Vapes: Side Effects of Vaping


Does Vaping Help You Quit Smoking?

Vaping is considered to be one of the best tools to help you quit smoking, and you’re twice as likely to quit using vaping than you would we other nicotine-replacement products such as patches or gum.

Not only is vaping less harmful than smoking, but you can control the amount of nicotine in your vapour, which means you can effectively wean yourself off.

When you try and give up smoking, you might find you crave the rituals­ – such as lighting up and moving your hand to your mouth for a puff ­– just as much as you do the nicotine. As vaping still requires hand-to-mouth action and you still get a kick in at the back of your throat from the nicotine, it is a perfect alternative.

But while vaping is a good smoking cessation tool, it still contains nicotine and thus is still an addiction that you might find hard to break. Vaping can damage your health and if you start vaping and continue to smoke on top of it you will raise your risk of stroke considerably. For this reason, if you turn to vaping to quit smoking, it is important that you’d don’t carry on smoking, even occasionally.

Risks of Vaping While Pregnant

Many women replace traditional cigarettes with vaping when they discover they’re pregnant, believing that it will be safer for their unborn baby. While this is true, vaping while pregnant is not recommended simply because it still contains nicotine, and this is known to damage an unborn baby’s brain and other vital organs, and it can restrict growth.

There is also not enough known about e-cigarettes to ensure that they are safe. There are 60 to 70 compounds in each e-cigarette and not enough time has elapsed and not enough research has taken place to know the long-term impact of these compounds. Not all have them have even been identified.

Due to this uncertainty, Tommy’s, the baby charity, recommends replacing vaping with licensed nicotine replacement therapy products, such as patches, gum or sprays, which are free for pregnant women.

If you are hoping to conceive soon, or are already pregnant, and you’re unable to stop vaping, you may be risking the health of your unborn child. You need immediate treatment in a stress-free environment. Smarmore Castle is a retreat in the beautiful Irish countryside which offers aqua therapy, aromatherapy, art therapy, meditation and more alongside the medical advice and therapy you need to break this addiction.

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Risks of Vaping Before Surgery

Vaping before surgery is no safer than smoking before surgery and should be avoided in the days leading up to your operation. Even stopping 12-24 hours before surgery can be beneficial, as when nicotine leaves your system it increases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to major organs and tissues. 

Vaping can:

  • Interfere with your anaesthetic
  • Raise the risk of complications during surgery
  • Slow down the effectiveness of some medication
  • Slow down wound healing
  • Raise the risk of necrosis (tissue death) after surgery
  • Raise the risk of post-operative infection
  • Add to feelings of discomfort after surgery

If you do vape before an operation, be honest with the medics. They’re not going to shout at you or judge you, but if they know there will be nicotine in your body, they can take extra precautions to ensure they have a plan if any of the above situations arise.

Nicotine Addiction and Poisoning

Whether you smoke traditional cigarettes or vape an e-cigarette, they both contain nicotine. This is the ingredient that makes you feel relaxed and happy when you get your hit, and it keeps you craving more. Nicotine is highly addictive. 

What are the stages of addiction? They move very quickly from occasional use to dependency. For some people, it can take just one puff of a cigarette or a vape pen to become hooked. For this reason, vaping cannot be dismissed as a harmless pastime – it’s as an addictive habit that is very hard to kick. 

If you stop getting your nicotine hit suddenly you will experience withdrawal symptoms, which can include anxiety, stress, irritability, restlessness, disturbed sleep, depression and such intense cravings that dominate your every thought.

The rise of vaping has seen an increase in nicotine poisoning. When you smoke cigarettes, your body ingests only about one-tenth of the nicotine in it. With vaping, your cartridge heats up the liquid nicotine for you to inhale. It’s easy to vape almost constantly (whereas the cost of cigarettes and the no-smoking ban are preventative measures against chainsmoking).

Poisoning happens when too much nicotine floods your system, and how much is too much depends on your build and tolerance. Worryingly, in an eight-year-long study into nicotine poisoning, children under 5 account for more than half of poisonings after they accidentally ingested the vape juice or inhaled the device. 

