Many people are aware of the dangers of smoking, but do they know about the dangers of vaping? Many people who switch from smoking to vaping believe that it is a better alternative to smoking. However, vaping also has harmful effects on the body. Before delving into the topic of the dangers of vaping, let’s first understand what vaping is.
What Is a Vape? Vaping Side Effects You Must Know
Vaping is often used by young people. The problem arises when children are also found to be using vapes. The trend of using vapes has become a trend among teenagers and children. This is very worrying as it contradicts the National Strategic Plan for Tobacco Control 2015-2020, with a mission to make Malaysia a country free from any form of smoking by 2045.
The habit of vaping among children, especially school students, is a disturbing trend for parents. In addition, vape liquids containing harmful substances such as nicotine can not only cause addiction, but also endanger children’s health when taken in excessive doses.
Vape is an electronic device used to vaporize liquid to produce vapor or smoke. It comes in various shapes, colors, sizes, and is made from different materials. Vapes are also known by other nicknames such as ‘E-Cigs’, ‘mods’, ‘E-Hookahs’, ‘pods’ or ‘Vape Pens’. Each vape device has three main components:
- Heating element
- Liquid container (cartridge)
The liquid used in the cartridge contains nicotine, propylene glycol or glycerin, and flavor enhancers such as fruit flavors. Its small size makes it easy to carry around and use anytime.
Vape was introduced as an alternative to reduce the addiction to cigarettes. Many people use vapes to quit smoking. But to what extent can vapes curb the urge to smoke? And what are the dangers of vaping?
Chemicals Contained in Vapes
The harmfulness of vapes lies in its contents. Although many consider vapes a safer alternative for those who want to quit smoking, it also has various disadvantages, especially in terms of its primary content.
The liquid in the cartridge contains nicotine. What is nicotine? Nicotine is a tobacco product that causes addiction. Addiction here will make its use for vaping repeatedly. Unlike cigarettes, vapes do not have tobacco but still contain nicotine. Although the nicotine content in vapes is lower than cigarettes, it still has various effects.
The use of nicotine will release a hormone known as dopamine, which will make the individual who vapes feel happy. However, when taken in high amounts, it will cause excessive addiction.
Nicotine is also said to have an impact on an individual’s heart in the long term. This is because vaping will cause the adrenal gland to release the hormone epinephrine, and this hormone will cause the individual’s heart to beat faster and high blood pressure.
Most of the flavored liquids consist of acetaldehyde-based substances. When this acetaldehyde chemical is mixed with other chemicals, it will cause the formation of acetal compounds that can cause irritation throughout the respiratory tract. As a result, it can also cause inflammation.
The danger of this substance is that it can also cause irritation to the eyes and skin if we are exposed to it. When you are exposed to acetaldehyde contained in vapes, it can cause symptoms similar to alcoholism.
For knowledge, acetaldehyde is a substance that is abundant in products used to remove the effects of paint.
If you are often exposed to chemicals such as lead contained in vapes, it can cause anemia, high blood pressure, damage to the kidneys, and leave toxic effects on the reproductive organs.
Even worse if the level of exposure is high. As a result, it can attack the nervous system, leading to coma, seizures, and death. When children are exposed to lead, it can lead to behavioral disorders. Moreover, it can also lead to permanent mental defects if frequently exposed to hazardous chemicals, lead.
Not only that, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also classified that lead is one of 10 chemicals that pose a threat to public health. Besides vaping, lead exposure can also come from burning and polluted dust or haze.
What is toluene? Besides vaping, toluene can be found in gasoline found in the aviation industry, paint, and also in thinner.
Inhalation at low levels can cause confusion, weakness, memory disturbances, nausea, and hearing impairment. Inhalation at high levels can also cause headaches, drowsiness, unconsciousness, and death. It is also known as an irritant to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. The resulting vapor can mix with air and form an explosive mixture.
One of the other disadvantages of vaping is that it contains hazardous chemicals such as benzene. Benzene is a carcinogenic compound that has been identified to cause blood cancer and also impair bone marrow function.
Not only that, it can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cause miscarriages and reproductive problems in women.
