Updated: May 19
I'm sure that if you go to a corner store or convenience store where you live, you will find a section selling e-cigarettes. More and more people are using e-cigarettes, but most of them have no clue about the difference between vaping and smoking. But most importantly, they have no idea how it affects their health. Let's compare vaping with smoking and see their health effects.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is a new trend among teens. 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 an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that consists of fine particles. The vapor is usually produced by heating a liquid (with nicotine or without) that contains flavors, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin (a common ingredient in sweeteners and emollients). Some vapes use dry herbs instead of liquids.
What is Smoking?
Smoking is the act of inhaling and exhaling the smoke of tobacco or a substance through a cigarette or pipe. Most commonly the substance is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant, which have been rolled into a small square of rice paper to create a small, round cylinder called a "cigarette".
Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most common form of smoking and it is practiced by over one billion people in over 180 countries. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis, opium, drugs prepared (like crack cocaine) from medicinal plants (such as coca leaf or marijuana), or other psychoactive substances such as methamphetamine or heroin.
Effects of Vaping on Your Health
E-cigarettes may have fewer toxins than cigarettes, but they still contain harmful chemicals. There isn't enough research on e-cigarettes to know the long-term effects of vaping, so it's best not to try vaping at all.
Inhaling vapor from e-cigarettes can affect your health in the following ways:
1. Inflammation of airways and lungs. The vapor from e-cigarettes contains ingredients that can cause lung irritation and inflammation. If you have asthma or other lung conditions, vaping may worsen your symptoms.
2. A decrease in immune response in the lungs. Research shows that inhaling vapor from e-cigarettes can cause a decrease in immune response in the lungs. It also increases your risk for respiratory infections, like bronchitis and pneumonia.
3. Lung damage. Chronic exposure to propylene glycol, which is used as a base for many e-liquids, may cause airway damage and respiratory problems. It can also contain heavy metals such as tin, lead, and nickel. Inhaling these chemicals can cause irreversible damage to your lungs.
4. Increase in blood pressure. The nicotine can cause your blood pressure and adrenaline to raise, which can increase your heart rate and therefore, the possibility of suffering a heart attack.
Effects of Smoking on Your Health
Smoking is a major risk factor for the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and some cancers, and it is responsible for nearly one in five deaths.
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Here are some of the ways that smoking affects your health:
1. Lungs. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Many of these chemicals are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer (carcinogens). Smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
2. Heart. Smoking increases your risk for heart disease, including stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of blood vessels).
3. Pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy have twice the risk of stillbirths compared to nonsmokers. It also increases the risk of birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, or both.
4. Cancer. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body: bladder, blood, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidney, and ureter. It can also cause cancer in the larynx, liver, oropharynx (including parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and tonsils), pancreas, stomach, trachea, bronchus, and lungs.
5. Peripheral arterial disease. This happens because smoking causes inflammation in your blood vessels, which leads to plaque formation. These plaques make the interior passage of your blood vessels to be narrower, which is difficult for the free pass of blood to transport nutrients and oxygen to the different parts of the body.
Both smoking and vaping carry adverse effects on your health. Both are harmful, as they release a host of toxins that can lead to lung damage and other health complications. Also, both, smoking and vaping are addictive. No one offers any health benefits. Therefore, as a final thought, if you want to have a healthy lifestyle, the best choice is to choose non of them.
And as always, stay healthy and come back for the next topic.
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