Vaping – it’s the most millennial thing a person can do. It's popularity is a testament to the fact that it’s just too easy. You can vape anywhere. Your clothes don’t smell of smoke when you go for a sneaky ciggie. Babes are happy to kiss you once you’ve vaped because the smell of tobacco has been replaced with vanilla fumes. You can smoke inside again.
E-cigarettes have been around since 2003 and we haven’t known much about their health effects. We’ve pulled the flavoured smoke from our USB-powered vaporisers and blindly assumed that they have to be a better, healthier alternative to cigarettes.
But, research is catching up with us and it's not looking good for longtime smokers who switched to e-cigarettes in the hope of avoiding cancer-causing chemicals.
“As time passes, the evidence that these are a lot more dangerous than people thought keeps piling up,” says Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director of UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Research, Control & Education. “In one disease they seem worse than cigarettes: they seem to turn on more inflammatory and depressed immune function in lungs than cigarettes. And evidence the effects on the cardiovascular system approach that of a cigarette is also piling up.”
We’ve puffed that bubblegum and bacon-flavoured smoke and assumed we were blowing out nothing but tasty air. Incorrect. Firstly, the propylene glycol, largely responsible for making your breath look like a cloud of mist, is also found in fog machines and has been linked to chronic lung problems. While the ingredient is actually FDA-approved for use in food (specifically in pre-made cake mix), when it's heated to vaping temperature it can produce the carcinogen formaldehyde.
Some studies have found it to contain lead, nickel, tin, and silver from the machinery inside the devices along with formaldehyde, manganese, tolulene, and other ingredients linked to cancer, central nervous system problems, and other possible health issues.
New research has come out that implies that some of the specific flavourings may be bad for the heart, with cinnamon and menthol being the most toxic. Vaping and these particular flavourings, even without nicotine, triggered dysfunction in the blood vessels, which can increase the risk of heart disease, researchers reported in the Journal of American College of Cardiology.
Another recent study looked at health records to conclude that those who used e-cigarettes had a higher risk of heart attack than people who neither vape nor used tobacco products.