What You Need to Know About Vaping An Honest Answer From a Physician

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Vaping has received a bad rap, recently, with so many teenagers getting sick and some even dying following the use of vaping.  This article will cover the few pros and the many cons to vaping.

Vaping, also known as e-cigarette, is a battery-operated delivery device containing liquid canisters inserted into the electronic device that heats the liquid until it becomes a vapor.  The liquid is nearly always flavored to create a vapor that users can inhale. It is packed with nicotine. Although some advocates, those who sell the liquid and the devices, hail vaping as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking.  However, at this time, the health consequences and the risk of creating a new generation of young people addicted to nicotine is unknown.

Medical articles have reported that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes.  Since there’s no tar, carbon monoxide or ash associated with vaping, switching to it from smoking enables the user to be smoke-free. That means better oral hygiene with no disturbing sense of a foul breath.

One of the biggest advantages of vaping is that you and your environment won’t smell of smoke or the vapor won’t adhere to your clothes and leave unpleasant odors until the clothing is washed.

Okay, I have given you the plus side of vaping.  Let’s take a good, honest look at the downsides of vaping.

Vaping or e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that can lead to or perpetuate the use of other nicotine products, including real tobacco cigarettes, as well as increase the risk of alcohol use and other drug use such as marijuana and opioids.

The nicotine inhaled during vaping has been linked to damage to the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems; cancerous tumor development; preterm deliveries and stillbirths in pregnant women; and interference with healthy brain and lung development during early childhood development.

Any substance that gets into your lungs, other than fresh air, can cause inflammation and severe respiratory symptoms.  As of this writing, it’s unknown why some people have such a severe reaction and others don’t, and there’s no way to predict who will become ill from vaping.

Contrary to vaping advertisers, the e-cigarettes do not reliably reduce cigarette smoking or lead to smoking cessation and may make some smokers even less likely to successfully quit smoking. Finally, these e-cigarettes increase the risk of burns and other accidents, including explosions from faulty or misused electric chargers.

Bottom Line:  The jury (not the Juul) is not out as there is limited long-term data on the health and safety effects of vaping.  My advice as a physician is that at this time the safety of vaping is uncertain.  We do know that vaping is not innocuous and the nicotine in the aerosol is addicting.  For that reason, I would strongly suggest that you consider vaping as potentially dangerous to your health and would strongly recommend you deep-six the vape!

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Dr. Neil Baum is a urologist at Touro Infirmary and can be reached at 504 891 8454 or through his website, http://www.neilbaum.com.

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