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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

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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

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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

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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

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