Tobacco companies are well aware that conventional cigarette smoking isn’t as popular as it once was. Enter: the “vape.” While it is well-known that smoking cigarettes harms nearly every bodily organ, and leads to more than 7 million deaths worldwide every year, vaping is still a question mark for many. Is it harmful? Is it safe? Almost everyone is aware that cigarettes are dangerous, as they contain more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic (cancer-causing). But what about vaping?
Vaping contains no tar, ash, or the odor associated with cigarette smoke. Still, vapes are an enormous public health threat, because their increasing popularity has made smoking more popular again after cigarette use had declined in recent decades. These e-cigs, as they are also called, are a threat to teens and adolescents, specifically. Vaping companies have aggressive marketing teams, and spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year trying to attract a young target audience to hook a new generation on nicotine. Their efforts have been successful, much to the alarm of health care providers worldwide.
Young people in particular are attracted to the more modern look of vapes compared to cigarettes, and enjoy the added flavors found in most vapes. Although vaping is marketed as safer than smoking because they contain no tobacco, it is far from harmless. Inhaling from a vape still exposes you to nicotine, which is by far the most addictive additive found in cigarettes, not tobacco. There are still many unknowns about vaping, even what chemicals make up the vapor. The long-term health risks of vaping are not well-understood, either, because they have not been around long enough to research their harmful effects.
Can I Vape as a Method to Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
Although it has been marketed as a way to help people quit smoking cigarettes, the research is inconclusive about whether this is the case. Instead, many become “dual users” and switch between both vapes and cigarettes. Organizations such as the American Cancer Society do not recommend vaping as a safe alternative to smoking, and advises clinicians to stick only to smoking cessations aids approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has stood by its position since 2009, that vapes contain “detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could be exposed.”
If you are struggling to quit smoking cigarettes or quit vaping, contact us at Primary Care Associates of Texas for an appointment today.