Nicotine vaporizers, also known as e-cigarettes, are starting to take the public by storm. The process of using a nicotine vaporizer is known as Vaping. Why is Vaping and why are e-cigs popular and are they good or bad? The answer to the second questions is…it depends.
The answer to the first question is Vaping is simply inhaling a vaporized combination of of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. (Wikipedia) To the uniformed, that sounds like dangerous chemicals but all of these with the exception of nicotine, these have been used in food products for decades. We will leave the debate about those components for another day.
It simply takes the liquid mixture and vaporizes it in a heating chamber and then the process of inhalation allows you to absorb the nicotine into your lungs. If you think this doesn’t sound healthy, you are right…it isn’t! Studies have been done that show that the reaction to inhaled Vaping fluids is almost unrecognizable in regard to cellular damage as tobacco smoke (Clinical Cancer Research). The difference is that Vaping liquid does not contain 69 known carcinogenic components while tobacco smoke does (American Lung Association).
So why would we discuss Vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking? Because it is. In an unscientific series of conversations with people who have been long-term smokers who have tried Vaping, they have all reported that it is the easiest method they have ever used to try to quit smoking. Treadmill Doctor’s head of Information Technology has smoked for decades and while he works out regularly, he has been concerned about smoking and has tried patches, nicotine gum, etc.
Two months ago, he started Vaping and since you can control how much nicotine you include in the liquid, he has been able to slowly dial the nicotine down to zero. Now he says that he has to solve his oral fixation without overeating but he has seen a real difference in his pulmonary functioning and he says he has more energy and is sleeping better as well.
Another person that I have known for almost two decades started Vaping about 3 months ago and he has lost nearly 20 lbs, has stopped using the e-cigs altogether, and said he was bordering COPD and now his doctor says that he has seen a massive reversal and improvement in his lung function.
So to fully answer the second question, we would recommend that if you don’t smoke, don’t start Vaping. Nicotine is a dangerous drug and contrary to the tobacco company CEO’s, we all know it is highly addictive. Even a small teaspoon of highly diluted Vaping fluid is LETHAL to some people. In small doses, it has causes vomiting, seizures, and even death when absorbed through the skin. When inhaled, it can cause the arteries to narrow and constrict. (WebMD)
If you do smoke, I have seen firsthand evidence that it is very effective at helping you quit smoking but it isn’t a great long-term replacement due to the health effects of nicotine exposure and the possible side-effects of Vaping liquid. There is a push to regulate e-cigs and from the research, it looks like that is a good idea. (How Stuff Works)