I'm sorry to be the party pooper here, but having initially being marketed as a safe alternative to smoking, the medical world is starting to unveil problems with this latter option. Vaping is still relatively new to medicine - and our knowledge is comparatively limited because the number of patients admitted to hospitals because of vaping or were unable to get premium treatment remains very small.
Firstly, ingesting any chemical into the body would most likely cause problems to your health. They can cause a toxic effect on the body. They use chemicals such as Propylene glycol that is used in vapes to create that sensation of a
'throat hit' and glycerol which acts as a sweetener or solvent in vapes. When ingested in the body they can form chemicals that release formaldehydes when heated which is a carcinogen (type 1). Carcinogens are a risk factor for cancer. More serious than you may have thought ?
Research went ahead that tested the different chemicals within the urine of teenagers that use e-cigarettes regularly and came out with the result that they had many toxic substances that should not be present in the body.
These substances were :
There were more that was carcinogenic, which was very worrying. They concluded teens who uses e-cigarettes daily are more likely to have these chemicals present in their system.
Here's where it gets interesting !!! How does our bodies know what time of day it is ? How does our body know when it is time to rest and sleep ? Well, to answer your question, we have an internal 'clock', known as our Circadian Rhythm. So cool, I know !
Within our eyes among our Rod and Cone cells we have Photosensitive Ganglion Cells which send signals straight to our brains to alert the body of what time of day it is. This then allows the brain to send signals to cells of the body to either produce more energy or to slow down production for the day. This is why we get tired and drained at the end of the day but also allows us to get up in the morning to do it all over again !
By tying this information into vaping, this rhythm can be disrupted by propylene glycol and glycerol. These compounds affect the expression of the circadian molecular 'clock' genes.
So as these chemicals can form carcinogens it can therefore change what time your body perceives it to be and so, in fact, as a lot of metabolic processes are controlled by the circadian rhythm we could adopt health problems such as diabetes and much more.
When we vape, the liquid is turned into a gas by a metal coil that is heated up. By doing this it may deposit small particles of the metal in the gas vapour and therefore this can travel into your body. The solubility of the particle decides where it deposits in the body. The more soluble it is, the easier it moves through the tissues in the lungs and into the blood and may be deposited somewhere else in the body. This can cause problems for certain orga
ns such as the Heart - if it may be deposited in the coronary arteries and cause heart attacks. If it is less soluble it may not be able to pass the tissue in the alveoli in the lungs, therefore it will deposit there. If deposited in the lungs it may make it harder for gas exchange to take place and can cause pneumonia, inflammation and more frequent coughing.
When nicotine travels to the brain it can bind to receptors and produce dopamine, therefore giving that feel good feeling. With increased nicotine exposure over time, one can lose the natural dopamine release from normal pleasures. This will then increase the number of Nicotine receptors in this part of the brain meaning that one will need to intake more nicotine to feel the same high, this is how a nicotine addiction occurs.
If in the vape there is nicotine, it could increase ones blood pressure over time. The reason for this is that, nicotine is absorbed and stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS then sends out a hormone called epinephrine which is more commonly known as Adrenaline. As increased levels of adrenaline is present, this forces the blood vessels to constrict and increases the rate at which the heart muscles contract. Overall, increasing blood pressure resulting in many problems with blood vessels. In older people it may burst atherosclerotic lesions causing thrombotic lesions which may cause myocardial ischaemia. Nicotine has a tendency to harden arteries as the nicotine chemical damages the endothelial cell of the blood vessel which allows plaque build-up inside the wall.
Nicotine can also be harmful mentally for those in youthful years. Up until the age of around 25 our brain is still growing and anything can have a harmful effect on the growth and development. Nicotine especially! Nicotine is very harsh on the prefrontal cortex, which has the most nicotine receptors. This part of the brain is responsible for emotions and our sudden impulses. So as more nicotine passes through the brain it may trigger emotions such as depression and anxiety and over time will create a stronger urge to carry out wild impulses, but even more importantly behaviour irregularities like inability to focus.
Many of these problems that I have described about Vaping would only appear over a long period of time and use.
Maybe it is a good idea to consider the risk factors before trying Vaping if you are not a smoker already, because we do not have enough research into the effects of long term vaping. Remember that when smoking first came into fashion, everyone used to do it as they thought it was cool, disregarding any healthy issues, but as the decades passed and the death toll increased and more long term researched was carried out we could see the deeper darker secrets of smoking. Is this just another deadly habit sitting in the dark.
Overall vaping is a safer alternative to stop smoking and has helped many people.
adolescence exposure to toxic volatile organic chemicals from e-cigarettes -
circadian clocks set the rhythm for our cell's powerhouses - science daily
short term vaping causes inflammation in non smoking - science daily
Exposure to electronic cigarette vapours affects pulmonary and systemic expression of circadian molecular clock genes - NCBI