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More About The Dangers And Diseases Of Vaping


OK, last fortnight, you told me about the medical illnesses that can come from vaping.

Yes. I mentioned that there is an increased risk of seizures, as well as cardiovascular diseases already established with nicotine use, such as heart attacks, strokes, and coronary artery disease.

This is due to the microscopic particles that e-cigarettes produce when you inhale their vapour.

What if I don’t use nicotine in my e-cigarettes? What if my aerosol only contains nicotine-free fluid and that delicious chocolate flavour that comes with it?

Unfortunately for you, even when your vaping e-fluid is free from nicotine, it carries other particles like certain chemicals and metals.

When you heat an e-fluid, the heating element itself emits tiny particles, which also includes metals that can be released with the aerosol.

You will not notice these particles, just as you don’t really notice particles in the hazy air that you are breathing in.

These metals and particles go into your lungs and get deeply lodged inside your alveoli, the basic breathing units of your lungs.

From the alveoli, they get absorbed into your bloodstream and go everywhere else in your body.

At the same time, when an e-cigarette is heated, it produces other toxic chemicals such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and acrolein.

Research has already shown that formaldehyde can cause cancer.

Acrolein can cause some cardiovascular diseases.

Even if the e-vaping habit is still too new to produce these long-term diseases, you can do the math and decide for yourself.

You don’t want to go out in the haze, do you? (Well, most people don’t!) So why do you want to introduce the “haze” into your own lungs through a device?

Hmmm, if you put it that way. What other diseases can be associated with vaping?

Well, in addition to the list from last fortnight:

• Irritation of your lungs

The vapour from e-cigarettes can irritate your lungs just as the nicotine from normal cigarettes does.

Researchers already know that cigarette smoke tears down your lung lining, damaging your cells there and making them more vulnerable to the deadly chemicals in cigarettes and other pollutants from the environment.

It’s the same with the e-vapour.

There was a “wheezing” study following 28,000 people.

They were divided into four groups, each consisting of vapers, cigarette smokers, people who both smoked and vaped, and people who neither smoked nor vaped, respectively.

A wheeze is a high-pitched sound someone emits when their air passages are narrowed.

It sounds like a “wheeeeeeee”. You have probably heard it in asthmatics.

So, in this study, it was found that the risk of wheezing among the vapers doubled that of the non-users.

•  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

More studies also found that vapers are more likely to develop COPD, a spectrum of diseases that run from chronic bronchitis to emphysema.

Vaping can definitely exacerbate asthma attacks if you are already asthmatic or prone to it.

•  Coughs and colds

There is an increased risk of catching a cough or cold.

Why do airlines warn against having e-cigarette devices in your checked luggage?

Vaping, e-cigarettes, vaping device, airport, airplane, Star2.com

Vaping devices are not allowed in checked luggage going on planes because of the risk of an explosion. — Filepic

Well, these devices have been known to explode. There was a recent case involving a young American teenager who had an e-cigarette explode in his mouth when he was vaping.

His injuries were severe, as you can imagine. Doctors observed that his teeth were damaged, his chin had a puncture wound, his mouth was shredded, and even his jaw bone was damaged.

It was believed that the device’s battery was what caused the explosion.

Therefore, just as you are not allowed to carry phone battery packs in your luggage, you are also not allowed to carry vaping batteries.

After all, cellphones have also been known to explode.

Additionally, vaping devices have been known to cause flame burns and chemical burns.

One study showed that of all the patients who have been wounded by vaping devices, one-third had hand injuries, and half had thigh, and even groin, injuries as they put the vaping device on their laps.

I started vaping because the vaping shop told me that it would help me quit smoking cigarettes. I’m not so sure now as I am still vaping and smoking cigarettes. Is it supposed to do that?

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine studied people who were using e-cigarettes instead of smoking versus people who used nicotine replacement therapy instead of smoking.

Those that used e-cigarettes actually quit smoking at almost double the rate of the other group.

But very few people actually quit smoking altogether. Call it being addicted to something else!

The question is: are you then being addicted to something just as bad or potentially worse?

Only time will tell, but the damaging evidence is mounting against vaping.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health, computers and entertainment. For further information, email starhealth@thestar.com.my. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.





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