Is Vaping a Blow to Your Health?
What seemed to have started as a trendy pastime of teens and young adults, vaping, has turned into a $6 billion-dollar industry and new culture of it's own worldwide. Defined as the act of inhaling and exhaling using an electronic device called a vaporizer or e-cigarette, vaping appears to be more socially acceptable in bars, restaurants and social groups - thus adding to it's appeal. There are even vaping bars, merchandise, and websites solely dedicated to the act.
But is it safe? The contents of e-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, flavorings and other additives. It has been reported that vaping is allegedly less harmful than conventional cigarettes. However, there is mixed research on the actual adverse health effects.
The Surgeon General Report lists several risks of e-cigarettes including nicotine addiction, mood disorders and impulse control, especially in youth and adolescents as their brains are not fully developed. The American Heart Association acknowledges that the long-term effects of vaping remain unclear, noting that the adverse effects could be significant in individuals with heart disease. Additionally, the second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes has not been investigated thoroughly.
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals and many are known carcinogens. In vapor, there are less chemicals and at much lower levels, however, it is not always known what types chemicals are included. In recent news, some states are trying to ban vaping due to suspected contamination of contents and its link to illness and even death of its users. So, it certainly cannot be said that vaporizers have no threat to your health.
Additionally, vaping may increase inflammation in the lungs, increase risk of infection, cause a variety of respiratory symptoms and could even be responsible for causing seizures. Since there appears to be long-term effects from vaping that could be a major blow to your health, it is recommended to avoid vaping. If you are interested in learning more about smoking cessation and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays please download our brochure.
Written by: Jackie Santiago, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern