What You Need To Know About Vaping
Vaping has become a widespread trend, especially among younger age groups such as Generation Z. However, what many do not realize is the potential harm it can cause to the respiratory system. In this blog, we will explore the various respiratory effects of vaping, from the chemicals involved to long-term consequences and common misconceptions. Let’s dive into what Cameron Memorial Community Hospital’s registered respiratory therapist, Tammy Monahan, has to share about the dangers of vaping.
Inhaling of Harmful Chemicals:
When you vape, you are inviting a mixture of harmful and unknown chemicals into your body and bloodstream. These cancer-causing agents can reach deep into the lungs, irritating the bronchi and causing several adverse effects. This includes an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the compromise of blood flow to the heart.
Irreversible Lung Damage:
Exposure to the chemicals found in vaping devices like hookahs, Juuls, pens, mods and e-cigarettes can lead to irreversible lung damage. These chemicals, including nicotine, propylene glycol, flavorings, and even formaldehyde and acrolein, according to Monahan, can result in lung scarring, chronic cough and conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Popcorn lung is a serious lung disease that can result from vaping. It causes scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs, leading to the thickening and narrowing of airways. Monahan has seen symptoms including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and believe it may be due to vaping, contact your primary care provider immediately.
Vaping is particularly dangerous for young people. Nicotine and other chemicals in vaping liquids can negatively impact developing lungs and major organs. The developing brain is also susceptible to nicotine’s addictive properties, potentially affecting attention, learning, mood and impulse control. Some also believe that vaping may serve as a gateway to illicit drug use.
Contrary to the narrative that many believe, vaping is not “better” or “healthier” option to using tobacco products. Monahan says that vaping aerosol contains harmful substances and is not an FDA-approved smoking aid. Respiratory therapists have observed a massive rise in vaping-related respiratory issues. Patients require breathing medications and oxygen support, resembling those with long-term cigarette use.
Vaping has become a health crisis. Understanding the negative effects is crucial in raising awareness and fighting this epidemic.
If you would like to learn more information about vaping or set up an appointment with a primary care provider, click here.