Over the past number of years, the popularity of e-cigarettes, vapes, and other various tobacco alternatives has substantially grown; with the propagated goal of assisting individuals to quit smoking. But is vaping bad for you? Research on this topic has yielded inconsistent results, and while these products contain fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes, they may not be the smoking cessation alternative you need. With over 460 brands on the market, vapes and e-cigarettes are now considered trendy rather than a temporary solution to nicotine addiction. Although e-cigarettes have some promising benefits, there are several things you should know about them before you start.
What Are E-Cigarettes?
An e-cigarette is similar yet so different from a regular cigarette. It is a mechanical contraption that allows you to inhale nicotine in the form of vapors instead of smoke. Unlike cigarettes, vapes do not burn tobacco and produce carbon monoxide and tar, two of the most harmful substances in regular cigarettes. Their working mechanism follows the heating of a nicotine-containing liquid and the production of vapors that can be inhaled. The liquid also contains glycerin and artificial flavorings.
Types Of E-Cigarettes
There are a variety of models and types of e-cigarettes available on the market today, and you can choose a model depending on your preference:
- Vape pens, which are stylish, slim, and trendy, are shaped like pens or small tubes. These work with replaceable batteries and coils and can therefore be used for a long time.
- Mods are the largest e-cigarette devices available and come in various shapes and sizes. They have a large e-liquid tank that is also refillable. Their batteries last longer and can be recharged faster.
- Cigalikes look similar to regular cigarettes and come in two options, disposable or reusable. These are comparatively less expensive.
- Pod vapes are small, compact e-cigarette devices, often shaped like USB devices. They have small e-liquid capsules in place of a tank.
How To Choose The Right E-Cigarette
When selecting an e-cigarette device to quit smoking, you will need to consider your goals and objectives. For instance, a rechargeable vape device will have a better chance of helping you quit smoking because it delivers just the right amount of nicotine to satisfy your cravings but is not addictive, unlike a disposable e-cigarette. Here are some other factors you can consider:
- If you’re a heavy smoker, you should opt for a vape pen, or mod-type vape to satisfy your cravings.
- If you’re a light smoker, it’s better to use a cigalike, or vape pen.
- You also need to consider the strength and concentration of the e-liquid present in the vape. The composition of the different chemicals present in the liquid is also important.
Can E-Cigarettes Help Quit Smoking?
As compared to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapes are less harmful to your body. This is because they do not burn tobacco leaves like regular cigarettes do, and instead release an aerosol containing nicotine. There are conflicting studies and reviews about whether or not the use of e-cigarettes is effective in helping to quit smoking.
- Promising Results
A 2019 study concluded that 19% of participants who were using e-cigarettes to quit smoking were successful in doing so after a year, whereas those using nicotine replacement therapy only came down to a 9% success rate. However, the same study concluded that about 80% of the e-cigarette smokers were still vaping a year later, whereas those who opted for replacement therapy were not.
- Contains Fewer Chemicals
Although vapes and e-cigarettes are appealing in the sense that they contain fewer chemicals that are harmful to people, there are still a number of health concerns that come with their use. E-cigarettes do help reduce harm, which is certainly a better option than continuing to inhale extremely harmful substances that damage your lungs. However, e-cigarettes also contain some harmful chemicals and heavy metals, which may lead you to wonder “is vaping bad for you?” well, you need to know that these chemicals are dangerous not only to the smoker but also to any bystanders exposed to secondhand smoke. However, many researchers argue that replacing cigarettes with alternative sources like vapes could potentially save millions of lives.
- More Addictive Than Conventional Cigarettes
In another study, it was found that e-cigarette smokers and dual smokers were more dependent on nicotine intake as compared to regular cigarette smokers. This was mainly because of the convenience of using an e-cigarette. Plus, the different flavoring of e-cigarettes only makes them more appealing and addictive, especially to teenagers.
Health Risks Of E-Cigarettes
Compared to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have been on the market for a short amount of time. As a result, there are few long-term case studies to assess their long-term impacts on human bodies. Here are some of the known health risks that come with smoking e-cigarettes.
- Contain Nicotine
Nicotine is the primary substance that makes cigarettes so addictive. While many e-cigarette brands may claim to be nicotine-free, research has found otherwise. Nicotine itself can cause or accelerate some medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, blockage of artery walls, etc.
- Other Harmful Substances
E-cigarettes and vapes contain heavy metals, artificial flavoring that leads to lung diseases, small particles that can be inhaled deep into your lungs, and other harmful chemicals that make them extremely dangerous to your health. Even being near someone smoking a vape can be quite harmful to your lungs.
- Harmful For Youth And Pregnant Women
The presence of nicotine in vapes can also hinder the brain development of teenagers and young adults. It is also very harmful to developing babies and should be kept away from pregnant women. A developing baby’s brain can be damaged even if the mother is just standing near an e-cigarette smoker.
There are numerous factors you’ll need to consider when turning towards e-cigarettes and vaping to get rid of your smoking habits. There are both pros and cons to consider. Although these vary with a person’s priorities, and e-cigarettes do have promising results, you should always consider the long-term effects.
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