Is There a Vaping Addiction and What Are the Dangers of Vaping?

vaping addiction

While a lot of people turned to e-cigarettes in the hopes of avoiding cancer and heart risks, research from the American Association for the Advancement of Science believes that vaping is far from benign.

Electronic cigarettes were first introduced commercially back in 2008. They have continued to gain popularity in recent years.

What is Vaping and How Did it Become So Popular?

Vape is another term for electronic nicotine delivery, personal vaporizers, or electronic cigarettes. It is the practice of inhaling vapor from e-liquid through a vaporizer. To vape, you need the atomizer, e-liquid, inhaler piece, and the battery.

E-cigs are battery-powered devices that contain nicotine mixed with glycerin and propylene glycol and different types of flavorings. The liquid is then heated into a vapor that one can inhale.

Electronic cigarettes were introduced to help traditional smokers quit. Vaping eliminates the lingering scent of cigarettes and conventional chemicals and toxins found in cigarettes. Nonetheless, research now indicates that e-cigs could be as harmful as conventional cigarettes. Vaping has become increasingly popular, thanks to the exotic liquid flavors and new portable devices. The vaping industry is estimated to be about $4 billion, and people are now competing to see who can blow the most smoke. Quit Smoking Community, one of the biggest quit smoking organizations, supports vaping as and what it does to help smoker’s switch their nicotine intake.

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Studies of Vaping Addiction

The Penn State College of Medicine conducted a study back in 2014 where researchers assessed the addictive nature of e-cigs. They used an online survey where they interviewed ex-smokers who are current vapers. The respondents reported that they smoked an average of 24 cigarettes daily and had 24 vape sessions on a regular basis.

The addiction is the same, but vaping was found to influence more psychological and behavioral changes. Few reported waking up at night for a nicotine fix while other e-cig users had to wait longer for their first vape of the day. Additionally, the majority of participants admit that they had fewer cravings for e-cigs compared to their former cravings for cigarettes. Most also felt less irritable compared to how they felt when they couldn’t smoke.

The difference in addiction was attributed to how e-cigs are used. When you smoke, you do it in one go and usually finish the entire cigarette, while vaping means that you take 2-3 puffs, wait for 15 minutes, and then have another puff.

Concerns Over Vaporized Substances

Although manufacturers suggest that vaping only allows one to breathe harmless vapor and nicotine, The National Institute of Health is now investigating the effects of glycerin and propylene glycol. The World Health Organization banned the use of vaporizers indoors. Studies conducted also suggest that when the liquids are heated, they release higher levels of formaldehyde as compared to a regular cigarette. Furthermore, people are now hacking their devices to allow the greater release of nicotine and heat.

Dangers of Vaping

Although vaping lacks cancer causing elements found in conventional smoking, studies now show that this practice could be harmful to one’s immune system. It’s been shown that vaping inhibits the function of 358 genes associated with infection-fighting in comparison to smoking, which only inhibits 53 genes. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California showed that 13% of high school students either vaped or smoked in 2014, while 9% smoked in 2014. This indicates that more people find vaping to be more attractive compared to cigarette smoking.

Additionally, reports in the Journal Addiction shows that vaping side effects are limited to mouth and throat irritation. 2% of the correspondents reported an increase in blood pressure.

Although e-liquid and vaping pens lack the same toxins found in regular cigarettes, the truth is that they still contain nicotine, a substance that can be addictive, not to mention that it also causes symptoms of withdrawing (especially if nicotine is ingested in high amounts, which can be the case when people use devices called box mods, that produce high volumes of vapor). Such symptoms include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and more. CDC is quoted as saying that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine, alcohol, and heroin.

Adverse Health Effects of Vaping

  • Inflamed lungs
  • Irregular heartbeats associated with high blood pressure
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Reduced immunity

Another common concern among health officials and law enforcement is that more people are now using vaporizers to ingest synthetic drugs, flakka, and other marijuana-related compounds. Given the freedom of vaping in public places, people are taking advantage and using these drugs in open areas.

Vaping Withdrawals

When an individual begins to vape, they quickly become addicted to the nicotine, which makes it hard to quit. This is difficult especially if the devices have been altered for higher delivery of nicotine. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include depression, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, and weight gain.

The safety of vaping has not been truly established, while some studies suggest that vaping may not have the same effects of smoking like respiratory effects or cardiovascular problems, it’s still unclear the exact effects associated with frequent vaping.

Is There a Vaping Addiction and What Are the Dangers of Vaping?

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Comments 7

  • My house mate recently went on vape in April. He smokes it indoors with no windows open. The smell is horrible, my eyes burn, lungs are sore. Yet he still continues to smoke it inside constantly. I feel it’s the same as cig and should be outdoors. He just doesn’t respect the fact it still has nicotine.

    • You should check the filter in your air handler, dirt and dust can be causing you to have allergies (burning eyes, coughing, sneezing, sore lungs). If your home has a lot of dust, invest in a UV light for your air handler.

      I have vaped in my home, car, and non-smokers homes. No one has ever complained of a “lingering smell” or lung, eye irritation from second hand vapor. I have however heard many of those complaints from people exposed to second hand smoke.

  • I recently stopped vaping . For the past 3 years, I was vaping 0 nicotine. My question is, what if any withdrawal symptoms might I experience?

  • I picked up vaping to quit cigarettes and feel better than when I smoked. I don’t think vaping is equivalent to smoking at all from a user’s perspective. It is huge that vaping does not cause cancer and I am glad that I have this alternative because I spent alot of money on nicotine replacement therapy and was not able to quit smoking. I don’t smell like smoke and am not self conscious about it either. I am not as nervous/anxious as I was when I smoked cigarettes. Plus they fail to mention that you can get 0 nicotine liquid and wean yourself off of the nicotine addiction!! Smokers know the risks and most would like to quit but don’t feel that they can quit. So even though vaping may have other health related issues and I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who has never never smoked to start vaping, it did help me to put away the cigarettes for good.

  • I recently stopped vaping, I used to vape on 20% nicotine each bottle, I loved it it helped me wake up every morning and concentrate but i heard vaping was as addictive as meth & decided I don’t want any addictions. I feel irritable, have bad headaches and feel like I need it back… but I know I have to stay strong mentally and I threw my vape away. Any suggestions or remedies for the withdrawals?

  • Vaping with nicotine is just as addictive as smoking. The only difference is that you do not have the additional smells of burning tobacco… But on a teenage brain, the effects of vaping are just as dangerous as smoking..

    I have seen high school kids as young as 12 and 13 buy these vaping products and suck on them all day. If that is not addiction, I do not know what is.. I expected FDA to come out strong and restrict or ban Juul etc., completely.. But they succumbed to lobbyists and just did a minimal ban on fruit vapes.

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