It is common knowledge that smoking can be terrible for your body. Not only are cigarettes highly addictive but they are destructive as well. Smoking in general has the potential to affect almost every organ in a person’s body, including the heart. Every year hundreds of thousands of smokers die due to the effects of this habit. Over the years, new alternative methods of smoking have emerged, one of these is vaping. But is vaping better than smoking?
While tobacco is very negative there are other alternatives people might seek or perhaps people may break the habit completely. Although many people may see it as a better alternative to straight-up smoking, is vaping actually better for you than cigarettes? And can e-cigarettes like vapes halt your smoking habits once and for all? Let’s take a look at the truth about vaping and its downside.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor that comes from electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes) or another vaping device. E-cigarettes are typically battery-powered devices and usually run off cartridges. These cartridges are usually filled with a liquid (which has nicotine, chemicals, and certain flavors). Vaping has amassed a large amount of popularity over recent years. While it may be safer than smoking cigarettes they still have some negative effects on the body.
Vaping: The Possible Health Complications
The way e-cigarettes work is by heating nicotine, flavors, and other chemicals that you then inhale. Cigarettes, on the other hand, have upwards of 7,000 chemicals, most of these are toxic and destructive to the body over time. While we are uncertain about the exact chemical components of e-cigarettes, there is no doubt that they are safer and less toxic than regular cigarettes.
However, vaping is not without its own issues and dangers. Over the years, there has been a big surge in lung injuries and deaths related to vaping. At the beginning of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 60 deaths in people with e-cigarette/vaping use associated lung injuries (EVALI). However, it is worth noting that the CDC mentioned that many of these were associated with ‘modified vaping devices or black-market modified e-liquids’. Not only this but the injuries were associated with vaping products that had tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in them.
The CDC also found that vitamin E acetate was a problem among people with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is usually used in THC vaping products and works as a sort of thickening agent. This particular element was found in the fluid sample of all people with vape related lung injuries (as examined by the CDC). You should never modify or vape liquids you aren’t sure of, especially if it comes from an unknown or black market.
It is recommended by the CDC that people:
- Avoid using e-cigarettes or vapes that have THC in them
- Avoid getting a vaping device from informal sources (friends, family, online dealers, etc.)
- Don’t modify, tamper, or add substances to a vaping device under any circumstance (especially those not intended by the manufacturer)
Vaping and Nicotine’s Effects on Your Heart and Lungs
Unfortunately, nicotine is found in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes alike. Nicotine is highly addictive and can completely impact a person’s behavior towards it. Over time, nicotine can cause a person to have cravings to smoke while suffering from withdrawal symptoms when they ignore the urge to smoke. Not only is it addictive but it also has negative effects on the body. Nicotine can raise a person’s heart rate and increases the chances of a heart attack.
With this in mind, is vaping better than smoking? While it is safer, there are many things we don’t know about vaping. The chemicals that are used in the vapor are still unclear. It’s also not clear to what extent its effects on the body are in the long-run. There is data to suggest a correlation between chronic lung disease and asthma with e-cigarettes and smoking. It is unknown what is in the chemical makeup of e-cigarettes but research suggests it’s not entirely safe.
Vaping Can Be Just as Addicting as Using Regular Cigarettes
Nicotine is present in both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes alike. Nicotine’s level of addictiveness can be compared to the likes of other drugs like cocaine or heroin. In some cases, a person may be consuming more nicotine from vaping than regular cigarettes. This is due to the fact that a person can buy extra-strength cartridges.
These cartridges typically have a larger concentration of nicotine and they can also increase the e-cigarettes voltage (which allows for a bigger and more intense ‘hit’). No matter what form nicotine comes in, it is highly addictive and continues to be a problem for thousands of people. While vaping and e-cigarettes may not hold the same number of effects as smoking regular cigarettes, they still have nicotine in them.
E-cigarettes Are Not the Best Way to Stop Smoking
While many see e-cigarettes and vaping as a way to quit their smoking habits, this has not been officially approved. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation device. Some people may have the intention of quitting their smoking habits but this doesn’t always happen with e-cigarettes in the mix. In fact, studies have found that some people initially use e-cigarettes to stop their smoking habits but eventually end up using both e-cigarettes and regular ones.
How a Generation May be Getting Hooked to Nicotine
Among the younger generation, e-cigarettes have become much more popular than regular tobacco products. A U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarettes usage among high school students increased by a staggering 900%. 40% of these students had never smoked traditional cigarettes before either.
There are a number of reasons why the younger generation may be more inclined to vape or try e-cigarettes. One of the main reasons is the belief that vaping is not nearly as harmful as regular tobacco products. Another reason is that vaping is much cheaper than buying cigarettes (cheaper per-use cost). Lastly, one of the appealing factors of e-cigarettes is the different flavors available. Apple, cotton candy, and watermelon are just some of the available flavors out there (which is a draw for younger generations).
Another draw is the lack of smoke along with the potent smell of tobacco. Both the older and younger generation agree that the lack of smoke in e-cigarettes makes vaping much more appealing. With all the appeals of vaping, there are plenty of negative effects to keep in mind for the future.
The Truth About Vaping
As we’ve seen, the truth about vaping is that it is a better alternative to smoking and is not nearly as dangerous in the long-run. However, there are still certain side effects to vaping on a regular basis. Additionally, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is the same addictive chemical found in tobacco products. The lungs and heart can also be affected after long-term use (along with other health complications that can arise depending on the case).
How to Quit Smoking
If you or a loved one is addicted to smoking and can’t break the habit it may be time to get some help. There are many programs that can help a person stop their smoking habits. Consult with your doctor about the next step to take in the process. Smoking, particularly tobacco products, may relieve stress in the short term but with it comes several negative effects on the body.
At the end of the day it’s more than just the question: is vaping better than smoking? It’s something much more. Smoking in any form can be bad for you and it’s important to act instead of doing nothing. Some healthy things you can try at home include the following:
- Watch a movie
- Drink plenty of water
- Chew gum or hard candy
- Exercise frequently (cardio and muscular)
- Go for a walk down the street or to the park
- Practice relaxation techniques and deep breathing
While many of these tips may seem mundane, it can take a simple substitute to break the habit. This will not happen overnight of course. It’s up to you to stick to a routine and not give up. At the end of the day, it’s about changing your behavior. If things get tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Coastal Detox is Here to Help
The truth about vaping and about all types of drugs is that sometimes professional help is needed to stop a dangerous habit. Taking a step back, if you or a loved one is struggling with more severe addictions like drugs or alcohol, Coastal Detox is here to help. Let us help you towards a brighter future. Contact us today for more information on addiction treatment or if you have any questions for our wonderful staff. We look forward to helping you on the road to recovery from drug or alcohol use disorders.