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"Examining the Comparative Harm: Vaping vs. Smoking - A Look into Their Impact on Health"

Exploring the Connection: Vaping and Its Potential Impact on Cognitive Function

By DreamweaverPublished 14 days ago 4 min read
Visualizing the Comparative Risks: A Graphical Representation of Vaping and Smoking's Effects on Public Health

In the United States and the United Kingdom, vaping has become a concerning issue, as it has infiltrated the lives of young people. One out of every five high school students in the US currently vapes, while 7% of kids aged 11 to 17 in the UK now engage in this practice. This number has nearly doubled in the last two years, making vaping more popular among young people than smoking cigarettes. However, with the recent news of vape-related deaths among young individuals, it is crucial to question whether vaping is worse than smoking cigarettes.

Vaping devices consist of a coil that ranges from 110°C to 1,000°C, creating thermal conditions for a carrier like propylene glycol. This stage smoke, which is inhaled directly into the lungs, is mixed with an active ingredient, most commonly nicotine, and chemical flavorings. The vape smoke enters the lungs in a way that studies have shown to usher nicotine faster into the bloodstream and brain than cigarettes. Additionally, a study found that the way people inhale vapes delivers more nicotine per puff than cigarettes.

Nicotine, the primary addictive substance in both vapes and cigarettes, is an intense drug. It causes a series of complex biochemical processes that increase dopamine, leading to feelings of motivation, awareness, concentration, elevated mood, and other neurochemical processes that relax muscles. The nicotine rush enters the bloodstream through the lungs and passes through the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain, where it affects various neurochemical processes.

However, nicotine also alters blood flow in the body, causing potential health issues. A study found that men who use e-cigarettes are more than twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction compared to those who don't vape, regardless of other risk factors. Erectile dysfunction is caused by nicotine, and since vapes contain more nicotine than cigarettes, it is possible that vaping may lead to more severe cases of erectile dysfunction.

Moreover, the mysterious vaping deaths that have affected 287 patients as of February 2020, with 68 people losing their lives, were primarily caused by THC vapes. Some of these THC vapes contained a chemical called vitamin E acetate, which ravaged users' lungs. This disease, called e-cigarette or vaping use-

Associated lung injury (EVALI), was never caused by nicotine vapes. However, this does not mean that there aren't other dangerous chemicals present in these vaping products due to the flavorings.

The concept of vaping was initially designed to be tasteless and unattractive as a mechanism to help people quit cigarettes. But as the market expanded, companies started adding flavorings to make vaping more appealing. For instance, cinnamaldehyde, the artificial flavoring that creates a cinnamon taste in food, has been found to impair the function of cilia in the lungs, making it harder for the respiratory system to expel debris and pathogens, leaving users more vulnerable to lung infections.

Other chemicals used in vape flavorings, such as 2,3-Pentanedione (cinamaldehyde), Diacetyl, and Acetoin (collectively known as the "Flavoring Chemicals Trio"), have been linked to severe respiratory diseases like bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung. These chemicals have been shown to cause pro-inflammatory effects on the respiratory tract, leading to chronic respiratory conditions and potentially cancer.

A recent study found that vape smoke contains Benzene and other volatile organic compounds, which can lead to chronic respiratory conditions. Additionally, vaping coils contain metals like manganese and zinc, which are inhaled and cause airway epithelial injury and tissue hypoxia. Mice chronically exposed to vape aerosols developed lung changes consistent with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that kills 100,000 Americans annually due to smoking.

Despite these alarming findings, scientists and physicians agree that cigarettes are still worse than vapes. Cigarettes involve a combustion reaction with tobacco, causing users to inhale tar and other chemicals that ravage the lungs in unprecedented ways. One lung researcher compared smoking cigarettes to putting your mouth over a car exhaust pipe and inhaling. Furthermore, 1.3 billion people worldwide currently smoke cigarettes, making it a global epidemic that kills millions of people each year.

However, vaping is a relatively new concept, and as more young people adopt this habit, it is crucial to continue studying its effects on the human body, particularly on the lungs. As of now, vaping may not be considered worse than cigarettes, but there is still much to learn about the long-term consequences of these chemicals on our health.

In conclusion, vaping has become a significant concern among young people, with more individuals choosing to vape over smoking cigarettes. While vaping may not be as lethal as cigarettes, the presence of dangerous chemicals in vape flavorings and the potential for addiction make it a risky trend. As research continues to uncover the truth about vaping's impact on our health, especially on young people's lungs, it is essential to raise awareness and educate the public about the potential dangers associated with this seemingly harmless alternative to smoking.

ChildhoodTeenage yearsStream of ConsciousnessSecretsHumanityFamilyEmbarrassmentBad habits

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