It seems like everywhere you go nowadays you see someone vaping. That large, white, cloud of steam escaping from their mouth and floating around their head is a common sight. Vaping has been around for many years, but it’s only been in the last few years that its popularity and use has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Why is vaping so popular and just how safe is it for your health?
Vaping involves inhaling vapor from a small cylinder (similar in size and shape to a cigarette) filled with chemicals and flavors. The vaping pipe has a heating element built in it that changes the liquid in the pipe to steam.
Vaping, or e-cigarettes, are promoted as being a healthy alternative to tobacco-based cigarettes. Some are even encouraged to use vaping as a stepping stone in their struggle to break free from their addiction to nicotine.
How safe is vaping?
For those who really enjoy “riding the mist” and think that they are choosing a safer alternative than cigarettes, it will be disappointing to learn that vaping isn’t really any safer.
Almost all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the same highly addictive chemical found in traditional cigarettes. Stopping the vaping habit will cause the same nicotine withdrawal symptoms as quitting cigarettes. It will also cause the same dangerous side effects to your health, which is why pregnant woman are warned to avoid vaping.
Many who vape mistakenly believe that steam is safer than smoke. But in reality, the same carcinogenic chemicals are released by both processes. And just as second-hand cigarette smoke is dangerous to others, the vapor from e-cigarettes has been shown to worsen the air quality of a room, mainly by introducing nicotine and other chemicals (including formaldehyde and lead) into the atmosphere. Exposure to this is especially dangerous for smaller children.
One of the most troubling trends with e-cigarettes is their growing use among teenagers – middle school and high school age. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made the statement that nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain. And no teenager should be using any tobacco or nicotine-containing products.
Vaping and oral cancer
The occurrence of oral cancer has been rising in the U.S. and is a genuine danger with both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Tens of thousands of Americans die from oral cancer every year. If you use e-cigarettes, here are some of the oral cancer symptoms you should be on the watch for:
- Sores in the mouth and on the lips that don’t heal
- Red or white patches of skin in the mouth
- A persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Numbness or swelling of the lips or mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
The best prevention would be to just not use e-cigarettes at all, but if you do continue to vape, ask your dentist on your regularly scheduled checkups to screen your mouth for oral cancer. A dentist has special equipment that helps spot cancer in the developing stages when it is more easily and successfully treated.
To vape or not to vape
We hope looking at these facts will help you to make an informed decision about the wisdom of vaping. In the end, it’s up to you, of course, to decide. But, we hope this information will make you think before you inhale!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.