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The Dangers of Vaping

By Paul Rothbart

Despite its health hazards, a large segment of the population still smokes. It's a hard habit to break, but that doesn't make it any safer. Enter the e-cigarette. A way to smoke without the danger. What a great idea. Smokers can indulge without the health hazards. Not so fast. While not quite as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, vaping still carries a number of health risks and is a dangerous habit. Here are some of the ways that vaping harms your health.

Dangerous Chemicals

Because e-cigarettes are as yet unregulated, data on their hazards is still being collected. Some scary facts have been discovered. The FDA, in analyzing two popular brands of e-cigarettes, found a number of carcinogenic chemicals including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. Researchers in Greece found that vaping caused breathing difficulties in those who indulged. A French study also discovered carcinogens in e-cigarettes. Warnings about the dangers of vaping have been issued by the World Health Organization, the Surgeon General, and the British Medical Association.

Nicotine

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is what smokers crave. Vaping provides a way to get nicotine without smoke. But nicotine itself is dangerous. It is more addictive than alcohol, cocaine, or even heroin. There are brands of e-cigarettes that contain twice the nicotine of most regular cigarettes. In addition to being highly addictive, nicotine has a negative effect on the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that controls decision making, judgement, and attention. Nicotine can cause mood disorders and adversely affect impulse control. Another danger of nicotine is how it can impact heart health. It can narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure and heart rate. These conditions can bring about a heart attack. 

Lung Injury

Vaping damages the lungs; 530 cases of lung injury, including seven deaths, had been attributed to the use of e-cigarettes as of September 2019. Vape pens contain oils that heat up to produce smoke. This causes a build up of oils and white blood cells in the lungs, that is quite damaging. Vaping can cause the condition known as popcorn lung, where the small airways in the lungs become damaged causing shortness of breath.

Developing a safe alternative to smoking is a good idea, but vaping is not it. E-cigarettes are just as addictive and pose several serious health threats. They may not produce second hand smoke, but e-cigarettes are very dangerous to the user. The safest option by far is to quit smoking altogether.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sugar Hill, Ga.

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