A number of health risks are associated with e-cigarettes and vaping. These include EVALI (e-cigarettes or vaping-use associated lung injury), cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and erectile dysfunction.
There was a sudden outbreak of EVALI resulting in hospitalization and deaths of about 2800 patients as of February 2020. Since then more strict monitoring protocols have been followed [Ref].
The number of people choosing to live in an unhealthy environment is through the sky. More and more people are indulging in what seems to be a cool or fun way to live but are no less than a detrimental state of living.
The quality of life these days is going down with every passing moment as people do not choose to pick up healthy habits despite knowing the possible risks of these hazardous lifestyles.
What’s worse is that teenagers are at the highest risk of adopting a lifestyle that will deprive their body of its basic needs at an age where they need to fulfill their nutritional requirements in order to survive the challenges of adulthood.
Such habits can be an influence of their friends or family members but most commonly it is from what they see on the internet as nearly every bad habit is now conveniently advertised on social media and attracts young adults by telling them false facts about it.
One such habit is vaping or e-cigarettes, these e-cigarettes are now quite fashionable as they are somewhat convenient to use and store in comparison to typical cigarettes and people believe that these e-cigarettes are less unhealthy and detrimental but that is untrue.
Here we have a list of vaping-associated health risks:
What is Vaping?
A typical vaping divide is an electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes) that will stimulate tobacco smoking upon inhaling.
It has components like an atomizer, a battery as a power source, a tank as a container. It is a reusable cigarette and activates by taking a puff after pressing a button on it. [Ref]
They have been in fashion since they were first introduced in the market back in 2003. According to research, there are a total of 82 million people who indulge in vaping in 2021. [Ref]
EVALI (e-cigarettes Vaping-associated Lung Injury):
Vaping affects your lungs just like smoking. Although the consequences can be different, they are just as harmful as vaping.
An infection caused by either a viral or bacterial agent that results in the inflammation of the air sacs in your lungs is called pneumonia.
But unlike this typical pneumonia, there is vaping-related lipoid pneumonia that is characterized by the deposition of fatty acids in your lungs, these fatty acids come from inhaling oil-based substances found in e-cigarettes. This will trigger an inflammatory response in your lungs. [Ref]
The earliest symptoms of lipoid-pneumonia (EVALI Symptoms) are:
- Chest pain
- Ongoing cough
- Troubled breathing
- Weight loss
- Blood in cough
It is necessary to stop vaping once diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia.
Vaping Related Brain Damage:
One of the main components of e-cigarettes is nicotine, which people do not realize can be lethal. Nicotine is not healthy or any less dangerous even in small amounts. It can affect the brain in many ways.
According to a study that investigated the short-term and long-term effects of nicotine dependence in adolescence, the effect of nicotine on the prefrontal cortex can impair the person’s ability to execute specific functions.
Greater than 70%of adolescents have reported being smoking and at this tender age, the prefrontal cortex is still under maturation.
Nicotine changes the information processing in the prefrontal cortex by deactivating nicotine receptors, thereby, interfering with cognition and putting the individual at risk for psychiatric disorders. [Ref]
Vaping and Erectile Dysfunction:
According to recent investigations, vapers can increase their risk for erectile dysfunction by two folds.
For many people, vaping serves as a transition from the typical smoking cigarettes and can help with refraining from this habit but it has its side effects which include erectile dysfunction.
Even in this case, nicotine can be the offender as some vapes contain a higher level of nicotine as compared to others.
A study designed to find the link between vaping and erectile dysfunction has also stated that e-cigarettes can cause oxidative stress, leading to the formation of reactive oxygen species which can cause endothelial dysfunction that is involved in the mechanism behind erectile dysfunction. [Ref]
Vaping and The State of Your Heart:
Your heart is not safe from the consequences of vaping either. It stiffens your arteries and puts you at a higher risk for heart issues.
Research has found that even a single vaping episode is capable of stiffening your arteries and impairing the endothelial lining meaning that it will induce endothelial dysfunction that is directly linked to cardiovascular diseases. So, an e-cigarette is not a healthy transition from the typical cigarettes. [Ref]
Vaping provides the body with nicotine which is addictive and detrimental to your heart health. It will increase the blood pressure causing hypertension and increased heart rate predisposing you to a heart attack.
E-cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of a heart attack in comparison to non-smokers by 42%. [Ref]
According to another research by the American College of Cardiology that investigated the relationship between e-cigarettes and coronary artery disease and depression.
People who indulge in e-cigarettes daily were more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease and depression or anxiety compared to non-users. [Ref]
Misconceptions Regarding Vaping:
A major reason why people choose to go for e-cigarettes is because of the innumerable misconceptions.
People believe e-cigarettes to be safe but it is untrue. E-cigarettes can be just as harmful as a typical cigarette.
It contains a mix of various chemicals which can include nicotine that is highly addictive and may induce brain, lung, and heart damage as stated above.
It is not any less harmful than any other tobacco product, the juice inside the vape can cause several health defects.
Short-term effects may include wheezing, coughing, sinusitis, bleeding from the nose, asthma, etc. Long-term effects may include brain damage and psychiatric disorders.
Just like secondhand smoking or passive smoking, a secondhand vapor is not safe at all. The vapor that is emitted can be a mix of substances like nicotine, diacetyl, ultrafine particles, and benzene.
This is not harmful enough to induce lung damage, however, it will be wise to avoid it.