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Is Vaping Dangerous?

Updated on November 14, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Smoke

Source

Recent Illnesses with Vaping

People who put any kind of smoke in their lungs obviously risk some potential problems. So, why are some dying and others doing fine after vaping for 15 years? The recent illnesses of of 2,051 people as of November 5, 2019, and there are 39 confirmed deaths.

Yet people have used vaping to quit smoking and my husband used it to quit smoking about 20 years ago, which worked very well. He never smoked in the house either. Fortunately for me, I never smoked.

Smoking

Smoking kills. There is no debate that regular smoking is bad for your lungs. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated smoking, “is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, each year.”

In addition, Americans that are ill due to cigarettes are less in number today than in 1965. More than 40% of the people in 1965 smoked, only 18% of the people smoke as of 2012. Our government has waged a long war against smoking, and now that see some success. There is a ban on broadcast advertising, the taxes have risen on cigarettes and the anti-smoking campaign has helped promote a non-smoking lifestyle.

There are several alternatives to cigarettes today. We have patches, lollipops, prescription drugs, lozenges and e-cigarettes to help someone quit smoking.

E-cigarettes were originally patented in the 1960’s but they did not really become popular in Europe until 2006, then in America next year.

Is Vaping Safe?

What is Available Today?

Vaping consists of a battery, a cartridge and an LED light, which is similar to a how a cigarette looks. The liquid in the e-cigarette when lit produces an aerosol mist or vapor. The smoker inhales or vapes, which produces an aerosol mist or vapor that is inhaled. The ingredients may include some chemicals to help vaporize the nicotine,

In addition, there are various additives and flavorings. The additive may include propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. At this time e-cigs in the U.S. are unregulated.

In the U.S., some cities have restricted the use of e-cigs, including Boston, Chicago. New York and Los Angeles. The states of Utah, North Dakota and New Jersey have prohibited smoking in any area where smoking is already prohibited.

Vape Cartridges

Source

Is Vaping Harmful?

First, nicotine is a drug that is powerful, so it is harmful. Whether you smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes with nicotine it increases your risk of heart and lung disease.

The levels of formaldehyde and metals that are found in e-cigarettes is higher than what is found in conventional cigarettes. There are silicate particles in cigarettes that do cause lung disease, and they have been found in e-cigarettes vapors also.

The Important Facts re: E-Cigarettes or Vaping

  1. “Electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes — are also called vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.

  2. Using an e-cigarette product is commonly called vaping.

  3. E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.

  4. The liquid can contain: nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives. THC is the psychoactive mind-altering compound of marijuana that produces the “high”

The CDC reports that approximately 69% of ill patients are male, and nearly 2/3rd of them are between 18-21 years of age. Approximately, 16% are under 18 years of age.

Vaping

Source

What Do We Not Know About Vaping?

In the latest investigation of patients with lung injuries from vaping, the CDC states that vaping using THC seems to play a role in the outbreak of lung disease and death.

Approximately:

  1. 77% of people report using THC-containing products

  2. 36% using THC exclusively

  3. 57% of the people used nicotine-containing products

  4. 16% them using nicotine exclusively.

This makes it very difficult to conclude what exactly caused illness and death in vaping.

Therefore, they do not know the specific chemical exposure that caused the lung injuries. There is no single substance or product that anyone can name at this time. We need to know what e-cigarette, vaping product or what chemical caused this problem.

The CDC has recommended that everyone consider refraining from e-cigarettes or vaping products, particularly with THC until we know more. However, if you are an adult using a vaping product to quit smoking the CDC states that you should not go back to smoking. If you have any symptoms after using an e-cigarette or a vaping product, be sure to see your doctor. Never buy any product off the street as you do not know what

Vaping Unknowns - Mayo Clinic

What is the FDA Doing?

The FDA announced several days ago that the Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) is planning to open a criminal probe into the supply chains for vaping products. They want to look into any rogue actors that may have introduced any harmful substance into a vaping product. They are also interested in anyone that is buying their product off the street with THC.

They are not trying to pursue any individual that has personally used a controlled substance, but they are looking at the suppliers. Since the vaping industry is largely unregulated, they are concerned about the hundreds of chemicals that may be found in the vape liquids.

In Conclusion

At this time no one knows what has caused the lung illnesses and deaths associated with vaping. Apparently, there are different types of chemicals used in vaping products and we do not know if people are buying products off the street. There seems to be more questions than answers at this time.

If you are a person who is weaning off cigarettes, I would suggest that you continue vaping rather than return to smoking. However, I am not a doctor and I would suggest you discuss the problem with your physician. Until we know more, it is probably wise to refrain from smoking e-cigarettes or vaping.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Matt, This is a hot topice and I am not sure why there have been deaths from vaping unless they are buying off the street. My husband quit smoking by using vaping many years ago and he thought it was much easier. I appreciate your comments.

