Is vaping bad for you?
Vaping is now seen as the hip and trendy alternative to smoking cigarettes, and the vaping industry is dishing out billions to convince teens and young adults that vaping is not only cool, but harmless. Ads tout the convenience and coolness of vaping to teens everywhere, and research indicates as many as 20% of teens as young as 13 are vaping. So is vaping harmless, and if not, is it really that bad for you?
Is vaping really that bad for you?
Yes, vaping is very harmful to your health! Many underestimate the harmful effects of vaping, and there are even blogs, Youtube videos, and articles to be found online arguing that vaping is actually good for you. And yet, study after study has indicated vaping and nicotine addiction have nothing but ill effects on overall health and wellness. Vaping is also hard on your wallet, since you can expect to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on vaping equipment and refills each year if you regularly vape.
READ MORE: The Dangers of Carbonated Drinks
How Vaping Affects Your Health
Vaping is harmful to your health for many reasons because it impacts several different parts of your body. From physical side effects to cosmetic concerns, there are plenty of reasons to stay away from vaping. Here are just a few.
What Vaping Does to Your Brain
Vaping is dangerous for many reasons, but one of the most concerning yet least understood is how vaping, smoking cigarettes, and using any tobacco product with nicotine can affect your brain.
Is vaping safer than smoking cigarettes?
What some people don’t understand about vaping is that while vaping juice may have fewer added carcinogens and ingredients than a cigarette, it still contains nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug that can cause serious side effects.
Why is nicotine addictive?
In the brain, nicotine has the same effect as meth, cocaine, heroin, and other illegal substances. Nicotine is addictive and dangerous because it quite literally changes the way your brain responds to stimulation and pleasure. Nicotine activates the same response pathways in the brain as other drugs, and the result is an intense feeling of pleasure or satisfaction.
Why is nicotine dangerous?
The danger of addiction is that when you repeatedly activate and release more of these neurotransmitters known as dopamine, your brain and body will require more intense stimulation to retain positive thoughts and feelings. This is why those who attempt to quit smoking or using drugs experience withdrawal symptoms and why those who use one drug tend to experiment with others, continually seeking more opportunities to feel “high.”
Why Vaping is Dangerous
For many people, smoking is seen as less harmful than these types of substances which can lead to death by overdose, but the reality is that nicotine still causes serious addiction. While you may not die from an overdose of cigarettes in one use, your body is still deteriorating from the inside out due to the death of lung tissue, heart tissue, and brain cells when you smoke.
What Vaping Does to Your Lungs
Some people claim vaping is much safer than smoking and that vaping has even “saved their life” because, in their misguided opinion, cigarette smoke is harmful to lungs and other organs while vaping is not. The reality is that vaping is still detrimental to your health, and it can also damage lung tissue and cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other health issues associated with smoking.
Is vaping bad for your lungs?
Studies indicate vaping and the use of nicotine can also cause serious lung inflammation in users as young as 18 with repeated use, so while cigarettes may lead to black lungs much sooner, vaping still causes your body’s essential organs to deteriorate with use. Do you really want to be forced to use an oxygen mask or have trouble breathing later in life because of vaping? If not, take steps to eliminate nicotine and vaping from your life as soon as possible.
What Vaping Does to Your Heart
Vaping affects the heart by damaging blood vessels and tissues responsible for circulation which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. In a study conducted by the Cleveland Heart Lab, scientists also discovered that vaping juice additives may block the production of nitric oxide, a naturally occurring compound which reduces inflammation and encourages blood flow.
What does nicotine do to your heart?
In addition to the smoke inhaled from e-cigarettes, nicotine is also harmful to your heart health. Nicotine has been proven to increase blood pressure and encourage the release of adrenaline, a stress hormone that can significantly increase your chances of heart attack or stroke when found in large amounts.
What Vaping Does to Your Teeth
In addition to serious health concerns, vaping can cause harmful side effects for your smile as well. Patients who use cigarettes or e-cigarettes often exhibit several telling symptoms associated with periodontal disease, including:
- Receding or Bleeding Gums
- Increased Rates of Infection
- More Cavities and Tooth Decay
- Stained or Yellow Teeth
Along with your heart and lungs, nicotine and the chemicals and additives found in e-cigarettes can also cause damage to your gums and other areas of your mouth, which puts you at increased risk of infection, tooth decay, tooth loss, gingivitis and periodontal disease, and more.
What Vaping Does to Your Skin
Like your teeth, your skin will be noticeably less beautiful with repeated exposure to tobacco or nicotine in any form, including e-cigarettes. Nicotine and other additives found in e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes have been linked to adult acne, cystic acne, and rapidly aging skin. Because nicotine affects the body’s ability to produce collagen which creates the smooth, wrinkle-free skin of your youth, repeated exposure to nicotine can lead to dry, wrinkly, sagging, and acne-prone skin.
This article was reviewed by Dr. Miles Moore of Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Moore is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists who has received extensive training in implant dentistry. He is a member of multiple dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Memphis Dental Society.