March 2024 Health Topic



The Dangers of Vaping


Electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, vape pens, puffs, e-hookahs which come in disposable and non-disposable forms, are thought to be a way to transition from smoking cigarettes to quitting. They may be less harmful that cigarettes but, that does NOT make them safe. The FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

Regular cigarettes are thought to contain about 7000 chemicals.  E-cigarettes have less, but they still expose users and those around them to harmful chemicals, many of which have yet to be identified.  When these chemicals are heated, they create other chemicals, and get deep into the lung tissue.  They contain propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin (toxic to cells), formaldehyde, diacetyl, acrolein (an herbicide used to kill weeds), heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing agents and flavorings.  Ninety-nine% contain nicotine, and most do even when labeled as nicotine-free.  Vaping of marijuana is becoming more common, and often contains vitamin E acetate, which is very harmful to lungs.


Studies are showing a large increase in lung injury with vaping.  This includes shortness of breath, decreased oxygen levels, difficulty with exercise, and lungs hurting, acute and chronic lung disease (asthma, COPD, asthma, and lung cancer   In the past, these symptoms were indicative of asthma, now vaping is added to the list of possible diagnoses.  ER and community health providers are now screening for the use of e-cigarettes.


Nicotine is highly addictive, and in youth it harms brain development, impacting learning, memory, attention, mood, and impulse control. It also increases adrenalin, increasing heart rate and the risk of heart attack.


If you or someone you know is trying to quit, it’s best to work with a provider to explore the best approach, including counseling and support groups. 

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW, another available resource.


It’s helpful to be sure and drink lots of water, eat healthy foods, be physically active, and breathe in fresh air to keep the level of stress down.


Helpful sites:


Health Ministry

P. Spegman 3/2024