Vaping or e-cigarettes are being increasingly used nowadays. One justification for its use is to avoid cigarette and tobacco smoke that can damage the lungs. However, Vaping and e-cigarettes are associated with lung diseases (EVALI Lung) and are also rapidly fatal.
Vaping is also associated with other short-term and long-term side effects that may damage the organs and can be addictive as well.
In this modernized world, there are an uncountable amount of habits that people are practicing. Their active participation in such behaviors can lead to so many undesired outcomes which may also harm the environment and society.
The Internet is one of the most significant media to spread facts regarding the dangers of partaking in such practices, however, this same platform is used to promote and market such items as cigarettes and vapes.
False facts and misinformation are used to attract people toward e-cigarettes and by the time a person realizes the hazards of such actions, it is already too late.
Such items are addictive enough to make it hard for anyone to refrain from them once they are used.
Basic Info About E-Cigarettes and Vaping:
E-cigarettes or vapes are devices that operate through the battery and when they are activated by pressing a button they heat up the juice inside it into vapor which the person inhales.
They come in diverse forms and dimensions like vape pens, etc. These vapes possess nicotine to some degree which is addictive in any amount.
E-cigarettes are harmful to people around as secondhand vaping can deliver toxic chemicals too.
Here we have a detailed discussion about the effects of vaping.
Impacts of Vaping in The Long Term
Vaping tends to be addictive as it contains nicotine, however, its addiction can result in serious illnesses which are listed below.
It is important to be aware of these effects in order to take immediate measures to avoid them as soon as possible.
Vaping May Cause Popcorn Lung (EVALI Lung):
EVALI Lung or e-cigarettes and vaping-associated lung injury is a broad term that includes multiple lung-related conditions. One of the common diseases is popcorn lung or bronchiolitis obliterans.
Bronchiolitis Obliterans (BO) also known as the popcorn lung is a condition that is induced as a long-term side effect of vaping.
It is a rather uncommon condition that is characterized by the damaging of small airways in the lungs.
This condition gets its name from how it was discovered when workers from a popcorn factory started getting sick.
The offender, in this case, was a chemical called ‘diacetyl’ used to mimic the buttery flavor in popcorn.
The treatment for popcorn lung is not permanent but it is used to manage certain symptoms.
This same chemical is added to the liquids inside vapes with the purpose of adding flavor. Despite the harmful effects of diacetyl, it is still used in many vapes.
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Inhalation of this chemical can be detrimental enough to damage the small airways (called alveoli) in the lungs permanently causing troubled breathing. This scarring of the alveoli results in the narrowing of the airways.
Diacetyl has been banned in the United Kingdom but it is still legal in the United States. In order to avoid this condition, one must avoid vaping completely.
Symptoms include the following:
- Dyspnea a.k.a shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
Collapsed Lung Due to Vaping:
Pneumothorax or known as a collapsed lung occurs when a hole is formed inside the lungs and due to the pressure built up in the lungs, it fails to inflate.
External trauma like a gunshot or knife wound can cause one’s lungs to collapse. It can also occur due to blisters forming at the top part of your lungs.
Individuals who are tall and thin and have a growth spurt can have weak points in their lungs which may form blisters and remain asymptomatic for years until a blister burst.
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These blisters can burst due to traditional cigarettes and vaping as well. Shortness of breath and troubled breathing are common symptoms of a collapsed lung.
Typically surgery is done to correct any hole formed inside the lungs.
Nicotine May Harm The Brain:
Another significant impact of vaping is that it affects the developing brain. Until adolescence, parts of the brain that are responsible for making decisions are still immature and this is the age when individuals take the most risks which are detrimental to their health.
Youth is especially at risk of suffering from long-lasting consequences of nicotine exposure. Nicotine may also impair your capability to memorize and pay attention. [Ref]
Short Term Impacts OF Vaping
Vaping has some short-term or immediate side effects as well. These side effects are important to treat otherwise they will turn into an unhealthy state in the long run.
It May Cause Lung Injury (EVALI Lung):
One of the short-term effects of vaping includes the damage it does to the lungs due to an added chemical called vitamin E acetate which is not harmful if eaten but can be fatal if inhaled.
The flavors inside vape juices can be harmful when mixed with other ingredients and heated up as it may result in the formation of various harmful products.
More than 2800 cases of EVALI lung have been reported from various states of the USA. These included 68 deaths. New cases of EVALI lung have declined but the CDC is still looking for any association [Ref].
It Can Become Addictive:
Several products used inside a vape can make it addictive. Nicotine is one of the most talked-about chemicals when a smoking product is mentioned.
Although vaping is considered a safer alternative compared to cigarette smoking, it is far from the truth.
It is true that vapes have less harmful substances than conventional cigarettes, however, consistent use of any nicotine-containing product is nothing but detrimental and can be fatal in the long run.
Nicotine has been known to cause brain damage as it is the main product that makes vaping addictive.
Your body becomes used to the impacts of nicotine and refraining from it can result in withdrawal manifestation which can be physical and they will coerce you to use vaping. [Ref]
What It Does To Your Body:
Right after a person inhales the vapor, the nicotine in it causes stimulation of the adrenal gland which then releases adrenaline (epinephrine).
This hormone will activate your body resulting in hypertension (increased blood pressure), increased heartbeat, and elevated respiration rate.
Like other drugs, this will also activate the reward pathways, resulting in feelings of pleasure.
By affecting your brain, it may reduce your ability to concentrate or self-control. Apart from nicotine, other chemicals like diethylene glycol which is linked to lung diseases, and heavy metals like cadmium which causes dyspnea in smokers have been found in vapes as well.
These chemicals can be carcinogenic and lead to several cancers in the body.