Despite vaping being around for quite a while now, there are still many people with questions of safety. In particular, many people lack a clear understanding of what vaping does to your body.
We’re going to take a look at some of the key things involved with vaping including some frequently asked questions and use what research and evidence there is out there to help explain what vaping does to your body.
What Does Nicotine to Your Body?
Nicotine, while addictive, is often incorrectly perceived as the cause of much of the damage associated with cigarette smoke. In reality while it is nicotine that keeps us coming back for more, the circa 7000 additional harmful compounds delivered in cigarette smoke are primarily responsible for the myriad health concerns smokers face.
Sceptics of vaping often have a firm stance that if you vape with nicotine, you stand the same chance of contracting one of the many illnesses associated with smoking, such as cancer. In actuality, as highlighted in the famous ‘vaping 95’ announcement made by the UK Government in 2015, e-cigarette vapour does not contain these chemicals, and therefore caries 95% less risk.
Cancer Research UK answer a lot of questions on their page about vaping, and it’s very informative. They themselves say that Nicotine does not cause cancer nor is it responsible for the harmful effects of smoking either.
If you are looking to quit smoking and feel you need some guidance and support from a healthcare professional, check out the NHS Stop Smoking website which is filled with some great advice and links to where you can get help to make the process of quitting smoking that little bit easier.
Can Vaping Cause Lung Damage?
Another FAQ about vaping is its effect on the lungs. Again, this is another contentious subject with many assuming vaping carries the same risks as smoking.
A study was conducted which took a look in depth at the effects that vaping may have on the body, with an emphasis on whether it can damage the lungs.
The study involved a group of young adults who are “never-smokers” but in fact used E-Cigarettes on a regular basis. The research was carried out over a 3.5-year period and the results were then compared to a group of never smokers that had never used E-Cigarettes either.
The quote below comes from the lead of this study and summarizes the findings:
“We found no decrements in spirometric indices, development of respiratory symptoms, changes in markers of lung inflammation in exhaled air or findings of early lung damage on HRCT, when compared with a carefully matched group of never-smoking non-EC users.”
Essentially, this means they found no good evidence that vaping damages lungs in the same way tobacco smoke does – this should always be measured against the fact that extensive credible data is still lacking about the majority of long-term health risks associated with vaping.
This study is really detailed, and we recommend taking the time to read the full report as it certainly answers a lot of doubts and questions that people commonly have regarding vaping and it causing lung damage.
Lung damage from smoking is caused by the thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke, with tar and carbon monoxide being the main perpetrators for causing these issues. And neither of these are present within vapour from an e-cigarette.
Does Vaping Have Side Effects?
We’ve established that vaping is considerably safer than smoking and may not pose as big of a risk to people’s health as some think, but there are some side effects associated with vaping which we will discuss below to make you aware.
These side effects are primarily linked to vaping with nicotine, but some can happen even if you don’t have nicotine in your vape juice.
Whilst we have established that nicotine is not as harmful as many people think, it is still a chemical that’s ingested into your body and also a highly addictive one as well.
Over-exposure to nicotine from vaping can lead to some mild side effects which are commonly short lasting and also easily reversible.
- Dizziness / Lightheaded – This can happen when you vape by taking in too much nicotine too fast. Nicotine affects the brain and is a form of stimulant, so if you consistently puff away on your vape, chances are you might feel a little lightheaded and woozy.
- Nausea – Again, this is from too much nicotine in a short space of time or using a nicotine strength that’s too high for you. Commonly referred to as feeling a bit “Nic Sick”
Just put your vape down for a while and have a breather!
- Dry Mouth – Now this can occur whether you use nicotine in your vape juice or not. Nicotine can enhance this side effect slightly, but it’s the propylene glycol used to make vape juice which can cause dry mouth. Just make sure you stay well hydrated, and don’t use your vape as often until it goes away.
- Coughing – When you first start vaping and moving off cigarettes, it’s a different sensation to what you’ve been used to. Just take longer inhales and not short & sharp ones!
- Vapers Tongue – A classic side effect of vaping that can occur and make your flavours become muted. Again, easily reversible…check out our guide relating to this topic for more detail!
As I mentioned, the above side effects are relatively short term and can be sorted by simply taking a break from using your e-cigarette, but we must stress that if these symptoms continue or you develop more severe symptoms than those listed above, please consult a medical healthcare professional to seek guidance.