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Vaping devices, or electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes), are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol (vapor) that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars or pipes. But many look like everyday things like pens or USB memory sticks.
Whether they look like cigarettes, pipes or pens, they all use a vapor to deliver nicotine without tobacco. This vapor sparked the use of the term “vape” and “vaping” instead of smoking. Some may think vaping is better than smoking.
Many people, especially teens and young adults, still think e-cigs are cool and a healthier choice than tobacco. In fact, e-cigarette use among young people has reached epidemic levels, says the American Lung Association’s advice to parents. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among young people and have been for years now.
Many teens and adults don't realize how much they’re harming their lungs and their brains by using them.
E-cigarettes generally contain fewer toxic chemicals than the mix of 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes. But vaping is not healthy. Most e-cigarettes also contain many toxic chemicals and metals, including lead and formaldehyde. They can be very harmful, especially for young people and pregnant women.
And most vape devices, as many as 99 percent of those sold in the U.S., contain nicotine. Nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and heroin. In fact, one vaping dose can have as much nicotine as 20 regular cigarettes.
The evidence is building about just how many ways vaping can damage your body. Even in a short time, vaping can damage your heart and lungs. It puts you at risk for:
And research continues to show health risks from e-cigarette use. One recent study found a significant tie between former or current e-cigarette use and the development of respiratory diseases, including COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma, within two years of use.
Vaping has also been linked to serious lung injuries, like bronchiolitis obliterans, often called popcorn lung. This condition happens when the smallest airways in your lungs are damaged by breathing in harmful chemicals, making it harder to breathe.
Research has also found that exposure to secondhand vapor can be dangerous for others.
Researchers have gotten mixed results on whether vaping actually helps people stop smoking, compared to other methods for quitting. But what is clear is that most e-cigarettes are more harmful than the other methods for quitting. And most adults who use vaping to try to stop smoking do not stop smoking.
Vaping can actually make it harder to stop. Studies show that vaping is just as addictive as smoking regular cigarettes. And about 28 percent of smokers who use vaping are less likely to quit, says the American Heart Association. Many end up smoking and vaping.
Remember, no tobacco or vaping products are safe, says the Food and Drug Administration. So those who don’t use them should not start. And those who do should stop.
Talk to your doctor about proven, safe ways to quit. There are many proven aids and resources available to help you stop smoking. There are FDA-approved medications available to help people quit.
Your health plan may cover the cost of medicine and counseling to support you. Check your benefits information to find out what your plan covers.
For more information about how to successfully quit smoking or vaping, visit smokefree.gov or contact the Lung HelpLine and Tobacco Quitline. This free service from the American Lung Association offers help from RNs, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and certified stop smoking experts. Call 800-LUNG-USA (800-586-4872) or go to Lung.org/helpline.
Your lungs help you breathe. They help you fight infections. They help your other organs work. But they are easily harmed. Anything you breathe in can hurt them. Here’s how to protect your lungs:
I smoked for 40 years until 6 years ago. I had quit smoking several times over the years but always started again. I switched to vaping and I haven't had a "real" cigarette since. When I was a smoker, I could count on being sick (the coughing hacking sick) for 2 weeks, at least 2 or 3 times a year. Since I started vaping, I have only been sick once with the coughing and hacking kind of sick and was over it much faster. While vaping is not safe it is much better than smoking. I do not vape anywhere close to what I smoked. I also resent being charged an extra $40.00 a week for insurance just because I vape, and I was honest about it. There are plenty of people where I work who vape but aren't honest. People who are overweight, have high blood pressure or have diabetes aren't charged extra. It's nothing but a money grab by insurance companies. It should be discontinued or at least be charged less than an actual smoker.
One final note, I quit within a year of starting vaping. My wife wasn't quite ready to quit smoking, but chose to start vaping as a means to get away from the hundreds of other chemicals that came with actual smoking. This journey for both of us started almost 10 yrs ago in July of 2014.
I officially quit both smoking and vaping 6 months later in January of 2015. My wife soon followed suit in February of 2015.
Bottom line, to say that vaping doesn't help people quit smoking is a false statement. For many, it's simply the journey they had to take to get to a healthier life.
I'm not saying that the mentality that our youth have on whether vaping is a safe alternative to smoking isn't severely misguided, but to say that it has no real impact on helping someone quit smoking holds no more validity than saying that nicotine patches are any more effective. Your argument that you're still getting the nicotine from the vaping is the no different than the "nicotine" patches that you think are a better alternative.
Those patches are only treating one aspect of the overall problem. And for some, they need that extra component of vaping to cure those additional aspects of their addiction.
First off, I was a 35-year smoker of a pack to a pack and a half a day. Second, most people misled by the idea that smoking is a singular level addiction. It has multiple levels of addiction!
The first level is the addiction to the nicotine and the plethora of other chemicals that are in those cigarettes. For me, I used vaping to step myself down on my nicotine levels and the other chemicals that I was addicted to from the cigarettes.
The second level is the psychological hand-to-mouth action of putting that cigarette/vape pen to your mouth.
The third level is again, a psychological level of seeing that puff of smoke/vapor cloud being exhaled, indicating that you've actually received that delivery from what you just took a draw from.
The third level starts happening when you actually start forgetting that you've left your vape pen at home when you're at work and start to realize that you don't feel the need to run home to get it, because you can't just run to the store and get another setup like the customized version that you have at home.
Eventually you realize that you don't really care about whether you have it or not.
I'm not saying that this is how it happens for everyone, but everyone's level of addiction and desire to quit is their own journey. They have to come to their own conclusions for what they feel is right for them and their family.
I would hazard a guess, that this blanket description is likely put out there by someone that's never had to face and battle the actual effects of an addition to tobacco products.
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