Recent scientific research is uncovering some more serious side effects of vaping. For example, research conducted at the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology, shows vaping has the same effect as smoking when it comes to suppressing immune genes.
Table of contents:
Exploring all the Negatives of E-Cigs
Before getting to know what is vaping side effects, let’s get three important things out of the way first: Political Influence
Most online discussions regarding effects of vaping eventually become polluted with political garbage. Here’s why:
The vaping industry is booming like there’s no tomorrow. According to REJournals.com, The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) predicted that the vaping industry would be worth more than $10 billion by 2017. Bloomberg suggested that in the United States alone there were more than 3,500 vape shops in 2013, and that number surely has grown a lot since then.
It’s a fact that politicians and governments can’t help getting involved wherever there’s big money.
Side effects of vaping are:
- Dry mouth
- A cough
- Dry skin
- Dry eyes
- Insomnia (mainly a quitting side effect)
Like any other substance, this is not a complete list of its side effects. On the other hand, it’s true that some users never experience any of these uncomfortable problems.
Side Effects of Vaping – Myth or Fact
It is a fact that when you introduce any substance into the human body to which it is not accustomed, there can be side effects. So, no matter if you inhale, ingest or even just touch certain chemical substances, your body will show certain adverse effects.
E-liquids used for vaping are no different. But hey, even the safest foods we eat can sometimes result in side effects!
E-liquids contain three major components, including a VG/PG base, nicotine, and flavoring. These are either chemicals or substances derived through chemical processes. Therefore, it means that vaping will have certain side effects, which can range from temporarily dry mouth to serious health issues. If there is nicotine in the e-juice, then that also adds another dimension to some of the side effects. Particularly if the user had never smoked cigarettes or had any other exposure to nicotine.
Vaping Side Effects&Research
Although it has a long history, its surge in popularity is a relatively new thing. We are talking about e-cigs and other clever vaporizers. Like other new habit-forming behaviors, such as Internet addiction or tanning dependency, this is a recent subject of research.
Amazingly, you can still find many studies on vaping. A worldwide survey gives more insights on its beneficial and negative effects in people’s minds. Some of the research report the adverse effects in current and former smokers are:
- Dry mouth
- Sore mouth
- Tongue inflammation
- Black tongue
- Chest pain
- Breathing problems
We can also observe some changes in some users’ emotional state, sexual performance and memory. Another study shows that the short-term effects that vaping has on the lungs are similar to the ones from smoking. Data shows some of the adverse side effects may entirely or partially resolve over time. It depends on various individual factors and the history of use.
Side Effects vs. Body’s Resistance to Accepting Vapor
Most of the side effects are usually temporary and nothing but an initial reaction by the body to vapor. Overall, when your body becomes regular to it, the side effects usually disappear within a few hours or days at most.
Lack of Long-Term Data
We are unaware of the long-term negative effects of vaping on the human body.
Vaping: Chronic Diseases & Data
Negative side effects are a fact, but when you compare it to smoking, the vaporizer seems more harmless. Let’s explore the relation between chronic diseases and vaping. The majority of users with chronic diseases, report improvement in their condition after switching from smoking to vaping. These conditions includes hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and chronic obstructive lung disease. The public health social scientist Gerry Stimson confirms those results.
Vaping: Incidents & Usage
Some of the negative side effects of it may be because of improper usage. Vape explosions are some of the common incidents that can be very dangerous. Therefore, always familiarize yourself with the structure of your vapes and the nicotine levels in them.
Also, never forget that ingesting nicotine can be lethal. That’s why always keep your vaporizers away from kids and pets. If some pure nicotine falls on your skin, do not lick it but wash it off.
How to Minimize the Side Effects of Vaping
Fortunately, you can eliminate most side effects of vaping or at least reduce them by taking simple precautionary measures. Since there can be different reasons for different effects, let’s talk about each of them one by one.
Dry Mouth and Skin Issues
Dehydration due to vaping can cause dry mouth or dry throat, itchy, flaky, and red skin, and several other side effects. Vapor has the nature to attract water molecules from the surroundings, and you will feel it in your mouth.
If you experience any of these issues, drinking plenty of fluids can dramatically minimize the condition. Some of these side effects might be a blessing in disguise, e.g. dry skin in the case of people who have a very oily skin. However, staying hydrated is still essential.
