Many people have started to use vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Some believe vaping is healthier and have even used vaping devices as a tool to help ease the transition of quitting smoking. However, studies have shown that vaping may still increase your overall risk for cancer.
What is Vaping?
Vaping devices, also known as electronic cigarettes and e-pens are battery powered devices that are used to inhale aerosols, which often contain nicotine. Vape pens do not emit tar, but can still expose your body to a plethora of harmful toxins. The aerosol is created through a chemical filled e-liquid which can be flavored like tobacco, minty, or fruity. These devices originated in the mid-2000s and have become increasingly popular, especially among teens.
What types of chemicals can be found in E-liquids?
- Flavoring Chemicals: There are more than 7,000 vaping flavors on the market. Flavors such as cinnamon and strawberry have been linked to being most toxic to your lungs and white blood cells.
- Nicotine: An addictive ingredient found in traditional cigarettes and some vaping liquids.
- Formaldehyde: E-liquids tend to contain propylene glycol, which releases formaldehyde gas, a substance linked to cancer.
Vaping has been perceived and marketed as the healthier alternative to cigarettes, but that may not be fully accurate. The chemicals and toxins found in vape pens have been linked in Lung and Oral cancers along with throat irritation and damage to the nervous system. Statistics show the majority of vape users are under 35 while many lung cancers are found in individuals 65+. This means it might take years before we actually know the long-term effects. Additionally, there can also be an increased risk to those individuals who have never smoked cigarettes but have vaped.
Individuals should exercise caution when considering vaping, and it is not advised for pregnant women, asthmatic individuals, or adolescents. Vaping pens and E-cigarettes are not an FDA approved smoking cessation aid. Vaping products are still a relatively new concept and there currently isn’t enough evidence to confirm whether it is truly a healthier alternative.