Overall, the use of vapes can pose various risks and is not a safe alternative to smoking.
6. N-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN)
N-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN) is carcinogenic. Like other nitrosamine compounds, it is capable of triggering the formation of cancer in the body. This hazardous substance has also been identified as capable of causing esophageal and nasal cancer.
Healthy Ways to Quit Smoking
Many take shortcuts to quit smoking by switching to vaping without realizing that both have almost the same drawbacks. In fact, there are various ways to train oneself to quit smoking, but it requires high discipline. Quitting smoking requires strong mental endurance, as it cannot happen overnight. It requires high patience. Here are some tips to quit smoking that you can try:
1. Know Your WHY
Ask yourself these questions;
“Why do I want to quit?”
“What will happen if I don’t quit?”
“What do I really want?”
These questions may seem trivial and unnecessary. But actually, they are driving questions for the mission to quit smoking. When we already know our WHY, it makes it easier for us to have an objective that can drive us towards quitting smoking.
Whenever the thought of smoking arises, remember your WHY and the objective you have built.
2. Set a Date to Quit Smoking
The importance of setting a date to quit smoking is so that you can build a strategy to quit smoking. However, your quit date must be clear. You are advised to choose the nearest date and make sure that the date is not filled with various tasks.
Write this date on the calendar and place it where you can see it every day. Hold onto this date and remind yourself frequently so that you are more prepared.
Why is it important to exercise? It is to divert your attention and memory away from smoking. If you don’t enjoy extreme exercise, just do easy exercises at home.
The benefits of exercising are that it can relieve stress and increase the production of endorphins which indirectly provides positive energy to our body. A tired body after exercising also allows you to get better quality sleep. This is very important in helping to treat insomnia caused by nicotine withdrawal.
4. Change Your Routine
When you start to quit smoking, your daily routines need to be changed. For example, many smokers have a routine to smoke after every meal. If you have started to quit smoking, you will surely feel awkward.
What you can do is to change this habit by eating fruits or chewing gum. Some smokers enjoy smoking while drinking a cup of coffee. So, to avoid being reminded of smoking, switch your coffee to tea or juice.
5. Healthy Eating
Choosing the right food during the period of quitting smoking is very important. This is because many smokers who quit smoking have problems with weight gain. The reason is that they choose unhealthy foods and snacks to divert their attention and memory from smoking.
Your appetite will increase in the process of quitting smoking. To avoid weight gain, healthy and balanced eating is important. The main recommended choices are fruits and vegetables. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are important to help prevent cancer and can also make you feel full. You can also choose dried fruits, corn and nuts as snacks when you want to chew.
6. Avoid Things That Remind You of Smoking
After you have started building your strategy by changing your routine, the important thing to do is to eliminate things that can remind you of smoking. This includes cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, matches, and anything closely related to smoking.
Not only that, make sure your car, home, and workspace are clean and free from cigarette smoke. These things can trigger you to start smoking again.
Never keep cigarettes for “just in case” situations. The fewer things that remind you of smoking, the easier it is for you to achieve your goal of quitting smoking.
7. Keep Yourself Busy
After changing our daily routine, our day can feel empty without smoking. So, to avoid feeling empty without smoking, you are advised to keep yourself busy by doing things like cleaning the house, watching TV, playing video games, and more.
You should always remember that you are not alone in preventing yourself from smoking. If you are in a difficult moment and feel desperate, counseling can reduce that stress.
You can share experiences and get views and advice from those who have been through similar situations like you. Joining a counseling group can provide you with a support system and give you more motivation to continue your struggle until you successfully quit smoking.
9. Reward yourself
Quitting smoking is not an easy task. It not only takes a long time but also requires strong mental and physical endurance. That’s why it’s important to reward yourself after successfully quitting smoking. It indirectly provides encouragement and support, making you more motivated.
Vaping is not a good treatment for quitting smoking. If you are determined to quit smoking, take these steps instead of wasting money buying a vape. Both vaping and smoking are dangerous to your health.
So, now you can try to quit smoking and vaping when you know about the dangers of vaping and how to quit smoking properly. Remember, change begins with you. Make sure you are truly motivated to quit vaping and smoking.
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