Vapes and e-cigarettes are well known for emitting a large puff of smoke that appeal to younger people. Photo from Public Domain Pictures.
Vaping has become a major part of high school culture and revolutionized the drug use in the outside world. It’s rare to walk down the street without seeing someone smoking an e-cigarette. Vapes such as Juuls, Bo Vapes and e-cigarettes have made smoking and vaping more accessible, especially for younger generations. These devices are small, easy to carry and easy to conceal and the majority of these items can be purchased online.
The prevalence and popularity of vaping can be attributed to the spreading the misconception that vaping and using e-cigarettes is safer and “less harmful” than using and smoking regular cigarettes. About 49% of e-cigarette users say that they vape to “curb” their smoking habits.
Vapes and e-cigarettes use a “vape juice,” a liquid e-cigarettes need to produce smoke. These vape juices come in scents and flavors that would seem appealing to one's senses, but will cause nothing but harm. Vape juices also contain the addictive substance Nicotine, which makes vaping just as bad as smoking regular cigarettes.
The vaping device, Juul, uses something called "pods." These pods contain vape juice in flavors such as mint, mango, strawberry, blueberry custard and plenty of other flavors.
This is what hooks people of many ages onto the new found habit of vaping. Most kids say that they vape because “it’s cool, and it’s not as bad as actually smoking.”
Could they be wrong? One hundred percent.
The National Center For Health Research states that “the key difference between traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes and related products is that the latter don’t contain tobacco. But, it isn’t just the tobacco in cigarettes that causes cancer. Traditional cigarettes contain a long list of chemicals that are proven to be harmful, and e-cigarettes have some of these same chemicals.”
So, yes vaping can be just as bad as smoking a cigarette. It definitely isn’t any better, but some sources say otherwise.
A majority or prior smokers have said that vaping has helped them “quit” their addiction to smoking cigarettes. And a majority of them do not know that it is in fact just as bad of an addiction.
Are there risks that you can take by vaping? Of course.
Since 2009, FDA has pointed out that e-cigarettes contain “detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could be exposed.” For example, in e-cigarette cartridges marketed as “tobacco-free,” the FDA detected a toxic compound found in antifreeze as well as other toxic tobacco specific impurities that have been shown to cause cancer in humans.
Another study looked at 42 of these liquid cartridges and determined that they contained formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer in the human body. Formaldehyde was found in several of the cartridges at levels much higher than the EPA recommends for humans. In 2017, a study published in the Public Library of Science Journal showed that significant levels of benzene, a well-known carcinogen, were found in the vapor produced by several popular brands of e-cigarettes.
What other damage can occur from the effects of vaping?
Along with vaping, and inhaling these toxic chemicals, comes many illnesses and diseases. Aside from the ability to develop cancer in numerous areas from all smoking in general, you can also develop long-lasting inflammation, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease.
A preliminary study presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Chemical Society found that vaping could damage DNA. The study examined the saliva of 5 adults before and after a 15-minute vaping session. The saliva had an increase in potentially dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde and acrolein. Acrolein has been proven to be associated with DNA damage, and DNA damage can eventually cause cancer.
All in all, there are no long-term studies to back up claims that the vapor from e-cigarettes is less harmful than conventional smoking.