E-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vaps, tanks systems, and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce a mix of small particles in the air. Some look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, and others look like a USB flash drive or pen. Larger devices such as tank systems or “mods” do not look like typical tobacco products. While the liquid used in e-cigarettes is often nicotine and flavorings, it can also be marijuana or other drugs. Inhaling these substances not only affects the user but can also be breathed in by others nearby.
E-cigarette droplets can contain other harmful things such as:
- Harmful organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
- Tiny particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs
- Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
The modern vaping trend began after 2010.
It is a misconception to think that e-cigarettes contain harmless water vapor. Exposure can also be harmful to those nearby. Used by many adults, there has also been an unfortunate rapid increase in vaping among teens. Nicotine use by young adults may increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs. Nicotine is also harmful to the developing brains, aside from the obvious harmful effects on the lungs and heart.
Vaping has become more popular among teens than traditional cigarette smoking.
Regardless of how you absorb it, nicotine is addictive. While a traditional cigarette is typically smoked in 2-5 minutes, an e-cigarette can last up to 20 minutes, delivering larger quantities of nicotine and chemicals to the lungs. In addition, some vaping mixtures can contain 20 times the nicotine of a single cigarette. THC-containing vape products have also been found to have a thickening agent called Vitamin E acetate, which has been associated with vape-associated lung injuries. Marijuana vaping is also on the rise with our teens. The dangers of vaping are many and the increased use by our youth and adults is cause for concern.
What can I do if my child is vaping?
- the No. 1 thing to do is to set an example and stop all nicotine use yourself 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- talk to your child about the health dangers
- talk to your child before they start
- have your doctor talk to them about the dangers of vaping
Know the signs of Oral Cancer
The best way to protect yourself from oral and/or lung cancer is to avoid any form of tobacco: Cigarettes, Cigars, Chewing tobacco, Hookahs, and E-cigarettes.
However, if you or anyone you know has white patches in their mouth, long-lasting mouth sores or ulcers, unusual lumps or swellings of the lips, tongue, or neck they may be signs of a serious condition and should be evaluated by an ENT Specialist as soon as possible.