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December 2, 2020

How Safe is Your Vape?

Vaping has taken the world by storm, especially among people who have quit smoking or are in the process of quitting. Vaping has been hailed as a healthier, less addictive option than cigarettes, and many people have found relief from their nicotine addiction in the vape juice that contains less of the harmful chemical than most cigarettes. The problem is, however, that some research has started showing the negative side effects that vaping could have on your health. If you didn’t start vaping in order to quit smoking, this habit could be detrimental to your health, so it may be a better option to never start vaping if you can help it. Is your vape really safe, or would be it better to ditch vaping devices just like you ditched smoking?

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The Pull

In addition to helping nicotine addicts overcome their dependency, vape devices boast an extensive number of juice flavors. From fruit flavors to blue-berry pancakes, there is a flavor for any vape-enthusiast. The claim that many vape shops make is that vaping is much healthier for you than smoking. Instead of inhaling dangerous carcinogens along with the smoke, water vapor fills your lungs when you vape. Most people would argue that breathing anything that isn’t air must be harmful to your health, but where is the actual research?

Dangerous but Different

Research on e-cigarettes and vape devices has started to show that while you aren’t breathing in the same toxins, you are still breathing in toxins that are harmful to your health. Vapes contain chromium, which is a toxic element that is not found in traditional cigarettes. It has long been known that inhaling chromium in high amounts can cause respiratory issues, including polyps of the upper respiratory tract. Chromium also has carcinogenic effects.

In addition to this dangerous chemical, vape devices also contain nickel in higher levels than regular tobacco, as well as lead, zinc, and other toxic metals. Overall the use of vapes and e-cigarettes is considered less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, but still dangerous, nonetheless. The presence of chromium and the high levels of nickel raises concerns in particular. Quitting smoking by turning to vape devices or e-cigarettes may be beneficial in the short-term, but eventually it is healthier to quit vaping as well.

Popcorn Lung

Vape devices generate a lot of heat when they are used, especially if they are used for an extended period of time. Any vaper knows this if they have ever accidentally blocked their airflow or had their lips burned by the vapor coming straight out of the device. Touching the tank after vaping can show how hot the device can become, as well. This heat isn’t felt if the vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs and the fingers don’t touch the tank of the device. That doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful, as the heat from the device can result in inflammation in the lungs, which eventually causes scarring. This scarring can ultimately lead to popcorn lung, a life-threatening condition that has no known cure. Popcorn lung can often look like other lung diseases, as it causes breathing problems as your airway is slowly blocked due to the scarring. Vape juice has been proven to contain diacetyl, the chemical that most often causes this life-threatening condition to occur.

Craig Bowen

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