Two Truths and a Lie about Vaping

Vaping use has skyrocketed in the last couple years and can be seen within campus, in dorms and sometimes even in class. Unfortunately, most people see vapes as more of an accessory than a harmful substance.

E-cigarettes were originally marketed as a smoking cessation aid for people who were unable to quit. Ironically enough, the majority of e-cigarette users have never smoked cigarettes.

                                                         e-cigarettes

What is vaping?

Vapes (also known as e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes) are battery powered devices which heat a liquid and create vapour that the user inhales. This vapour is often flavoured and can contain nicotine.

Truth: Vaping can cause lung damage  

Despite the common misconception, e-cigarettes are bad for your health just like cigarettes. Nicotine is a very addictive chemical found in both cigarettes and most vaping liquids. Even low levels of nicotine can lead to physical dependence and addiction causing you to crave more. Nicotine is also a toxic substance that increases your heart rate leading to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Since the level of nicotine found in vape E-juice varies, mixtures could have none to more than 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine. E-cigarettes have standard nicotine levels labelled across all vape juice brands. Therefore, if you choose to vape choose E-juice with zero nicotine.

Truth: Vaping alters teen brain development  

During adolescence, brain development is regulated by acetylcholine receptors which are sensitive to nicotine such as that from e-cigarettes or cigarettes. Nicotine leads to a change in the number of receptors which affects impulse control as a result of addiction. Furthermore, nicotine also changes the way synapses in the brain are formed which can permanently harm memory and concentration.

Lie: The long-term of effects of vaping are well known

Smoking cigarettes has been around for hundreds of years and today it is well-known that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. Yet, it wasn’t until 1964 that policies and medical reports confirmed the negative health effects of nicotine. Similarly, the long term effects of vaping are still unknown and it may be years or even decades until this information is available.

The main concern is that the effects of chemicals in vaping liquid are not fully understood. Vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol are the main liquids in vaping products. Although these are considered safe for use in many consumer products such as cosmetics, the long-term safety of inhaling the substances in vaping products is not known.

If you choose to vape:

  • vape at low temperature
  • avoid E-juice with nicotine
  • avoid vaping daily
  • avoid home-made E-juice

Quitting can be tough, but it is worth it. If you are interested in quitting or need help sticking to your goal, you can make an appointment at Health Services to discuss your options. 

To set up an appointment at Health Services, call 519-888-4096.

Other Resources:

Campus Wellness Student Medical Clinic

Coping Skills: Empowering Habit Change Seminar

Region of Waterloo Smoking Cessation

Websites:

Health Canada

Still Blowing Smoke

Know the Risks

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