Excessive nicotine intake can cause dizziness. If you’re feeling dizzy, you are probably taking more nicotine than your body can handle. This effect is commonly associated with sub-ohm when large plumes of vapor are entering your body. Luckily, fixing this issue is just a matter of switching to e-liquid with a lower nicotine strength, or vaping at a higher resistance.
Many people who switch to vaping, feel subtle withdrawals and tend to drink more coffee or other caffeinated drinks. Early days of using a vaporizer can cause caffeine sensitivity and result in anxiety and mood swings. Just reduce your intake of caffeine and all these symptoms will quickly dissipate.
As we mentioned earlier, almost all e-juices come with a PG/VG base. Despite being considered “generally safe” by FDA, PG can trigger a few allergies. VG, on the other hand, is derived from vegetables and goes easy on your system. So, if you’re vaping high PG e-liquids and experience allergies, switching to high VG e-liquid can be helpful.
Canker sores (don’t confuse them with cold sores) are small, shallow blisters inside the mouth; the cause has several reasons such as injury to the mouth, vitamin deficiency, acidic and spicy foods, hormone disorders, stress, and vaping.
However, vapor or e-liquids don’t have anything to do with canker sores, but failure to keep the mouthpiece clean is the issue. Anything you put into your mouth should always be clean, especially the e-cig mouthpiece that tends to accumulate a lot of gunk.
Scientists don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to the dangers of vaping. For instance, there is a claim that electronic cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. This is according to an expert independent review published by the Public Health England. On the other hand, a Harvard study claims there are many dangers of vaping that make it nearly as devastating as smoking. The study showed that several flavorings tested had chemicals including pentanedione and acetone. They can be extremely dangerous for human lungs. These chemicals have the capacity to damage lungs airways. In addition, they can cause severe respiratory diseases.
But as we mentioned earlier, the sponsors of these studies can be companies that have an agenda. What’s more, some can be even misleading. For example, you can find high levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, in the vapor. This is according to a recent study by five scientists from Portland State University. However, when you closely look at the study, you will notice something strange. They released formaldehyde into the vapor at ridiculously high temperatures. As a matter of fact, nobody vapes at such high temperatures. It’s because you get a burnt, dry taste which every vaper hates.
We need more, better and concrete studies. Since vaping has become popular over the last eight years, or so. Also, there is no long-term data available. We don’t know how vaping will affect those who have done it for more than two decades. This is why scientists are having trouble providing answers to many questions.
Is secondhand exposure dangerous?
The main difference between smoking and vaping is that there’s no burning of any substances in vaping. Therefore, there’s no combustion. As a consequence, it is not so dangerous to the people around us and the environment. However, studies show that various toxic substances are released during vaping. And that’s why they should implement more legal restrictions.
Secondhand Exposure & Risks
Although there’s no carbon emission in vaping, some researchers believe that secondhand exposure can be harmful. The allergist Chitra Dinakar reports that children are more sensitive to toxic substances. Doing studies that involve exposing someone to dangerous and harmful substances is not ethical. As a result, we cannot report some of the other negative effects of e-cigs.
The truth is that studies have actually found many toxic ingredients in the vapor. Some of them can even cause cancer. Therefore, we need strict restrictions on age and indoor and outdoor areas. We need more studies on the consequences of secondhand exposure. It is especially important concerning pregnant women and people with heart problems.
Vaping & Addiction
Like with any other habit, vaping can lead to addiction. Even pulling your hair as a compulsive need can become an annoying routine. Psychological dependence on vaping also has an effect. Sometimes the habit itself is addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms when a habitual vaper is not able to vape. It isn’t always necessary for there to be a drug involved.
With the popularity of vaping in mind, some health charities are concerned that many minors might decide to start. Always educate your children or younger siblings about possible health dangers and risks of addiction. Nicotine can have serious side effects on the developing brain of a teenager. It is definitely best to make sure that a teen never starts vaping at all, but especially if the e-juice contains nicotine.
Vaping is to be researched
A lot of research is currently underway to find out more negative side effects of vaping, but it will be a while before we get to see the results. Vaping side effects can be from short-term, minor issues to something so severe that you might have to stop vaping – though the latter is extremely rare. Therefore, we recommend keeping an eye on your health when you switch to vaping and immediately consult your doctor if you notice the serious side effects of vaping.