The vaping industry has enjoyed immense sales as more and more smokers turned to e-cigarettes, which has become popular in younger users.
But just recently, an outbreak sends indirect signals to e-cigarette manufacturers to slow down as the number of the death toll from vaping rose to 33 as of October 17 while the number of reported cases has increased to about 1,479. Of these cases, 80 percent were young people, aging 35 and below.
The Flavored e-cigarettes are about to be banned as officials look for the probable cause of the outbreak. Experts believe it may have something to do with chemical exposure, specifically THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is an active ingredient in marijuana and responsible for its psychological effects.
Officials conduct an ongoing investigation as to what causes people to get sick or die from vaping. Are there truly dangers behind e-cigarettes? Let’s take a look at what experts have to say.
Smoking is not good for your health
Generally, whether you smoke plain cigarette or vape, experts have been telling us that smoking can be harmful to the body. It affects almost every organ in the body, particularly the heart. About 75 percent of heart diseases are related to smoking and secondhand smoke.
Vaping is not as ‘harmful’ as traditional smoking
Vaping is said to contain less danger compared to traditional smoking, according to Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. In vaping, you don’t inhale nicotine directly because this substance, along with other flavorings and chemicals, is heated to create water vapor for you to inhale. Unlike traditional tobacco that contains 7,000 mostly toxic chemicals, e-cigarettes are designed to expose you to fewer toxic chemicals. Nonetheless, they’re still toxic.
Vaping still poses dangers to health
Like traditional tobacco, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and causes changes in the brain. Nicotine is a toxic substance that can increase your blood pressure and give you that adrenaline rush, leading to increased heart rate or even a heart attack.
The effects of long-term vaping are still unknown
E-vaping is supposed to be a “healthier” alternative to smoking, that’s why many people switched from traditional smoking to vaping. Since no long-term effects of vaping have been known, users aren’t sure how their health would turn out over time. But initial findings are starting to come out, showing that vaping has significant terrible effects on heart and lung functions.
Young people are getting hooked on vaping
Because vape is considered less dangerous to health than cigarettes, the youth start to embrace the habit of vaping. In 2015, there’s an increase of around 900 percent of e-cigarette smokers among high school students, 40 percent of which didn’t experience traditional smoking. Experts say this might be due to e-cigarette flavorings that appeal to young smokers.
Vaping can have developmental effects on adolescents
As more and more teens vape, Trucco and Sutherland warned that e-cigarettes would be more harmful to them since their brains are still developing. Thus, they‘re doing some moves to identify why young people are getting hooked to vaping. They’re also trying to create some clear regulations regarding e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are just as addictive
Regardless of how manufacturers portray e-cigarettes to be less harmful than the traditional ones, the effects are still the same. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which experts say is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. And with e-cigarettes, the danger would be higher because users can buy extra strength cartridges, which have higher nicotine concentration.
Vaping is supposedly a smoking cessation tool
Originally, vaping devices were created for smokers who want to quit smoking but can’t. To make their journey less challenging, they’re introduced to e-cigarettes, which are considered less harmful. John Carl, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic said that vaping is only beneficial to people who are undergoing the smoking cessation program. He further advised that people who have never smoked should never start e-cigarettes or any related products.
E-cigarettes aren’t the best way to quit smoking
Though marketed as a healthier alternative for people who want to quit traditional smoking, e-cigarettes didn’t even receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation devices. This has been confirmed by a recent study pointing out that people did not actually manage to quit their smoking habits after vaping. Instead, they continue to smoke and vape as well.
E-cigarette smokers tend to start traditional smoking
Despite being branded as the best alternative for traditional tobacco, the research found that teens who vape tend to smoke cigarettes after six months of e-cigarette use.
Vaping effects can also be second hand and third hand
When it comes to its effects on nonusers, vaping has more harmful effects. While e-cigarette doesn’t produce smoke, it does produce vapors that can be harmful when inhaled by nonusers. Secondhand vapor can contain nicotine, which increases the risk of nicotine addiction even when inhaled second hand. There’s also what we call third-hand exposure, where the residual nicotine from secondhand vapor can remain on surfaces and has the possibility of being ingested unintentionally or absorbed through the skin.
Vaping solutions consist of harmful chemicals
Cardiologist Tamanna Singh confirmed that vape solutions contain particles that are associated with cardiopulmonary toxicity and cancer, specifically formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. The National Cancer Institute reported that formaldehyde is used to embalm or preserve bodies in mortuaries.
Vaping is harmful to the lungs and respiratory system
One short term effect of vaping is inflammation in the lungs. Doctors also found that vaping can paralyze the cilia, which are found in the airways of the lungs and functions mainly to remove microbes and debris. Damage in cilia means the lungs will lose their protection, which is likely to increase infection risks or pneumonia.
Aside from the dangers stated above, authorities are still on the verge of finding out the toxic chemicals that cause illness and death to e-cigarette users. While the outbreak continues, the best thing you can do is to refrain from vaping. Do productive things whenever the desire to vape comes up. It’s better to suffer from deprivation than to endanger yourself by giving in to your brain’s whims.