If the influence of conventional cigarettes on health is well studied, then little is known about electronic ones — there are no extensive studies with uniform findings on this subject. This is because vaping appeared relatively recently – in our country he is about five years old, and for complete scientific conclusions it takes several decades. Meanwhile, vaping is gaining popularity, and positioning it as harmless entertainment – and clubs of flavored steam can be seen on the street, in institutes and business centers. Is this a real chance to quit smoking or a cunning trick by marketers?
Why is Everyone Vaping?
Vape is a type of electronic cigarette. The device consists of two parts: a battery pack (battery) and an evaporator, into which a special liquid is poured. The principle of its operation is simple: the current from the battery enters the heating element of the evaporator, converting the charged liquid into vapor, which is suitable for inhalation and looks like thick tobacco smoke. Often “e-cigarettes” are mistakenly called obsolete disposable models of these devices, reminiscent of ordinary cigarettes in shape.
E cig vaporizers are the next generation of devices. These gadgets are not so compact, but noticeably more powerful, give more steam and are suitable for reusable use – it is enough to fill them with a liquid suitable for taste and strength. By the way, a full palette of flavors is why many former smokers opted for a vape pack of cigarettes. In form, the device may resemble, for example, a cigar or a pipe – but more often it is just a cylinder. It is used as a regular cigarette to get a portion of nicotine, or as a device that allows you to inhale flavored vapor without a narcotic substance.
Vaping is an imitation of smoking when you feel an object in your hand; you can take a puff and breathe out “smoke”, and if you want to get the necessary dose of nicotine.
Every year, there are more vapers, mainly because vaping, as one study says, is much safer than smoking tobacco: this does not cause burning, and hence the production of a large number of harmful substances. This reduces the risk of developing respiratory system diseases. The absence of bad breath, yellow plaque on the teeth, burnt ashes of clothing – additional bonuses of refusing conventional cigarettes in favor of e-cigarette (https://vapingdaily.com/best-electronic-cigarettes/ offers more info). In the United States, vaping is so popular that a new direction has developed out of it – cloud chasing, a kind of art to manage the steam and create clouds of bizarre shapes from it.
There are no combustion products (soot and tar) in the vapor from electronic cigarettes that cause inflammation and destruction of lung epithelial cells, as is the case with tobacco smoke – but drops of liquid settle on the walls of the respiratory tract, and this makes their work difficult. Less oxygen enters the blood, and hypoxia occurs (oxygen starvation). As a result, all intracellular processes are slowed down, cell division is disturbed, and the processes usually associated with aging are accelerated.
All vapers are united by the fact that they refused to smoke tobacco products or are trying to do it. According to statistics, at least a third of heavy vapers are former smokers who quit smoking. As a recent study by an international team of European scientists from 28 countries showed, thanks to vaping, more than 6 million people quit smoking, and another 9 million are going to do it. The number of vapers is growing every year – especially among young people.
As fans of this fashionable hobby assure, vaping is much safer than smoking tobacco. According to doctors from the England Department of Health, “electronic cigarettes are about 95% less harmful than regular ones.” British doctors even suggested that e-cigarettes would one day be licensed as an alternative to nicotine patches, chewing gum, and other smoking cessation drugs. However, scientists have not yet presented official evidence of the safety of electronic cigarettes in any country in the world – the time for using these devices is too short.
Brian Primack of the Institute of Pittsburgh (USA) and his colleagues have been researching the dangers of smoking vapes for several years. According to experts, many believe that electronic cigarettes will help quit smoking. However, recent studies have shown that the so-called vapes provoke adolescents to switch to tobacco.
After the analysis, scientists determined that overall tobacco smoke poses a great danger to the smoker’s lung health. At the same time, the vaporization of electronic cigarettes contains many carcinogens and toxins, which are produced by “burning” part of the vaporized liquid on an incandescent spiral.
Users of such e cig note that a huge plus is that it can be charged, and charging takes a long time. It is also essential to know that you need to hold the cigarette with its tip down, this will help the liquid to be evenly distributed throughout the atomizer, and then smoking will become even more pleasant. For those who smoke only when nervous, it is better to buy a non-nicotine cigarette and try to use it as little as possible so as not to become addictive.
Today, scientists are most concerned about propylene glycol and glycerin, of which 99% are electronic cigar refills. How toxic they become when heated is not fully understood. According to vaping scientists, the content of toxic and carcinogenic substances in the vapor of any electronic cigarette is many times lower than in tobacco smoke. But this toxicity cannot be discounted. According to chemists, the thermal decomposition of propylene glycol and glycerol leads to the release of acrolein and formaldehyde, which are known for their toxic properties. Acrolein also has the ability to irritate the mucous membranes, and formaldehyde can hurt the central nervous system. So far, doctors and scientists agree on one thing: to more or less study the effect of electronic cigarettes on health, it will take 10-20 years.
Photo credit: Dani Ramos