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Is Vaping Bad for You? Exploring the Myths and Facts

09 May 2024
Is Vaping Bad for You? Exploring the Myths and Facts - Power Vape Shop

Is vaping bad for you? Yes, like anything else, vaping also has its negatives when consumed excessively or inappropriately. However, compared to traditional smoking, it is less harmful, but not completely harmless. Vaping is gaining great popularity nowadays due to its easy availability and its role as a potentially better alternative to traditional smoking. As its acceptance increases, healthcare professionals and government bodies are executing more research to determine whether it is a 100% safer alternative. 

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, vaping is a less harmful and effective alternative to help quit smoking. There are numerous concerns and misconceptions about its safety, especially when promoted as a safer alternative to quitting traditional smoking. This blog aims to analyse these concerns by comparing the health concerns of vaping and smoking and to provide insights into the various effects of vaping.

What is Vaping? The Basics of Vaping

Vaping is the process of inhaling the vapours generated by vaping devices, commonly referred to as e cigarettes, vape kits, or pens. It involves heating an e liquid or vape juice contained in a specific part of the vaping device known as vape pods, turning it into an aerosol or vapour for inhalation. Unlike traditional cigarettes that burn tobacco, e cigarettes are battery operated devices that deliver nicotine without combustion, potentially reducing exposure to harmful tar and other carcinogens.

 The e liquid contained in a vaping device typically includes flavours, nicotine, and other chemicals. One of the greatest advantages of vaping is the ability to customise nicotine strengths according to an individual's preferences and needs, even offering options for zero nicotine. Smokers who are looking to quit smoking may switch to vaping and gradually reduce their nicotine strength from high to zero, ultimately eliminating nicotine consumption.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Lungs?

The concept of vaping is relatively new, so its long-term impacts on the lungs are still unknown, even to healthcare providers. According to the NHS, vaping is comparatively safer than traditional smoking, although it has not been validated as a 100% safer alternative. Compared to traditional smoking, vaping causes far fewer respiratory issues because it does not involve the burning of tobacco leaves, a major cause of lung damage from cigarettes.

Asthma affects over 5.4 million people in the UK, as per the 2021 statistics survey. Vaping can worsen asthma symptoms and, in the long run, may even lead to lung failure.

Can vaping cause lung cancer? It is one of the most frequently asked questions! It took decades to confirm that cigarettes can cause cancer, so determining whether vaping has similar long-term effects will require more research. However, as of now, vaping has not been proven to cause lung cancer or any other form of cancer.

Vape liquids containing excessive amounts of diacetyl can cause a lung disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), commonly referred to as popcorn lung. Additionally, some vaping liquids contain substances that could potentially harm the lungs over long-term use, necessitating further research. Therefore, it is crucial to choose your e-liquids wisely to avoid harming your lungs. If you intend to quit smoking, responsible vaping is still the best and safest alternative.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Heart?

Nicotine, found in both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is harmful to cardiovascular health. Regular vaping with high nicotine strength can raise a person's blood pressure, thereby increasing adrenaline, which in turn spikes heart rate and increases the risk of a heart attack. This is where the option to customise nicotine strength in vaping devices comes into play. Unlike regular cigarettes, you are not forced to consume whatever nicotine level is available; vaping allows you to choose your nicotine strength, from 0mg to 18mg, based on your needs.

Research shows that nicotine is an unhealthy, highly addictive substance, regardless of the form it comes in. However, because e cigarettes contain fewer of the harmful chemicals found in regular cigarettes, they may pose a lower risk to heart health. Still, since nicotine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and blood pressure, it is crucial to choose your nicotine strength wisely!

Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?

Excessive regular vaping can harm your dental health, even though it is considered a safer alternative to traditional smoking. Unlike cigarette smoking, which contains tobacco that can quickly stain teeth, vaping does not cause hard stains as rapidly. However, the nicotine in e-cigarettes can still cause discolouration of your teeth, turning them yellow over time due to the same colour of the nicotine in electronic vapes.

Similar to smoking, vaping can also lead to dry mouth when used regularly without proper dental hygiene routines. A dry mouth can subsequently result in bad breath. Overall, vaping is safe when consumed appropriately and in moderation. 

