Is Vaping Bad for You? Understanding the Health Implications of Vaping
Earlier this month, Michigan became the first state in the country to ban flavored vaping products. According to the governor, this was done for the express purpose of protecting Michigan teens and young adults from companies selling candy-flavored nicotine products marketed as safer than traditional cigarettes.
It came just weeks after the Centers for Disease Control released an official health advisory warning about an outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping.
Is vaping bad for you? Health officials and policymakers say yes. Here’s what you need to know.
What are E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used to inhale an aerosol containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. They can look like traditional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or they can look like everyday products like a USB drive.
They work by heating a liquid solution until it turns to vapor, which can then be inhaled similar to traditional smoking.
Is Vaping Bad for You?
E-cigarette makers have long hailed their products as safer than traditional cigarettes. This is for two reasons.
First, e-cigarettes do not require flame to operate. In theory, this means that they’re not a fire hazard the way that traditional cigarettes are. In practice, FEMA has not found that to be true. A study of e-cigarette fires and explosions found reports of 195 separate e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents from 2009 to 2016, with 133 acute injuries.
Second, e-cigarettes are often said to have less harmful chemicals than cigarettes, leading manufacturers to present them as safer for your health. In reality, this is only about half true.
Vaping vs. Traditional Smoking
Traditional cigarettes contain about 7,000 chemicals in addition to nicotine, including (but not limited to):
- Arsenic (used in rat poison)
- Formaldehyde (an embalming fluid)
- Cadmium (active component in battery acid)
- Benzene (found in gasoline and rubber cement)
- Lead (self-explanatory)
Most of these 7,000 chemicals are created when the cigarette is lit.
The problem with vaping is that the industry is not currently regulated, which means that the exact content of an e-cigarette and vaping liquid depends on the manufacturer. Research on products has found them to contain, among other things:
- Acrolein (a herbicide used to kill weeds)
- Diethylene glycol (a chemical used to make antifreeze)
Do e-cigarettes contain all of the harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes? Probably not.
But that does not mean e-cigarettes are any less harmful for your health.
How Much Nicotine is in E-Cigarettes?
Nicotine remains the primary component of both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. It is highly addictive, regardless of where it comes from.
It also has serious systemic effects outside of its addictive qualities. It is known to adversely affect the heart, lungs, and kidneys, among other organs. Increased blood pressure and pulse are the predominant immediate effects seen in human and animal studies. Over time, nicotine reduces coronary blood flow (circulation of blood supplied to the heart) and increased skeletal muscle blood flow.
In short, this means that your heart has to work harder to deliver blood.
And because your body has a harder time delivering blood, your blood is less effective at carrying oxygen to your cells. So, in short, you are slowly starving your cells of oxygen.
How much nicotine is in e-cigarettes?
Again, because the industry is unregulated, it’s difficult to say universally whether these products have more or less nicotine. But it is quite possible for users to get more nicotine from their vaping products than traditional cigarettes.
The Bottom Line for Michigan Teens and Parents
Any amount of nicotine is harmful to the body, regardless of what form it comes in or how high the concentration is.
Add in all of the extra chemicals found in vaping, and the short answer is yes, e-cigarettes and vaping are bad for you. More than that, they’re dangerous, and they’re getting a new generation hooked on nicotine.
If You or a Loved One is Suffering a Vaping-Related Illness
Is vaping bad for you? Yes. And while e-cigarette manufacturers may try to tell you otherwise, you and your loved ones deserve to be protected from negligence.
If you or your loved one are suffering from a vaping related illness, let the personal injury attorneys at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys help. We know what it takes to win at trial, which is why we’ve tried more than 120 cases in state and federal circuit courts.
But most importantly, we know that our clients deserve to be treated with care and compassion.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, click here to schedule your free consultation.