The effects of nicotine poisoning come in two phases. The first, which happens 15 minutes to one hour after poisoning, includes stomach ache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and confusion. The second phase, which occurs 30 minutes to four hours after poisoning, includes diarrhoea, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, weakness and lethargy, and in some cases, seizures. 

In the vast majority of cases, you will recover, although nicotine poisoning has been known to be fatal.

Side Effects of Vaping

Are There Any Benefits of Vaping?

Yes, there are. Vaping is much less harmful than smoking so if you swap your cigarette habit for vaping you’re doing yourself a big favour. 

Vaping can help you quit smoking and is more successful than other nicotine-replacement therapies such as patches or gum. You can also alter the amount of nicotine in your vape pen, which means you can reduce the amount you inhale and effectively wean yourself off nicotine completely. This puts you in control in a way that smoking doesn’t (have you ever tried to smoke half a cigarette?) 

Vaping does not burn tobacco or produce tar or carbon monoxide, which are the deadly ingredients of tobacco smoke. It is also much safer for anyone nearby as they won’t inhale passive smoke. They also won’t have to put up with your smelly breath and stinky clothes so vaping is far more socially acceptable than smoking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Five Dangers of Vaping?

Developing asthma and other lung conditions, raising your risk of heart attack, developing cancer, becoming addicted to nicotine, and suffering burns from the device exploding.

Is Vaping Worse Than Smoking?

No, but it can be more addictive and as it still contains nicotine it is not harmless.

Can Your Lungs Heal From Vaping?

Your lung function will improve when you stop but if your lungs have been damaged then this is irreversible.

References

  1. Jankowski M, Krzystanek M, Zejda J E, et al, (2019), E-Cigarettes are More Addictive than Traditional Cigarettes – a Study in Highly Educated Young People, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 16 (13), 2279
  2. Peruzzi M, Biondi-Zoccai G, Carnevale R, et al, (2020), Vaping Cardiovascular Risks: an Updated Umbrella Review, Curr Emerg Hosp Med Rep: 8 (3), 103-109
  3. Vindhyal M R, Okut H, Ablah E, et al, (2020), Cardiovascular Outcomes Associated with Adult Electronic Cigarette Use, Cureus, 12 (8)
  4. Seiler-Ramadas R, Sandner I, Haider S, et al, (2020), Health Effects of Electronic (E-Cigarette), Use on Organ Systems and its Implications on Public Health, Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift: 133, 1020-1027
  5. Broderick S, What Does Vaping Do to Your Lungs? John Hopkins Medicine
  6. Cancer Research UK, (2021), Does Vaping Cause Popcorn Lung?
  7. ‘Vaping’ Increases Odds of Asthma and COPD, (2020), John Hopkins Medicine
  8. Lee H-W, Park S-H, Weng M-W, et al (2017), E-Cigarette Smoke Damages DNA and Reduces Repair Activity in Mouse Lung, Heart and Bladder, as Well as in Human Lung and Bladder Cells, Biological Sciences: 115 (7) E1560-E1569
  9. Khouja J N, Suddell S F, Peters S E, et al, (2021), Is E-Cigarette Use in Non-Smoking Young Adults Associated with Later Smoking? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Tobacco Control: 30, 8-15
  10. NHS Better Health, Vaping to Quit Smoking
  11. Parekh T, Pemmasani S, Desai R, (2020), Risk of Stroke with E-Cigarette and Combustible Cigarette Use in Young Adults, Am J Prev Med: 58 (3), 446-452
  12. Toxicology of E-Cigarette Constituents, (2018), Consequences of E-Cigarettes, National Academies Press
  13. Tommy’s, (2020), Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping
  14. Vaping ‘No Better’ Than Smoking When Surgery is Needed (2017), Science Daily
  15. Krishna A, Mathieu W, Mull E, (2020), Perioperative Implications of Vaping, J Med Cases: 11 (5), 129-134
  16. Benowitz N L, (2010), Nicotine Addiction, N Engl J Med, 362 (24), 2295-2303
  17. McFaull S R, Do M T, Champagne A, et al, (2020), At-a-Glance ­ Injuries and Poisonings Associated with E-Cigarettes and Vaping Substances, Electronic Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program 2011-2019, Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can,
  18. NHS, (2022), Using E-Cigarettes to Stop Smoking

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