Dangers of Vaping

The Dangers of Vaping

For decades, there has been an ongoing fight against smoking. More so than ever before, smoking is becoming less and less the social norm. Many smokers are now vaping to keep their cravings at bay. Vaping is the practice of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or other vapor producing device. Young adults, in particular, are aggressively picking up vaping as a nationwide trend. The liquid which provides this vapor may contain nicotine, as well as other chemicals, some of which aren’t fully understood by scientists. Makers of e-cigarettes market their products as a safer alternative to smoking. However, with 150 young adults hospitalized for vape-related lung conditions this year, doctors in the United States are beginning to question that claim.

Why Vaping is a Concern 

Because the vaping trend is relatively new, it is challenging to understand the long term effects it can have on the body. However, that isn’t to say the doctors are totally in the dark. There are some things about vaping that they do know.
  • Chemicals. Some ‘flavor-enhancing’ additives are in vaping liquid. While some are chemicals that need more research, others have been deemed unsafe by the general public. Manufacturers don't list these chemicals on packages. They are known to cause throat irritation. They also increase the risk of a heart attack. The use of e-cigarettes commonly produces formaldehyde, for example. Formaldehyde happens to be a strong preservative used as an embalming fluid for dead bodies. Nausea, asthma, lung disease, and even cancer are common conditions caused by using formaldehyde. Acrolein is another chemical produced by these devices. Acrolein is fatal when swallowed and was used to make chemical weapons during World War I. It causes choking and throat irritation, and maybe even cancer. Both vapor and cigarette smoke contain arsenic, which is more famously known to be used to make rat poison.
  • Explosions. There was a fatality reported this year in Fort Worth, Texas that was directly caused by a vaping device that exploded during use. The e-cigarette exploded in the user’s face, and the fragments from the device pierced his carotid artery, causing him to bleed to death. One man in 2015 suffered severe injuries caused by e-cigarettes including burns on his hands, a hole in his tongue, and some of his teeth were even knocked out. In the past ten years, there have been almost two hundred reports of exploding e-cigarettes or of fires that they have caused. There are several reasons for a potential e-cigarette explosion. When left to charge for too long, the device can become dangerously overheated, which increases the potential for an explosion. The batteries themselves are also susceptible to a blast. Some reports have concluded that they can short out and explode after coming into contact with other metal pieces.
  • Second Hand Vape. There is little research on the effects of vaping. Therefore it is difficult to pass laws which mandate that those who vape do so in an isolated area. Therefore many e-cigarette users feel as though they are allowed to vape in public places such as restaurants and bars. Business owners have every right to prohibit the use of these devices within their establishments. There is a growing concern that those that do not vape may be subjected to dangerous chemicals via second hand vaping. Exposure to second-hand vapor is especially alarming because some of the most harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes are most prevalent in the exhaled vapor.

Vaping Vs. Smoking

Many people use vaping as a way to quit smoking. Ironically, these people may not realize that the two have much in common. For starters, they both contain unregulated amounts of addictive nicotine. They also both contain toxic chemicals that can cause lung disease. The vapor emitted by e-cigarette also contains toxic metals such as aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc. They are the same toxins found in cigarette smoke.

Much is Yet to Learn About Vaping

Vaping is a classic case of history repeating itself. Until the early 1950s, doctors would regularly endorse smoking to the public. In 1887, the US Surgeon General recommended the use of cocaine to treat depression. It is when the use of a substance is finally linked to a disease that people take action. The biggest health issue with vaping is that there hasn’t been enough research done to confirm the long term side effects of using e-cigarettes. We do know that vaping is directly associated with lung-related medical emergencies strengthens the claim that e-cigarettes are not the ‘safer’ alternative after all.

The Emergency Center is here for you if you have breathing or respiratory problems. Do not hesitate to come to The Emergency Center.  The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. Visit one of The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour locations in ArlingtonFort Worth, and San Antonio.