hand on vape

Vaping: Myths and Truths

There is an outbreak of lung injury from e-cigarette use or vaping. As of Septemeber 17th, the CDC reports 530 cases of lung injury due to the use of e-cigarette or vaping products across the US and its territories. The CDC also reports seven deaths from complications due to vaping across six different states. 1

The CDC said, “No consistent e-cigarette or vaping product, substance, or additive has been identified in all cases, nor has any one product or substance been conclusively linked to lung disease in patients.” 1

There is much we do not yet know about the effects of vaping, and that unknown causes much fear nationwide. Let’s shed some light on what we do know at this time. 

 

Myth #1: Nicotine is the only chemical in vapes.

There is more to vaping than just nicotine. Vaping is a very popular method of marijuana use. Some individuals even vape herbs. 

This is especially dangerous because there is not a standard among the types and amounts of chemicals in vaping products. This has also made it difficult to discover the exact harms of vaping. Each user’s experience is different due to different flavors, nicotine levels, and devices. 

 

Myth #2: Nicotine causes cancer. 

Nicotine is not a carcinogen. The other chemicals in tobacco products such as formaldehyde and lead, for example, cause cancer. Vape products don’t have these additives which has lead to the false belief that vaping is perfectly safe. 

Nicotine is highly addictive, raises blood pressure, and can harm developing adolescent brains. 

 

Myth #3: Vape products are safe because they don’t burn tobacco.

Clearly nicotine itself is not safe, nor is vaping harmless. There are all kinds of things you consume when you vape, many which are not regulated or well understood. 

So just what do you inhale while vaping? You get nicotine. Nicotine comes from tobacco, and this is why e-cigarettes are a tobacco product. You also get the solvents, the flavors and heavy traces of metal exposure from the heating coil, as well as other tobacco metabolites. 

 Secondary concerns include the potential for harder drug use and the mental effects of addiction and dependence. Addiction and nicotine use are closely associated with other health disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety. Depressions individuals may be more likely to abuse substances. These substances may lead to additional feelings of depression. 

 

Truth #1: Vaping is an epidemic among our youth. 

Although not everyone who vapes is a young person, there is a strong culture of vaping among teens and the slightly older Gen-Z adults. Vaping is cleverly marketed as the new thing in smoking, it’s new technology, and it is customizable with trendy colors, flavors, and sleek devices. There is an obvious appeal to it among the younger crowd, complete with the lie for parents that it’s safer than cigarettes. 

 

Truth #2: Not everyone is aware of the dangers of vaping. 

The US government, schools, and health organizations do an amazing job of informing our youth about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Facts and media to inform youth of the harms of the vaping trend, however, are still catching up. 

The medical community is fighting to catch up to this fast-growing trend. Research takes time.  Until we have evidence which provides clear results for specific vaping regulations, the real dangers of vaping and e-cigarette remain concerningly unknown. 

 

If you need help to break an addiction to nicotine or tobacco products, please reach out to one of our providers. You can find them on our CCMH Provider Directory.

 

Source

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping.19. Sept. 2019.

 

Disclaimer  

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman smoking cigarette while looking at phone

How Smoking Affects the Lungs

Each organ in your body plays an important role in keeping your body healthy. If you have healthy lungs, you probably don’t think much about them. Damage to your lungs, however; can quickly cause a noticeable difference in your ability to breathe easily.

 

The primary role of the lungs is delivering oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. You breathe in air and breathe out carbon dioxide as waste exhaling.  No tobacco product is safe. However, combustible products—those that you burn to smoke—are exceptionally harmful to the lungs.

 

How does smoking hurt your lungs?

 

When you smoke, the tissue of the lungs receive damage, impeding them from functioning properly. Smoking also increases your risk of serious health issues. Some examples include: lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

 

Upon your very first puff, immediate damage to the lungs begins. Every puff of cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals.1 When you inhale, the smoke hits your lungs almost instantly. The blood then carries these toxic chemicals throughout the body. Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that then displaces the oxygen in your blood. This deprives all your organs of needed oxygen.

 

What chemicals are found in cigarettes?

 

Cigarettes also include acrolein. This chemical causes lung damage and a sore throat. Cigarettes may also contain bronchodilators. These chemicals are meant to open up the airways of the lungs. They also can increase the amount of dangerous chemicals absorbed by the lungs.

 

What are the consequences of smoking?

 

Cigarette smoke has negative consequences for individuals of all ages. Babies born to mothers that smoked during pregnancy may have abnormal lung development. Teens who smoke may develop weaker lungs which never operate at full capacity or develop to their full, adult size.

 

Additionally, smoking can destroy the cilia. These tiny hairs in the airway keep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. This may then lead to the development of “smoker’s cough,” a chronic cough common for long-term smokers.

