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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

Is Vaping Bad For Your Health?

July 25, 2019

Is vaping bad for your health? Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are often marketed as the “safe” new alternative to conventional cigarettes. They now come in a variety of forms and include vape mods, Juuls, and vape pens. But they’re not safer than traditional cigarettes, and the latest research continues to prove it.

So, let’s look at some of the vaping health facts that you can use to make an informed decision about cigarette smoking.

Is Vaping Bad For Your Health?

According to the National Center for Health Research, the key difference between traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes and related products is that vapes don’t contain tobacco. However, it isn’t just the tobacco in cigarettes that causes cancer. Conventional cigarettes contain a long list of chemicals that are proven harmful, and electronic cigarettes have some of these same toxins.

A new study found e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Stony Brook University researchers tested the urine of more than 500 vaping teens looking for a chemical called cotinine.

Cotinine is a well-known "marker" for the presence of nicotine in a person's body. They found 4 in 10 people who said they vaped non-nicotine products only were still found to have markers for nicotine in their urine. Researchers are now asking for more regulations to be placed on e-cigarettes.

Youth and Young Adults Targeted

Many young people continue to try e-cigarettes, even if they’re passing on regular cigarettes. One of the main reasons is because they have personally deemed them less harmful.

In fact, Stony Brook researchers also found that 1 in 5 high school students now say they've used an e-cigarette at least once over the past month, and in just the 12 months between 2017 and 2018, teen vaping rates increased by 78 percent.

In the other study, researchers from Boston University looked at data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study to learn whether kids who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes. They found that 6 percent of the kids who had never used a tobacco product had smoked a cigarette at least once, and 2.1% percent were current smokers.

This is very concerning because adolescent years are an important time for brain development.

Health Effects of Vaping

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is starting to warn everyone about the health effects of vaping. Researchers are beginning to take a closer look at the effect vaping has on the heart and lungs.

The surgeon general’s office reports that besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:

  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin and lead

Propylene glycol is a petroleum byproduct and one of the components for vape juice. It can cause allergic reactions, and if the results of the Stony Brook University study hold up, they also contain highly-addictive nicotine.

There’s also a risk of mood disorders and that users will try additional tobacco products.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these recommendations:

  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products
  • While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation
  • If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start

If you’re a smoker or vaping and trying to quit, talk to your doctor. Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Illegal drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Motor vehicle injuries
  • Firearm-related incidents

It also puts you at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. In fact, one study found a link between vaping and serious damage to lung cells.

Quitting smoking can be the first step you take to getting fit and healthy. You can use our guide “6 Steps to Getting Fit and Active” for help. All it takes in one step toward commitment. Focus on one aspect of your health first, and the rest will begin to fall into place.Reverse the Harmful Effects of Smoking