Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease.
Vaping has grown in popularity with the rise of e-cigarettes, which were introduced to the mass market in the U.S. in 2007. Vaping devices include not just e-cigarettes, but also vape pens and advanced personal vaporizers (also known as ‘MODS’). E-cigarettes, which resemble smoked cigarettes, and vape pens, which resemble large fountain pens, are typically simpler in design and less expensive than devices that have been customized by the user.
Generally a vaping device consists of a mouthpiece, a battery, a cartridge for containing the e- liquid or e-juice, and a heating component for the device that is powered by a battery. When the device is used, the battery heats up the heating component, which turns the contents of the e- liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs and then exhaled.
A growing body of evidence indicates that vaping products may be dangerous. Despite early optimism when these products first came on the market in the late 2000’s, health advocates now recommend caution in using them in light of growing evidence suggesting that their risks, especially to young people, outweigh their benefits.
What are the side effects of vaping?
It is a fact that when you introduce any substance into the human body to which it is not accustomed, there can be side effects. So, no matter if you inhale, ingest or even just touch certain chemical substances, your body will show certain adverse effects.
E-liquids used for vaping are no different. E-liquids contain three major components, including a VG/PG base, nicotine, and flavoring. These are either chemicals or substances derived through chemical processes. Therefore, it means that vaping will have certain side effects, which can range from temporarily dry mouth to serious health issues. If there is nicotine in the e-juice, then that also adds another dimension to some of the side effects.
Some of the research report the adverse effects in current and former smokers are:
- Sore mouth
- Tongue inflammation
- Black tongue
- Chest pain
- Breathing problems
How to Minimize the Side Effects of Vaping
Fortunately, you can eliminate most side effects of vaping or at least reduce them by taking simple precautionary measures. Since there can be different reasons for different effects, let’s talk about each of them one by one.
- Dry Mouth and Skin Issues: Dehydration due to vaping can cause dry mouth or dry throat, itchy, flaky, and red skin, and several other side effects. Vapor has the nature to attract water molecules from the surroundings, and you will feel it in your mouth. If you experience any of these issues, drinking plenty of fluids can dramatically minimize the condition. Some of these side effects might be a blessing in disguise, e.g. dry skin in the case of people who have a very oily skin. However, staying hydrated is still essential.
- Dizziness: Excessive nicotine intake can cause dizziness. If you’re feeling dizzy, you are probably taking more nicotine than your body can handle. This effect is commonly associated with sub-ohm when large plumes of vapor are entering your body. Luckily, fixing this issue is just a matter of switching to e-liquid with a lower nicotine strength, or vaping at a higher resistance.
- Caffeine Sensitivity: Many people, who switch to vaping, feel subtle withdrawals and tend to drink more coffee or other caffeinated drinks. Early days of using a vaporizer can cause caffeine sensitivity and result in anxiety and mood swings. Just reduce your intake o f caffeine and all these symptoms will quickly dissipate.
- Allergies: Despite being considered “generally safe” by FDA, PG can trigger a few allergies. VG, on the other hand, is derived from vegetables and goes easy on your system. So, if you’re vaping high PG e-liquids and experience allergies, switching to high VG e-liquid can be helpful.
- Canker Sores: Canker sores are small, shallow blisters inside the mouth; the cause has several reasons such as injury to the mouth, vitamin deficiency, acidic and spicy foods, hormone disorders, stress, and vaping. However, vapor or e-liquids don’t have anything to do with canker sores, but failure to keep the mouthpiece clean is the issue. Anything you put into your mouth should always be clean, especially the e-cig mouthpiece that tends to accumulate a lot of gunk.
Is secondhand exposure dangerous?
The main difference between smoking and vaping is that there’s no burning of any substances in vaping. Therefore, there’s no combustion. As a consequence, it is not so dangerous to the people around us and the environment. However, studies show that various toxic substances are released during vaping. And that’s why they should implement more legal restrictions.
The truth is that studies have actually found many toxic ingredients in the vapor. Some of them can even cause cancer. Therefore, we need strict restrictions on age and indoor and outdoor areas. We need more studies on the consequences of secondhand exposure. It is especially important concerning pregnant women and people with heart problems.
Vaping & Addiction
Like with any other habit, vaping can lead to addiction. Even pulling your hair as a compulsive need can become an annoying routine. Psychological dependence on vaping also has an effect. Sometimes the habit itself is addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms when a habitual vaper is not able to vape. It isn’t always necessary for there to be a drug involved.
Vape or “hash oil” pens are a type of vaporizer designed specifically to vaporize cannabis distillates and oils. They are called pens because the compact design of the vape device closely resembles that of a traditional pen. A vape pen consists of two pieces: a battery and cartridge.
Vape batteries come in a variety of styles – button or buttonless, cylindrical or rectangular, large or small – there is a shape and style to fit many personal preferences. One of the most popular weed pen batteries is the 510 thread, which is compatible with a large portion of pre-filled vape cartridges on the medicaland adult-use concentrate market.
“Hash oil” vape cartridges contain a mouthpiece, chamber and heating element, which is activated upon initiated contact with a vape battery. The chamber of a vape cartridge is filled with oil or distillate, which contains concentrated amounts of cannabis cannabinoids and terpenes.
Vape cartridges are all filled with cannabis distillate that’s designed for optimal vaporization using a portable battery. During the distillation process, the cannabis oil is stripped of all flavor and aromatic compounds. At this point, it can be left in its raw form (flavorless/tasteless), it can
be mixed with terpenes for extra flavor, or with some form of glycol (PG, VG, PEG) to give the vapor extra mouthfeel (thin versus thick, smooth versus chalky, dry versus buttery).
Truth about Vaping
1. Vaping Is Less Harmful Than Traditional Smoking: E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While we don’t know exactly what chemicals are in e-cigarettes.
2. Vaping Is Still Bad for Your Health: Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. There are many unknowns about vaping, including what chemicals make up the vapor and how they affect physical health over the long term.
3. Electronic Cigarettes Are Just as Addictive as Traditional Ones: Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a tobacco product — you can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater hit of the substance.
4. Electronic Cigarettes Aren’t the Best Smoking Cessation Tool: Although they’ve been marketed as an aid to help you quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.