How vaping affects your health

December 17, 2022

More than three million students use tobacco products, and out of these students, the majority of them use e-cigarettes. Vaping has drastically increased in popularity in recent years, especially among teens. However, despite the large population of people who vape, many remain unaware of the danger e-cigarettes pose to their health.
E-cigarettes contain a variety of dangerous ingredients that harm an individual’s body, especially one’s lungs. The chemical diacetyl present in e-cigarette flavorings increases the risk of lung disease in someone who vapes. Diacetyl can also impair small passageways in the lungs. When these passageways are harmed, the risk for serious lung diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans, more commonly known as “popcorn lung,” rises. “Popcorn lung” has no lasting cure, causing chronic symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing. Along with diacetyl, acrolein in vapes can lead to an increased risk of asthma and lung cancer in addition to acute lung injury. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) e-cigarettes also include vitamin E acetate, which thickens vaping liquids. This oily substance has been linked to EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury) cases, and in people with severe damage from vaping, vitamin E could be found in their lungs. Moreover, as a result of oily substances like vitamin E, lungs become inflamed and more susceptible to lipoid pneumonia that leads to shortness of breath and in some cases, coughing up blood. E-cigarettes have severe effects on the heart, too, due to aldehydes such as formaldehyde that heighten one’s likelihood of having a cardiovascular disease.
The nicotine in e-cigarettes also damages brain development. Many people who vape are young and still developing certain brain functions relating to self-control and maturation. However, when individuals repeatedly vape, their impulse control will decrease, and they will be likely to acquire mood disorders. Nicotine also changes the formation of synapses in the brain, which interferes with how neurons communicate. As a result, one’s cognitive development, memory and attention might worsen.
Even though nicotine in e-cigarettes is incredibly harmful, it can also be extremely addictive. While cigarettes have a clear starting and ending point, users can take continuous puffs with e-cigarettes, so it can be more challenging to stop. Furthermore, an e-cigarette has three times the amount of nicotine as one cigarette pack, making it even more addictive.
Although this addiction is difficult to overcome, many clinics have developed smoking cessation programs that help addicts quit. Even though vapes have grown more common nowadays, it is imperative to limit consumption and seek help if necessary to avoid damaging one’s lungs, heart, and brain.

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