’s unknown what chemicals are in the vapor or how long-term effects on health will be. Blaha says that people need to be aware of the dangers of e-cigarettes. New data suggest links between chronic lung disease and asthma and associations between dual use of electronic cigarettes and smoking cardiovascular diseases. You are exposing yourself to all sorts of chemicals we do not yet understand, which may be unsafe.”
3: Electronic cigarettes can be just as addictive.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine. Research suggests that it may be just as addictive as cocaine and heroin. Blaha says many e-cigarette users get more nicotine from their e-cigarettes than from combustible products. Users can purchase extra-strength nicotine cartridges or increase the voltage of the e-cigarette to get an even more significant hit.
Electronic cigarettes aren’t the best tool to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved as smoking cessation aids, even though they have been promoted as such. Recent research found that many people who wanted to quit smoking with e-cigarettes used traditional and electronic cigarettes.
The C.D.C. urges smokers considering using e-cigarettes to quit smoking to carefully weigh the benefits and risks and consider using other FDA-approved smoking cessation methods first.
Five reasons why a new generation of smokers is gaining a nicotine addiction
E-cigarettes are the most popular tobacco product among youths. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey for 2021, more than two million U.S. high school and middle school students used flavored e-cigarettes in 2021.
Blaha believes that there are three main reasons why e-cigarettes might be appealing to teenagers. Many teens think vaping is safer than smoking. E-cigarettes are cheaper per use than traditional cigarettes. Youths and adults alike find the absence of smoke appealing. E-cigarettes are less stigmatizing because they don’t smell.
Blaha says, “What concerns me most about the growth of vaping, is that it’s a habit that many people, particularly youth, would never have adopted otherwise.” It’s one thing to switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping. Vaping is a different way to begin nicotine use. “And, nicotine addiction often leads to the use of traditional tobacco products in the future.”
According to C.D.C. research, vaping has decreased among youth since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to this trend.
Blaha points out that it is difficult to interpret the data, as young people often change their minds and may not see disposable products like “puff bars” as vaping. According to the same C.D.C. report, disposable e-cigarettes have increased by 1,000% in high school and 400% in middle school since 2019.
Vaping and COVID-19 Pandemic
Blaha says that when the coronavirus outbreak first started, data shows that e-cigarette sales dropped. This could be because people spend more time at home, avoiding public places and stores.
Blaha is concerned by a growing trend among vape users: daily electronic cigarettes. “In the past, 1 in 5 people vaped every day. Now it is up quite a lot. This is worrying because it indicates more nicotine addiction. “I’m keeping an eye on that.”
Smoking, vaping, and other lung irritations can compound respiratory problems associated with COVID-19.
There is a strong correlation between cancer, as well as between and cardiovascular disease. The sooner you stop smoking, the faster your body will recover and repair. Ask your doctor about the best smoking cessation tools or programs.