THE HEALTH AND FITNESS BLOG
How Does Vaping Affect Your Health?
May 21, 2022 – By Dr. Haider Khalid
In recent years, vaping has shown a rise in popularity among youth. In the US, there is a regular habit of vaping in every one of nine senior students in high schools (6). Most youths use vaping because of its perceived benefits. Moreover, this sudden surge in vaping among students is due to little knowledge about its potential health effects (10).
Vaping is a new phenomenon. People know very little about its long-term health effects. But it is very evident from the present information that vaping can lead to lung, brain, and gum issues. In this article, you will get all the information about the health effects of vaping and how vaping is different from cigarette smoking.
How Does a Vape Pen Work?
Let’s first understand how vaping works? This information will help you to have a better understanding of how vaping affects your health. Vape users use a vape pen containing a liquid pod rich in nicotine, flavoring, sweeteners, and several other compounds. Users inhale the smoke that forms after heating the liquid. Most of the health effects are due to the compounds present in the juice.
Here are the Five Dangers of Vaping That You Need to Know
Most people consider vaping harmless. They think that vape smoke is not doing any damage to their health. If you are one of those, you should spend a few minutes on this article to see the true colors of vaping.
Health Issues Related to Gums
Different vape pens contain different liquids, but most have nicotine and flavoring compounds. In addition, Vaping liquids may contain artificial sweetener (sucralose) or natural sugar (sucrose) to enhance the flavor of the smoke. However, the story doesn’t end here. The vaping smoke is thicker than usual cigarette smoke and tends to remain inside the mouth, especially within the gums.
The trapping of the compounds inside the mouth increases your likelihood of having dental caries and other oral infections. There is also scientific evidence that supports this information. For example, according to research published in 2020, reported patients with an unusual form of dental caries were all vape users (5).
According to some research, vaping is not as dangerous as cigarette smoking. But, you should not believe this statement as very little information is present about the health effects of vaping. Vaping also damages your lung, like cigarette smoke, and can lead to respiratory problems.
In 2019 there occurred an outbreak of lung diseases in 30 different states of the US after regular use of vaping in large community groups (4). The outbreak reported about 450 cases of lung diseases within two months.
The symptoms of the patients who presented with lung problems after vaping are,
- Chest Pain
- Non-specific symptoms of fever, fatigue, and weight loss
Some patients also complain of gastrointestinal issues after vaping. These symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
The question that mostly remains unanswered is whether vaping is associated with the risk of lung cancer or not. Many have concerns about this issue as some vape contain carcinogenic chemicals inside their smoke (2). Thus, there are chances that you may develop severe lung problems if you keep on using vaping for 20 years or more. Thus, it is better to quit this habit before it’s too late.
How Does Vaping Affect the Pregnancy?
There is no scientific evidence that supports the harmful effects of vaping on pregnancy. Again it is because of limited research. However, some researchers correlate vaping with a slight reduction in the baby’s birth weight (3). Thus, whether vaping affects pregnancy or not, doctors recommend avoiding all nicotine products during the pregnancy to avoid any unusual health damage to the mother and baby.
Effects of Vaping on Brain Growth of Kids
Children and young adults find vaping fascinating. It allows them to inhale nicotine with a minor release of smoke. However, the high nicotine present in several e-cigarettes is dangerous for the developing brain of kids. It can lead to early addiction and mood disorders. Further, nicotine also affects a part of the brain that controls the thinking process (7). Hence, children who use vaping have poorly developed brain functions.
Effects of Vaping on Social Behavior of Young Adults
Vaping also affects the social behavior of young adults. Vaping reduces the memory functioning and cognitive ability of the students. Thus, students who vape show poor performance in school educational and recreational activities.
Vape users are also more aggressive and find difficulty having a peaceful sleep. Research also relates vaping with increased suicidal thoughts (8). Thus, parents, school authorities, and healthcare providers should take the necessary actions to prevent young adults from becoming victims of vaping.
Nicotine in vaping is dangerous for heart health. It constricts arteries and increases blood pressure. Long-standing high blood pressure can result in heart attack (7).
Vaping vs. Cigarette Smoking
Most people start vaping because they consider it less dangerous than smoking. Thus, in this portion, you will get a complete account of the difference between the two. In addition, the following information will help you in quitting vaping.
How Many Puffs of Vape are Equal to One Cigarette?
Whether vaping is more dangerous than smoking is still under debate. However, according to critical analysis, you would need approximately 500 puffs of vaping to inhale the same nicotine as one cigarette (9). From this information, it looks like smoking is far more dangerous, which is almost true.
Which is worse?
The concept of smoking being more dangerous is valid only in terms of nicotine concentrations. But if you consider all the other hazards of vaping, competition between the two gets pretty tricky. Furthermore, with every new research, it is becoming more evident that vaping or e-cigarette affects your health much more than traditional cigarette smoking (7).
Both vaping and smoking are dangerous for health (1). It would be best to avoid both of these to have a healthy life. Doctors and other responsible groups should create necessary awareness among the public. Only with proper health education will we be able to eradicate these evils from society.
- Abafalvi, L., Pénzes, M., Urbán, R., Foley, K. L., Kaán, R., Kispélyi, B., & Hermann, P. (2019). Perceived health effects of vaping among Hungarian adult e-cigarette-only and dual users: a cross-sectional internet survey. BMC Public Health, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6629-
- Bracken-Clarke, D., Kapoor, D., Baird, A. M., Buchanan, P. J., Gately, K., Cuffe, S., & Finn, S. P. (2021). Vaping and lung cancer – A review of current data and recommendations. Lung Cancer, 153, 11–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.12.030
- Calder, R., Gant, E., Bauld, L., McNeill, A., Robson, D., & Brose, L. S. (2021). Vaping in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 23(9). https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntab017
- Hammond, D. (2019). Outbreak of pulmonary diseases linked to vaping. BMJ, l5445. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5445
- Irusa, K. F., Vence, B., & Donovan, T. (2020). Potential oral health effects of e‐cigarettes and vaping: A review and case reports. Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, 32(3), 260–264. https://doi.org/10.1111/jerd.12583
- Knowles, H. (2019, September 19). 1 in 9 high school seniors vape nicotine near-daily, new survey says amid e-cigarette scare. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/09/19/high-school-seniors-vape-nicotine-near-daily-new-survey-says-amid-e-cigarette-scare/
- Northwestern Medicine Staff. (2019, September 24). Dangers of Vaping. Northwestern Medicine; Northwestern Medicine. https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/emotional-health/vaping-4-risks-for-kids
- Tobore, T. O. (2019). On the potential harmful effects of E-Cigarettes (EC) on the developing brain: The relationship between vaping-induced oxidative stress and adolescent/young adults social maladjustment. Journal of Adolescence, 76, 202–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.09.004
- Works, T. F. (n.d.). How Many Vape Puffs Are Equal To A Cigarette? The Fog Works. Retrieved May 21, 2022, from https://www.thefogworks.co.uk/blogs/blog/how-many-vape-puffs-are-equal-to-a-cigarette#:~:text=You%20would%20have%20to%20vape%20five%20vape%20juice%20bottles%20to
- Yong, H., Borland, R., Cummings, K. M., Gravely, S., Thrasher, J. F., McNeill, A., Hitchman, S. C., Greenhalgh, E., Thompson, M. E., & Fong, G. T. (2019). Reasons for regular vaping and for its discontinuation among smokers and recent ex‐smokers: findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14593