Vapes are electronic devices that aim to mimic the act of smoking by delivering nicotine through a vaporised solution. Unlike conventional cigarettes that burn tobacco, e-cigarettes operate by heating a liquid comprising nicotine, flavourings and other chemical components.
Vaping offers users a greater degree of control over their nicotine consumption in comparison to conventional smoking. E-cigarettes are available with varying levels of nicotine concentration in their e-liquids, ranging from high amounts resembling regular cigarettes to zero-nicotine alternatives.
Just like cigarettes, vapes can be addictive. Upon inhalation through vaping, nicotine swiftly enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain. This flood of dopamine generates a feeling of contentment that strengthens the urge to vape again, resulting in gradual dependence.
Although vapes are marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, research suggests that vaping is just as harmful to your health. Studies have shown that vaping can lead to respiratory problems like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Those who vape may experience coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. Vaping also raises the risk of lung cancer, asthma and bronchitis and is harmful to reproductive health.
E-cigarettes also contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical and a known carcinogen. Additionally, many vapes also contain diacetyl, a chemical associated with lung disease. Propylene glycol, a chemical commonly found in e-cigarette liquids, also has a negative effect on the respiratory system over time.
Electronic cigarettes can also weaken the body’s immune system, making it more susceptible to colds and flu. Vaping can also have negative long-term health effects, including changes in blood vessel elasticity and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
The sale, manufacture, import, export, transport, distribution and running of advertisements of e-cigarettes, or vapes are prohibited in India.
Inputs from Dr Atul Narayankar, consultant medical oncologist, Wockhardt Hospitals and Dr Pankaj Jain, consultant chest physician and pulmonologist, Jehangir Hospital.
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