  • Iammattdoran profile image

    Matt Doran 

    5 weeks ago from Manchester, UK

    Very much a hot topic at the moment and the jury seems to be still out. Many people I know have switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping and actually some people have told me that after switching to vaping the actually found it easier to give up altogether which they said would have been much harder to do had they not switched to vapes.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria, Thank you so much for commenting. Blessings to you. Much love.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pam,

    I agree with you that there are more questions than answers on vaping at this time.

    Thank you for raising our awareness on this issue. Love, Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa, I am glad you never smoked, which is great for your health. I guess vaping briefly to stop smoking, but it should be short-lived. I think most of the people who have died were using THC bought from the street. I think anything you put in your lungs cannot be a good thing. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    2 months ago from Ohio

    The news surrounding vaping is definitely scary! Most people think it's a safer form of smoking, and while there are benefits, the rise in popularity among teenagers is frightening. There was a news story on this morning about this very topic and the lawsuits. The journalist said something similar to what you did about THC and chemicals in the cartridge. As someone who never could catch on to smoking cigarettes, I didn't know much about the whole thing. Thank you for sharing this information!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms. Dora, It is a good thing that this is unfamiliar territory for you. I appreciate your comments.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    2 months ago from The Caribbean

    This is a completely unfamiliar area to me. Thanks for discussing the issue and making me aware. Happy for those who could quit smoking without the vaping.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Robert, that is the plan.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    2 months ago

    You're welcome, Keep up the good work on medical issues.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Robert, I agree. I heard about another person dying and THC was what they were vaping. Thanka for your comment.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    2 months ago

    Hopefully the CDC will come out with a difinitive statement one way or the other.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Robert, Yes, the authorities think marijuana (THC) is probably related to the deaths and hospitalizations. I think at least some of the products were bought off the streets. I appreciate your comments.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    2 months ago

    Did you see any information about people using vaping products as marijuana paraphernalia?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Shauna, I think there is a lot of unknown information about vaping. I was surprised about that early date also and it started in Europe first. I appreciate your very nice comments.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    2 months ago from Central Florida

    Pamela, I had no idea vaping dates back to the sixties. I've never seen anyone with an e-cig until a couple of years ago.

    I'll admit, I smoke cigarettes and have for decades. However, as one article I read not too long ago stated, human lungs are not fashioned to inhale liquids. Given that realization, It may not be the additives in the vapor, it very well may be the vapor itself that is making people ill. (My words, not the article's).

    Very well presented article. Thank you for bringing awareness to this hot topic.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Doris. I am concerned for the young, especially teen males. The biggest percentage of deaths were teenage boys. I think smokers who wean off of cigarettes vaping may be helping themselves is they get off of the vaping farily quickly. There is so much we don't know, and I don't want to see anyone throw their life away. I appreciate your comments, Doris I hope you have a good week.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish, I agree that parents should have a serious talk with their kids. The risks are real and we don't have all the answers yet. Thanks for your comments. Have a great week!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    2 months ago from USA

    This is good health information to consider for people who vape or for those who have friends or family members who do. I would encourage parents to talk to theiir kids about vaping just as they do about cigarettes. It’s an important health issue.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    2 months ago from Beautiful South

    This is a very timely article, Pamela. I fear for the people who vape, especially the young. They may be throwing their lives away for what? I think it started as a fad, but I only talked to one person about it. Maybe some are sincerely using vaping for smoking cessation. Maybe if they are harmed, they are destined to die anyway, but I certainly wouldn't want to chance it.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Nell Rose, I am glad you quit. There are still so many unanswered questions. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I do not think the second hand smoke is worse, but it may be as bad. Since so many of these very sick people are young males I kind of doubt they are smoking in front of their parents, but they may smoke front in front of girlfriends or just a group of friends. I hope we have more answers soon. I appreciate you relevant comments.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela thank you for taking the time to explain this health issue that is so very much in the news. I do hope that some answers are found soon as to why this is making so many people ill. One thing that hasn't even been asked (yet) is the effect of 2nd-hand vape. Is it as bad, or maybe even worse than 2nd-hand smoke?

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    2 months ago from England

    I gave up about 6 years ago after my friend died because of smoking. I never tried anything else as I thought it was just as bad. I never trusted those vapes and now it seems that they are just as bad. Great info Peggy.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Your article is informative and useful, Pamela. It's important that vaping is studied in more detail and in the near future. We need to understand its effects and how to protect people in cases where this is necessary.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy, I never wanted to smoke either. I wish they hadn't made all those flavors that have attracted young people. I think it is very possible they ones that died bough the product off the streets also. I hope these young people will think twice about vaping now that people have died. I appreciate your comments, Peggy.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Yves, I did not state your view in my article, but I agree with you. Many people have quit smoking by vaping or e-cigarettes, then they quit them. I think the ones that are hospitalized or that died probably had some drug, THC was mentioned in my research.

