You’re not alone if you’ve considered attempting to quit smoking. Almost seven out of ten smokers say they wish to quit. Quitting smoking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health since smoking affects virtually every organ in your body, including your heart. Smoking and secondhand smoke are responsible for almost one-third of all heart disease fatalities.
You may be tempted to use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other vaping devices) to smooth the transition from conventional cigarettes to quitting smoking entirely. But are e-cigarettes (also known as vaping) healthier than tobacco products? Can e-cigarettes help you quit smoking for good? Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, discusses vaping health risks.
1: Vaping Is Less Dangerous Than Smoking, But It Isn’t Safe
E-cigarettes heat nicotine (derived from tobacco), flavorings, and other compounds to form an aerosol that you inhale. Tobacco cigarettes contain more than 7,000 compounds, many of which are harmful. While we don’t know what chemicals are in e-cigarettes, Blaha claims that “there’s virtually no question that they expose you to less harmful compounds than conventional cigarettes.”
However, there has been an increase in lung damage and fatalities linked to vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) verified 60 fatalities in patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-related lung damage as of January 21, 2020. (EVALI).
“It seems that these instances mostly impact individuals who alter their vaping equipment or use black market modified e-liquids.” This is particularly true for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing vaping products,” says Blaha.
Vitamin E acetate has been recognized by the CDC as a substance of concern among individuals with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is a thickening ingredient often present in THC vaping products, and it was detected in all EVALI patients’ lung fluid samples analyzed by the CDC.
The CDC advises individuals to:
- Avoid using THC-containing e-cigarettes or vaping goods.
- Avoid obtaining a vaping device from unofficial sources such as friends, relatives, or internet sellers.
- Do not tamper with or add chemicals to a vaping device that were not intended by the manufacturer.
2: Research Suggestions That Vaping Is Harmful to Your Heart and Lungs
Nicotine is the main active ingredient in both traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, and it is extremely addictive. If you ignore the desire, it leads you to want a cigarette and experience withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is also a poisonous chemical. It boosts your blood pressure and adrenaline levels, increasing your heart rate and your risk of having a heart attack.
Is vaping harmful to your health? There are numerous unanswered questions regarding vaping, such as what chemicals make up the vapor and how they impact physical health in the long run. “People need to realize that e-cigarettes may be harmful to your health,” adds Blaha.
“Emerging evidence indicates connections to chronic lung illness and asthma, as well as correlations between e-cigarette use and smoking and cardiovascular disease.” You’re exposing yourself to a slew of substances that we don’t yet understand and that are most likely dangerous.”
3: Electronic Cigarettes Are As Addicting As Traditional Cigarettes
Nicotine is present in both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, and research indicates that it is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Worse, according to Blaha, many e-cigarette users receive even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product – you can purchase extra-strength cartridges with a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can raise the voltage of the e-cigarette to get a stronger dose of the drug.
4: E-cigarettes Aren’t the Best Smoking Cessation Aid
Despite being promoted as a smoking cessation aid, e-cigarettes have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation aids. According to recent research, the majority of individuals who planned to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking ended up using both conventional and e-cigarettes.
Considering the EVALI epidemic, the CDC encourages people who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking to evaluate the risks and benefits, and to explore alternative FDA-approved smoking cessation methods.
5: A New Generation Is Becoming Addicted to Nicotine
E-cigarettes are more popular among teenagers than any conventional tobacco product. The United States Surgeon General stated in 2015 that e-cigarette usage among high school kids had risen by 900 percent, with 40 percent of adolescent e-cigarette users having never smoked conventional tobacco.
According to Blaha, there are three reasons why e-cigarettes may be especially appealing to young people. For starters, many teenagers think that vaping is less dangerous than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes are less expensive per use than conventional cigarettes. Finally, vape cartridges are often flavored with flavors that appeal to younger consumers, such as apple pie and watermelon.
The absence of smoke appeals to both children and adults. E-cigarettes, which have no odor, help to eliminate the stigma associated with smoking.
“What I find most worrisome about the growth of vaping is that individuals who would never have smoked otherwise, particularly young people, are adopting the habit,” adds Blaha. “It’s one thing if you go from smoking to vaping. It’s another thing entirely to begin nicotine usage via vaping. And it often leads to the use of conventional tobacco products later on.”
Do you want to quit smoking?
There is an unmistakable connection between smoking and cardiovascular illness, as well as smoking and cancer. However, the sooner you stop, the sooner your body can recover and heal itself. Consult your doctor about the best smoking cessation program or tools for you.