It seemed like a great idea to begin with – a device that mimics smoking a cigarette to help people quit smoking altogether. Vaping also seemed safer as there was no tar, no tobacco smoke and no smell, just water vapor. Manufacturers sold it so well, with flavored liquid like cherry, menthol and bubble gum that today, nearly 9 million adults now vape every day or nearly every day.
Unfortunately, the “health” promises of vaping have completely fallen apart, as more and more research and studies show, along with hundreds of hospitalizations and 9 deaths as of today.
Dr. Tanquilut is here to explain exactly what vaping is and why you should kick this habit too, as quickly as possible.
What is vaping?
Vaping means “to inhale water vapor into the lungs.” Vaping with electric cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vape pens, is exactly that, except the water contains chemical flavoring, propylene glycol or glycerin, often nicotine, and sometimes THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This “water” is known as e-juice, vape juice or e-liquid. An e-cigarette usually looks, feels, acts and can even taste like a real cigarette. It provides the vapor with nicotine while mimicking the act of smoking. A vape pen usually consists of a mouthpiece, a rechargeable battery, a cartridge for containing the e-liquid or e-juice, and a heating component. When the device is used, the battery works to heat up the heating component, which turns the contents of the e-liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs and then exhaled.
Why is vaping harmful?
While vape juice doesn’t contain tar, most e-cigs do contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and very harmful to your health. Research shows that a variety of severe damage is caused by vaping nicotine, including damage to your arteries, veins and heart, an increase in your heart rate and an increase in blood pressure. These detrimental effects last long after you’ve stopped vaping, harming your vascular system.
E-liquids also contain other chemicals and additives. When heated, they create dangerous toxins that reduce blood flow and damage blood vessels with each inhalation. While these effects are immediate, they are also long-term, as your blood vessels do not fully recover when you stop vaping. What’s more, these effects were seen when people used e-cigarettes that did not contain nicotine.
While the dangers of smoking cigarettes have been well-documented and unchallenged for decades, the long-term health effects of smoking electronic cigarettes still aren’t clear. The short-term effects, however, are crystal clear and very alarming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating 530 mysterious vaping illnesses and nine deaths nationally, the first confirmed in Illinois just a month ago.
If you’ve successfully transitioned from smoking cigarettes to vaping to becoming completely free of nicotine, congratulations! The addiction to nicotine is as difficult to break as heroin or cocaine, so kicking the habit is an enormous accomplishment.
If you’re smoking now, or have recently switched to vaping, stop both. Now. Your blood vessels and the rest of your body will breathe easier and begin recovering, becoming healthier within days.
If you need help with smoking or vaping cessation, reply to this email or call our office at 815-824-4406 to make an appointment with us. Your Vascular Specialists medical practitioner will help you set clear goals, establish a workable plan and cheer enthusiastically when you are smoke- and vape- free!