Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling vapour produced by a vaping device. Many types of vaping devices exist such as e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, tank systems, and others. The vapour is usually produced by a liquid solution which is heated and condensed into an aerosol form. This vapour is then inhaled by the user through a mouth piece. There are many different that demographics vape.
The effects of vaping on health are still largely unknown, though it does increase exposure to harmful chemicals. Here we discuss four things you should know about vaping.
1. Vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco
Tobacco products contain an estimated 7,000 chemicals, most of which are harmful to health. Many of these compounds are known to promote cancer. Tobacco use has also been linked to other serious illnesses such as heart and respiratory diseases. Though vaping products do contain many chemicals, these chemicals are less toxic than the byproducts of tobacco. Vaping may be preferred for smokers who are exposed to the many harmful and cancer-causing agents in tobacco. Non-smokers should be wary of the chemicals in vaping products and the addictive qualities of nicotine.
2. Vaping is still harmful for health
Vaping products can expose the user to a number of chemicals, depending on the types of vaping devices and solutions used. The liquids are usually flavoured and can contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. Nicotine is a highly addictive and toxic chemical that has negative effects on health. Heating of the liquid in the device may also produce new chemicals, or cause contaminants from the device to enter the vapour.
As vaping products have been less studied than tobacco, the long-term impacts are not yet understood. Though some evidence suggests that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco, many health concerns still exist.
3. E-cigarettes may help with smoking cessation
Quitting smoking can be difficult, but different resources are available to help. Some smokers may decide to vape as an alternative to smoking tobacco, or as a step towards quitting. Some emerging evidence has shown that e-cigarettes may contribute to successful quits. In these studies, participants who were most successful at quitting combined e-cigarette use with other support services such as counselling. However, the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is still debated. When quitting, smokers should access all available resources to aid in the process.
4. Vaping can be addictive
Vaping products are becoming more popular in North America, especially in the younger demographic. Some surveys show that one in four young people aged 15 to 19 had tried an e-cigarette at least once. However, daily use is more common in adults over 45 years of age.
Vaping products that contain nicotine could lead to addiction and symptoms of dependence. Youth are particularly susceptible to the harmful and addictive qualities of nicotine. Young people are advised against using these products, especially those containing nicotine. Vaping may also promote smoking behaviours, which can lead to subsequent tobacco use.