How vaping impacts your health
Vaping is commonly mistaken as a safer alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products, but it is not.
Two common ingredients found in e-liquid (across varying generations of vaping devices) are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Upon the user inhaling on the device, the heating coils heat these two ingredients which creates formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent. It is used in anatomy labs to fixate organs and prepare cadavers for researchers to study on.
These e-liquids also contain fine particulate matter that when inhaled, are able to reach into the deep tissues of the lungs. The largest problem we see here is that the lungs have irreversible damage.
Not to mention, nicotine concentrations have been found to be 10-fold that of traditional tobacco products. So how exactly is this safer than traditional tobacco products? Think again.
Unfortunately, this myth all started with the purpose of creating e-cigarettes to help people to quit using traditional tobacco products. Overtime, big tobacco companies modified the devices to appeal more to the user by having the device create larger vape “clouds”, higher nicotine concentrations, containing youth-appealing flavors, as well as a “sleek” design to make it easier for youth to hide.
Most e-liquid brands contain nicotine salts to mask the harshness of nicotine. Don’t be fooled, these e-liquid companies aren’t trying to help you- they are only trying to help sell their product. The nicotine salts only enable the user to inhale more of the aerosol emitted from heating up the e-liquid, increasing the risk of injury to the lungs. Among other lung illnesses caused by e-cigarette use, outbreaks of e-cigarette vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) have swept across the U.S. as more people vape. In fact, an Idaho teen underwent the state’s first ever double lung transplant due to vaping. Learn more about this here.
Vaping has a bi-directional associated with anxiety and depression. What does this mean? Current e-cigarette users have double the odds of acquiring a diagnosis of anxiety and depression compared to those who have never vaped, and it is estimated that 81% of people who use e-cigarettes report that they vape to help improve their anxiety and depression.
This cycle of symptoms, with only temporary relief, feeds into the pattern of addiction.
There is still research needed to fully understand the toxic effects of the thousands of harmful flavored chemicals and diluents found in e-liquids and their impact on the brain. What we do know is that the heating coils in electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) increase toxic levels of metals such as cadmium, tin, silver, iron, nickel, aluminum, and silicate in the e-liquids,which have implications in several brain disorders.
The brain isn’t fully developed until around the age of 25. An area of the brain that is impacted by using ENDS products is the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for self-awareness, planning, problem solving, learning and memory, personality expression, decision making, and control of social behavior. Long term nicotine exposure during adolescence has demonstrated reduced brain performance, reduced attention span, and enhanced impulsivity during their adult life.
Did you know that you acquire 90% of your peak bone mass during your teenage years? The flavors and nicotine found in ENDS products decrease proper bone growth causing the user to be at an increased risk of fracture, decreased bone healing, and osteoporosis.
Additionally, this increase in susceptibility to injury may also lead into other unwanted outcomes and areas of concern, such as an increased exposure to addictive prescription drugs as pain-killers.
There is also current research on the impact of how cadmium, a toxic metal found in e-liquids, breaks down already formed bone which also increases fracture risk and proper healing.
What does this mean for adolescents? Improper bone growth may impact their ability to perform sports, hobbies, and grow properly. In turn, this can have implications in their lifetime mental health and well-being since hobbies, sports, and self-image are components to leading a happy and fulfilled life.
of all middle & high schools in Idaho have tried vaping
is spent on marketing by Big Tobacco companies to target youth with these products
of Idaho adults use e-cigarettes
is the average cost to vape refillable e-cigarettes
2 out of 5
is the average cost to vape disposable e-cigarettes
1 in 4
U.S. youth use e-cigarette daily
of Idaho youth believe there is no risk, or only a slight risk, to vaping
E-cigarette Use in Idaho by Income
Aged 25 and older