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Dangers of Vaping/ “E-Cigarettes”

Posted on: December 18th, 2019 by Weimer Family Dentistry

Advertising has led the public to believe that vaping or electronic cigarettes are “safe,” but are they really? These products have been in use in the U.S. for only about a decade. How much do we actually know about their long-term effects and safety?

So what is an “e-cigarette” and what’s in it? E-cigs come in many different shapes and sizes. They can look like a pen or even a USB drive. Most have a battery, a heating element, and a reservoir to hold a liquid. The liquid is heated into an aerosol, which is inhaled. While e- cigs contain fewer chemicals than regular cigarettes, these products have been touted as “safer” than conventional cigarettes which contain over 7000 chemicals. But “safer” doesn’t mean “safe.” E-cigarettes contain nicotine (which we know is a highly addictive drug), ultrafine particles that are inhaled deeply into the lungs, volatile organic compounds, flavoring compounds such as diacetyl, which has been linked to lung diseases, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Some e-cigs deliver THC (the high-inducing chemical of marijuana).

E-Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Surveys show more than 5 million U.S. middle and high schoolers reported vaping within the last 30 days. The flavored products mint and fruit have been identified as favorites among youth. Because of this, and in an effort to dissuade youth vaping, many states have banned these flavored products.
Reports are now coming out regarding the effects of vaping. As of November 20, 2019, CDC reports that over 2000 illnesses related to e-cigarettes have been documented, and 47 deaths due to vaping-related illnesses have been recorded in 25 states and the District of Columbia. There has been no single ingredient or specific vaping device identified in these illnesses. Many of the patients reported vaping with THC. More cases of lung diseases have been linked to the use of black market THC. Other reports (New England Journal of Medicine Sept 2019) document clusters of cases in the U.S. of a mysterious vaping-related lung illness identified with fat-laden cells in the lungs. These cases look like pneumonia on lung scans but tests for pneumonia come back negative. Researchers now wonder if these fat-filled immune cells are scavenging up debris that fills the lungs from vaping. Additionally, e-cigs contain Vitamin E acetate, which has been identified as a strong culprit in lung-related illnesses related to vaping. Vitamin E acetate is often added to vaping solutions as a thickening agent. It is an oily vitamin and has been identified as very sticky in the lungs; just because something is safe to swallow (where stomach acid can digest it) or safe to rub on the skin, does not mean it is safe to inhale. Additional reports of vaping devices that have caught fire or exploded during charging or while in use have been documented. Recent studies also show that vaping decreases circulation in the heart and increases cholesterol.

Many believe vaping may help quit smoking. Did you know that one “pod” of vaping product contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes? Vaping has not been approved as an aid to quit smoking, as there is insufficient evidence to support this theory. We are learning more with time, but the bottom line is that we just don’t know a whole lot yet about the long-term effects of vaping. Illnesses and deaths are being reported as linked to vaping use, and the numbers continue to grow. If you’re thinking of trying vaping, just say no. Don’t be a guinea pig.

Weimer Family Dentistry proudly serves the Northshore and surrounding areas (Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville, Abita Springs, Slidell, New Orleans.) Weimer Family Dentistry offers a full range of dental services, including family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implants, dentures, crowns, bridges, whitening, and even biologic dentistry. Weimer Family Dentistry is located at 807 Asbury Dr. in Mandeville, LA (985) 727-1800. weimerfamilydentistry.com Patrick Weimer, D.D.S. and Leigh Flattmann, D.D.S.

Location & Map

807 Asbury Drive
Mandeville LA 70471
(985) 727-1800

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm


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