 

Smokers are also at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD). 80% of cases of COPD are due to smoking. 2  People with COPD have difficulty breathing and eventually die because of the lack of oxygen.

 

COPD has no cure. Moreover, nearly all lung cancer—the top cause of cancer death— is due to smoking. Smokers are 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. 3  Lung cancer may also lead to other respiratory cancers.

 

Are e-cigarettes also harmful?

 

Because e-cigarettes are still relatively new tobacco products, many do not realize the harm they cause. We discussed this in a recent article “Juuling Much More Dangerous than Teens Realize”.

 

Some e-cigarette aerosols contain some of the same chemicals as cigarettes. This includes the lung irritant acrolein, and formaldehyde. Some chemicals that create flavor could be harmful when inhaled too.  Furthermore, fruit flavored e-cigarettes often large amounts of acrylonitrile, a known respiratory irritant.

 

Can I reverse the damage of smoking to my lungs?

 

When you stop smoking, you have overall better health. Lung cancer risk drops drastically in the years after quitting. Furthermore, only 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. This, of course, allows more oxygen to circulate to your organs.

 

If you’re struggling to stop smoking, reach out to a CCMH Provider by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Directory. We would love to help!

 

Sources

 

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.

 

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General (Fact Sheet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014.

 

3 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke.

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

4 juul devices on table

Juuling Much More Dangerous than Teens Realize

Kick Butts Day takes place on March 20, 2019. This national day of activism empowers our nation’s youth to take a stand against the tobacco industry. The initiative expects  more than 1,000 anti-tobacco events across our nation and the world.

This year’s campaign will focus on e-cigarette usage (juuling) among our nation’s youth. U.S. public health officials named youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic”. This trend is raising up our next generation with a harmful and addictive tobacco habit.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the organizer of the initiative, cigarette smoking among high schoolers nationwide has dropped to 8.1%. However, e-cigarette usage among high schoolers rose an alarming 78% in 2018 alone. This is 20.8% of the student population. Furthermore, this means in 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. 1

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids encourages health advocates and youth to call for strong action to put a halt to the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Particularly, they urge the FDA as well as state and local governments to ban tobacco products the industry clearly markets to youth. This also includes flavored tobacco products such as e-cigarettes or Juuls that taste like gummy bear, mango and cotton candy. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, research shows that flavors play a key role in the appeal of tobacco products for kids. 1

 

Why are Juuls so popular among youth?

 

Juul electronic cigarettes released on the market in 2015. Using any type of e-cigarette or vape has skyrocketed. However, this particular brand remains the most popular among teens and young adults. Because it makes up more than half of e-cigarette sales, Juul usage is an immediate public health concern.

The manufacturer cleverly markets Juul e-cigarettes to appear techy, sleek, and easy to conceal. Furthermore, they look just like USB flash drives and can even charge in a USB port on your computer. The device is also small enough to fit in a closed hand. For decades we have preached about the dangers of cigarettes to our youth. Juuls, however, don’t look anything like the traditional tobacco products we urge kids to avoid.

Also, kids do not refer to using a Juul as “smoking,” but as “juuling,” further disassociating the trend from the dangerous tobacco usage that it is.

Juuling delivers nicotine faster, more efficiently, and at higher doses than other e-cigarettes. In return, this increases users’ risk of addiction. Each Juul cartridge of nicotine liquid (Juul pod) contains as much nicotine as whole pack of cigarettes. Many Juul users don’t realize the product always contains nicotine.  

 

Why is juuling especially harmful for teens?

 

Not only is juuling dangerous for kids, but it may be even more so than for adults.

A 2016 Surgeon General’s report concluded that youth use of nicotine is unsafe, addictive and can even harm the developing adolescent brain. 2

Similarly, a report that was published by the JAMA Network after pediatric research concluded that e-cigarette use increases the risk of youth ever using combustible tobacco cigarettes later in life. 3

 

We encourage you to discuss tobacco usage including new trends like juuling with the youth in your life. For more resources, you can visit Kickbuttsday.org.

Our CCMH health providers are also dedicated youth advocates and are always willing to discuss tobacco use with you or your child. To find a CCMH provider to meet your needs, visit our online directory at http://ccmhhealth.com/directory.  

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the CCMH website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet your medical needs.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

 

Sources

1 Torres, Gustavo. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Kicking Juul: Youth take action to reverse e-cigarette epidemic.19 Mar 2019.

2 United States. Public Health Service. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults : a report of the Surgeon General. 2016. 

3  Watkins PhD, Shannon Lea; Glantz PhD, Stanton A. ; Chaffee, DDS, PhD, Benjamin W. JAMA Network. Association of Noncigarette Tobacco Product Use With Future Cigarette Smoking Among Youth in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, 2013-2015.