The Truth About Vaping
Vaping has grown drastically in popularity, especially with the younger generation. The electronic cigarettes come in different flavors and strengths of 0, 3, 6, 12, and even 36mg. Originally these vapes were meant to help people with the cessation of smoking, but it has done the opposite.
Found in many e-liquids is nicotine which is addictive. When inhaled it creates a type of buzz that releases epinephrine which is the sense of an adrenaline rush. Meaning our blood pressure and heart rate increases which in turn releases the happy dopamine hormone.
Once addicted to nicotine the body can begin to feel side effects when without it. These symptoms include headaches, nausea and vomiting. The way these get fixed is by smoking again, then the person becomes stuck in the addiction unless they push themselves past it.
Catherine Eichholz is a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) at Wolfson Children’s Hospital who states that addiction can be beaten. “Take it one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time,” she says. “Try to remember the bigger picture.”
Eichholz mentioned that she has seen cases involving adults and even teens that have troubles involving electronic cigarettes. “I’ve actually taken care of a few teens at Wolfson in the ICU that have had issues associated with vaping. The liquid inhaled into the lungs over time causes lung damage. Add that damage to any illness that affects the lungs, and it takes a lot longer to heal,” said Eichholz.
For those under 18 and women that are pregnant, the smoke from electronic cigarettes can be harmful. The chemicals can affect brain development and cause cancer.
However, there is the ability to improve one’s lungs after smoking. If one is still smoking, slowly lowering the amount of nicotine one is inhaling is a major start.
“Once someone stops smoking the lungs do start to improve, this can take up to about 6 months. The cilia in the lungs, basically little finger-like hairs in the airway that help move secretions, take more time to heal. Usually about a year is the estimated time, but obviously each person is different. The lungs slowly heal, but never get back to normal,” stated Eichholz.
It is important to note that the FDA does not regulate electronic cigarettes which means that the chemicals in them have unknown side effects. Also, electronic cigarettes have the chance to explode and cause burns. It is better for one’s overall health to start to quit smoking or don’t start all together.
Sidebar Facts vs. Myths
Nicotine can create addiction at any age.
In 2018, over 10 million youths in the U.S. used or started to use e-cigarettes.
60% of young people believe that e-cigarettes are just flavored.
Nicotine is like caffeine.
Vaping is a better alternative to cigarettes.
Vaping is harmless water vapor.
Written by Kaitlyne Piper