Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know

The popularity of smoking e-cigarettes has been dramatic, particularly among teens. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 14.1% of high school students reported electronic cigarettes in 2022. This is an increase over 2017 when 11.7 percent of high school students had reported smoking e-cigarettes.

A different survey of high school students discovered that more than 40% had tried electronic cigarettes. Certain age-related restrictions (it’s illegal to offer e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 21, (18, and 19 in certain states) aren’t stopping the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers and young adults. More than nine million adults aged 18 and older smoke e-cigarettes, according to an assessment of 2020 by the CDC.

What exactly is vaping?

Vaping involves heating liquids and then taking in the vapor to the lung. Vaping is when a device like an electronic cigarette can heat fluid (called e-liquid or vape juice) until it transforms into a vapor, inhaled. These devices are often called mods, vapes, sub-ohms, or e-hookahs. They also include tanks and vape pens. They look slightly different but function in a similar way.

These devices can heat various flavors, such as nicotine, marijuana, or other harmful substances. A CDC study revealed that 99 percent of electronic cigarettes sold at venues assessed within the United States contained nicotine.

Nicotine is an addictive substance, no doubt. Although this is prominently highlighted in advertisements, we’ve seen in our experiences with regular cigarettes that the warnings do not always perform!

The aerosol from e-cigarettes that users inhale from their device and exhale may contain dangerous and potentially harmful substances, which include

  • nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles are inhaled deeply into the lungs.
  • Flavorings, such as diacetyl, are chemicals linked to severe lung disease. For example, diacetyl is a chemical that has been linked to
  • volatile organic compounds
  • cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, lead, tin and.

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How can smoking cigarettes affect your lung health

There are reports of severe and sudden lung conditions, like deaths due to vaping. This is known as vaping or e-cigarettes, as well as product-related lung injury or EVALI.

According to the CDC:

  • More than 2,800 users of e-cigarettes were admitted to hospitals because of EVALI from February to February 2020; the death rate was 68 among them. Most of the cases occurred among teenagers and young adults.
  • Typically, the symptoms began gradually, including shortness of breath or chest pain, before more severe breathing difficulties caused hospital admission.
  • Experts are now suspecting contamination by a type that contains vitamin E (called vitamin E acetate) in a few tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-having electronic cigarettes as a basis for EVALI. Other contaminants and causes (such as lung diseases with preexisting diagnoses) could be a factor.
  • The number of newly reported EVALI cases has dropped significantly since September of this year, likely due to messages from the public health community regarding a connection between THC in electronic cigarettes and EVALI and the elimination of vitamin E acetate from cigarettes. But, it’s also the case that certain instances of EVALI could be overlooked (such as those attributed to the infection), and monitoring the patients still needs to be completed.

Popcorn lung and vaping. “Popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis Obliterans (BO), refers to an inflammation of the lungs, which causes coughing, wheezing, and breath shortness. In time, it may result in scarring of the tiny lungs’ air sacs and swelling and narrowing of airways. Diacetyl, a compound present in a variety of electronic cigarettes, is a factor that causes this problem. The name originates from the reports of illness due to diacetyl among employees in a popcorn factory that uses microwaves.

Other health risks linked to smoking

The tragic and alarming instances of severe lung diseases have to be a source of concern. There are a variety of health issues that are equally alarming:

Nicotine is a result of smoking vape. Nicotine is highly addictive and could alter the brain’s development, harming teens or young adults. Some “nicotine-free” e-cigarettes have been discovered to have nicotine. Accidental exposure to liquids from e-cigarettes can cause acute nicotine poisoning among children and adults.

Smoking and vaping. Teens who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes. A lot of young people who smoke e-cigarettes also use cigarettes.

Risk of cancer and vaping. Some substances found in vapors from e-cigarettes have been linked with an increased risk of developing cancer. People inhale and exhale aerosols when they smoke e-cigarettes could expose them and others nearby to toxic substances.

Other hazards from smoking vape. Electronic cigarette users reported Explosions and burn when charging the devices due to defective batteries. Vaping while pregnant pregnancy could cause harm to a developing fetus.

The impact of vaping on general health isn’t sure. There appears to be ample evidence that vaping isn’t “95% less harmful than smoking,” as certain people have claimed.

Who is most at risk of harm from vaping?

It’s unclear what percentage of vapers are susceptible to lung problems or who’s most at risk. For instance, are lung issues more frequent among vapers who have breathing issues (such as asthma) or smoke other drugs, like marijuana or regular cigarettes? Is it more prevalent in younger people?

Can vaping help you stop smoking?

Alongside the pleasure vaping provides, some evidence suggests vaping can help some smokers quit using cigarettes (though other evidence suggests the contrary). It isn’t entirely evident how it is compared to nicotine patches or other means of smoking cessation. It appears that the FDA hasn’t approved smoking vapes as an effective method for smoking-free. Many smokers who smoke vape continue to use cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.

The exact balance between the advantages and dangers of vaping is hard to determine. It is difficult to know exactly what’s in electronic cigarettes. The FDA is the body responsible for approving or authorizing the sale of tobacco-related products approved the marketing of E-cigarettes for a small number of products by the year 2021 and has ruled out numerous others. However, the agency says the acts “do not mean these products are safe or FDA approved.” In addition, there isn’t any information on the long-term health consequences of these products.

The most important thing is the bottom line.

It’s possible that vaping can be considered as something that is a “lesser of evils” for people who smoke cigarettes. However, there are lots of things about vaping that we need to be aware of. One method to learn more is to report potential health issues related to vaping to the FDA. You can notify them that you’ve experienced any of these issues.

In the meantime, be cautious about using vape. State and federal authorities suggest abstaining from all vaping until there is more information. If you choose to vape, be wary of electronic cigarettes purchased “off the street” and use brand-name electronic cigarettes that are not modified (including marijuana or other drugs).

The cases of lung disease in people who smoke raise essential questions about the security of using vaping. We shouldn’t be too surprised by the possibility of lung problems developing among those who smoke, as our lungs were designed to breathe clean air and not do anything other than that. Understanding the damage that smoking cigarettes could cause took a long time. We may be following the same path by experimenting with smoking vape.

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