    I wish youg people had not been marketed as they do not always make the best choices as teens. Maybe some research will provide some answers. I hope young people are paying attention to the young people, particularly boys, have died. Thank you so much for expressing your views.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    2 months ago from Houston, Texas

    There has been so much news of late regarding vaping since people are now dying of it. Apparently much is purchased from people selling it on the streets. It is like playing Russian roulette when using those from the streets. Many harmful, lung-damaging ingredients have been found to be in them according to recent lab tests which were reported in the national news. I am so glad that I was never tempted to smoke.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby, I am so glad you quit smoking. I know what a struggle that was for some of my family members. My husband did use vaping, but he did quit smoking. He did not vape for very long. I think vaping may help some like my husband, but a support group is a healthier choice. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and for commenting.

  • savvydating profile image

    Yves 

    2 months ago

    Hi Pamela......Luckily I've never had the desire to smoke or vape. However, I have heard that 8 million people have quit smoking because they decided to try e-cigarettes/vaping as an alternative to smoking. I have heard as well that it is the tar in cigarettes that is harmful, as opposed to or much more so than nicotine.

    Given that most of the deaths are young people, my guess is that they are buying the product off the street. Why? Because they're laced with drugs. But drugs do not mix well with other components of the e-cigarettes and are thus causing deaths.

    So now Juul will go out of business and the black market will thrive. Meanwhile, older folks will go back to smoking cigarettes. Typical government logic. That being said, the manufacturer(s) should never have marketed to teenagers. Big mistake!

    My two cents.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    2 months ago from Southern Illinois

    Pam, I can remember so well the day I quit smoking, The year was 2004 and it was the most difficult addiction. I wanted to smoke so badly. I joined a site, ( about.com ) They helped me every step of way, I'm sure I would have vaped if it was available. Smoking kills many people, but the tobacco company is so powerful and they give large sums politically. I am thankful that I don't have any ailments from smoking. I wish every young person could read your article..

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Dale, I know people that vape who have had no problems. We need to know why some are sick and I wonder if they bought some THC off the street, There are unanswered questions.

    My husband used vaping to quit smoking and he was able to wean off the vaping also. I know that it is not easy, and I wish you the best of luck to have healthy lungs. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, I agree with you completely. The government needs to establish oversight and to see why people are dying. Thank you for your comments.

  • Inspired to write profile image

    Dale J Ovenstone 

    2 months ago from Wales UK

    Hi Pamela. Your article was very informative, thanks for sharing.

    I never realised there were levels of formaldehyde and metals in some vape juice, which is quite frightening for a vaper like me.

    I have been smoking for over 45 years, and tried all other products to quit.

    My e-cig, I have persisted with, instead of using tobacco, and now after many months, I do not require tobacco.

    I really needed to break the habit, as I was feeling the shortness of breath in my lungs, and furthermore, I had a constant burning in my throat, that I knew deep down would cause me dire circumstances.

    Now, my throat seems fine, and am great with my breathing, and taste of food is much better, so I deem vaping has been a positive (but not as good as giving it all up) for me to steer clear of tobacco

    Great article

    Have a great day

    Dale, rainy South Wales

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    2 months ago from Olympia, WA

    Vaping seemed to explode on the scene without very much governmental oversight. It's good to see that it is finally under the microscope of scrutiny by the Health Organizations. Your fine article sheds important light on this health topic.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Vivian, I was glad to read the statistics about how many less smokers there are now. I was a non-smoker also, but we have heard so much on the news about those in the hospital or those that died after vaping I wanted to know more. I appreciate your comments.

  • Noelle7 profile image

    Vivian Coblentz 

    2 months ago

    I've been hearing a lot about vaping issues in the news, so I'm glad you shed some light on this subject for those of us who are non-smokers.

    I was amazed by your statistics concerning how much less people are smoking today compared to 1965! I knew there was a campaign to discourage smoking since it is so harmful, but I wasn't aware of its success rate. That is good news!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi John, Vaping problems have been in the news so much lately it seemed like a good topic for my article. I am glad you found the article informative. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lora, The fact that people may not know what ingredients are included in their vaping choice or in the e-cigarettes is the worst part. Thank you so much Lori for your very generous comments.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    2 months ago

    This is an excellent and very detailed article on what e-cigarettes are and what vaping is which before I read this article, I must admit, I was quite ignorant on this subject. However, I have read and seen on the news in the last three weeks that many people have had to go to the hospital for serious illness as a result of vaping and a significant number have died. As the videos in your article recommend not vaping any more as there are so many questions that are unanswered on what may be causing this that it is just better to stop, and as you say Pamela, if you are trying to quit smoking, you should ask your physician before you continue to use e-cigarettes! Very informative and enlightening article, Pamela, on the potential dangers of vaping and the need to seek medical advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    2 months ago from Queensland Australia

    Pamela, this was very informative and interesting. I have never been a smoker, and my wife gave up around ten years ago. I had heard vaping mentioned a lot recently but never really understood what it was, so thanks for making me aware.

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