People who vape and maintain good oral hygiene are seen to have zero or fewer side effects on their teeth. Therefore, it is essential to keep good dental hygiene practices, regularly visit your dentist to keep your teeth healthy and avoid any potential issues from vaping. 

To mitigate the negative impacts of vaping on dental health, vapers should consider brushing and flossing twice a day, and if possible, after every vaping session. Additionally, using e-liquids with fewer additives can also be beneficial.

Is Vaping Bad for Your Skin?

Vapers who vape moderately, eat healthily, and lead a healthy lifestyle generally have a very low chance of experiencing skin irritations due to vaping. On the other hand, those who vape excessively without considering their nicotine levels, and lead an unhealthy lifestyle with limited physical activity, may show signs of premature aging, dryness, or skin irritations.

Some individuals may be allergic to certain ingredients in vape juices, which can trigger allergic reactions. Additionally, nicotine itself can impair blood flow, potentially affecting skin health. Those who consume high levels of nicotine may experience narrowed blood vessels, leading to an uneven skin complexion over time.

However, the impact on the skin is generally less severe compared to the damage caused by the toxins in cigarette smoke. It is important to vape moderately, stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet including plenty of fruits and green vegetables, and maintain personalised skincare routines to avoid any negative effects of vaping.

Is Passive Vaping Bad?

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Passive vaping, or second hand vaping, means inhaling vapours from another person's vaping process without actively or directly participating in it. Passive vaping is considered to be less harmful than second hand smoke from traditional cigarettes, as e-cigarette vapour typically contains fewer toxic substances.

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, passive vaping has not been proven to be harmful, as e-cigarettes release minimal nicotine into the environment. The NHS has also validated that the risk to bystanders from second hand vaping is significantly smaller compared to that from tobacco cigarettes, based on the available evidence.

However, we promote responsible vaping, so it is advisable to vape away from non-vapers and in well-ventilated areas to minimise any potential discomfort caused to others.

Why Vaping Over Smoking

Vaping is often considered a safer alternative to smoking, primarily because it doesn't involve the burning of tobacco leaves. This combustion involved in traditional smoking releases numerous toxins and carcinogens that are inherently harmful to health. By switching to vaping, smokers are exposed to fewer toxic substances, which can lead to significant improvements in health and well-being. This aspect of harm reduction is a major benefit for those looking to decrease the negative health impacts associated with smoking. 

What is the Legal Age to Vape

In the UK, the legal age to purchase and use vaping products containing nicotine is strictly 18. It is illegal to sell these products to anyone under this age or for adults to purchase them on behalf of minors. This regulation helps to prevent the early onset of nicotine addiction among young people.

The Role of Nicotine

Vaping is a less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. It allows smokers to consume nicotine in smaller quantities to satisfy their cravings while simultaneously reducing their overall intake. Nicotine is a must-have ingredient in cigarettes, whereas in vapes, it is a flexible component, you can experience vaping with or without nicotine. This flexibility makes vaping suitable even for those who vape for pleasure without any previous smoking habits.

Unlike tobacco smoke, which delivers nicotine with a variety of harmful chemicals produced by combustion, vaping offers a cleaner nicotine intake method. Importantly, vaping devices allow users to customise their nicotine strength. Options range from 0mg or nicotine-free, suitable for those who enjoy the act of vaping without health risks associated with nicotine to 18mg, typically used by heavy smokers attempting to quit. Intermediate strengths like 3mg, 6mg, and 12mg are for social vapers, light vapers, and regular vapers, respectively, providing a personalised approach to manage nicotine consumption or dependency. Thus, vaping itself is not just bad for your health; rather, it's how you choose to vape it that matters. 

Vaping is a complex topic that requires careful consideration of its benefits and potential risks. It's essential to continue research to fully understand its long-term impacts, especially as it becomes more popular as an alternative to traditional smoking. This ongoing study will help clarify myths and provide deeper insights into how vaping affects health over the long term.

If you are considering vaping, whether as an alternative to smoking or as a new habit, it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals, rely on credible sources for information and use products from credible vape brands. Feel free to share your experiences or ask questions in the comments below to engage with a community of informed users.

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