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Vaping is not a healthy alternative

Even though vaping has been considered less hazardous to the body than smoking, it has its own serious health risks.
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Almost one in five Canadians acknowledge say they have vaped in the past year, including just over a quarter of those aged 18 to 34.


I previously wrote an article about Smoking and what I learned about the cigarette industry appalled me, especially the part about the thousands of chemicals in a single cigarette and how the original marketing was geared towards young people in order to establish the addiction to nicotine early on and have a customer for life. We have known for decades that smoking is not only addictive but it damages many areas of the body causing long-term issues like COPD, emphysema, cancer and heart disease to name a few. 

It is estimated that over 70% of people who smoke wish they never started, and most have actively tried to quit many times in their lives.  Many of these people have turned to vaping and e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking but have ended up doing both – doubling up on their nicotine consumption.  Even though vaping has been considered less hazardous to the body than smoking, it has its own serious health risks. We are only now realizing some of the long-term health hazards of vaping.

According to John Hopkins University and the Centre for Disease Control, there are also thousands of chemicals in Vape products and not all of them are even identified.  As in cigarettes, nicotine is the main ingredient. It is a highly addictive toxic substance that raises blood pressure, adrenaline, and heart rate – increasing the possibility of a heart attack. Nicotine users also suffer terrible withdrawal as it leaves their system because nicotine can be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Many vapers get even more nicotine than they would from a cigarette because they can increase the e-cigarette’s voltage or buy extra-strength cartridges that contain a higher concentration of nicotine.

Vaping damages the lungs and can also lead to death, especially if the vaping products contain THC or other modified e-liquids. The THC solutions contain Vit E acetate which is a thickening agent. These are some recommendations by the Centre for Disease Control:  Never buy vaping devices or vaping products from friends or online dealers. Never modify a vaping device or add any substances not intended by the manufacturer.  Avoid TCH containing products.

Other chemicals found in e-cigarettes include caffeine, pesticide and flavorings, which are linked with respiratory irritation. Not enough is known about the longer-term effects of vaping but there is a suspected linked to chronic lung disease, heart disease and asthma.

E-cigarettes are cheaper than traditional cigarettes and the lack of smoke removes some of the stigma of smoking, as there is no second-hand smoke. As it isn’t detectible by parents or teachers, kids start vaping at even younger ages than those who typically started smoking when they were young. Sadly, this is creating a new large population of nicotine addicts, younger than ever before.

Many years ago cigarette companies were forced to stop flavouring cigarettes because of the appeal to youth who were attracted to smoking flavoured cigarettes.  However, today there are many flavours available for e-cigarette use including cotton candy, deserts, juices, candy... As with cigarettes, e-cigarettes flavours should be banned in an attempt to deter young people from using them.

The chemicals used to flavour the e-cigarettes are considered safe for eating but they have not been tested for inhalation. When they are heated these flavourings create other very harmful chemicals like formaldehyde.  

Vaping is a dangerous practice, not only because the nicotine is dangerous and addictive, but also because not enough is known about the effects of breathing the other vaporized ingredients. It is of particular concern that children who wouldn’t have taken up smoking, are experimenting with vaping. A whole new younger generation is becoming addicted to nicotine through vaping or the use of puff bars etc. The CDC estimates that over the past 3 years there is a 1000% increase in vaping in high schools and 400% increase in the middle school age group.  Please talk to your young people and explain the dangers of using e-cigarettes and vaping. Without the knowledge that it really is dangerous, kids don’t seem to see the harm. 

And please don’t forget that we are not out of the Covid pandemic. We need our lungs to be as healthy as possible in case we are exposed to Covid, which is a respiratory illness. To healthy lungs and breathing only clean sweet air…

Claire Nielsen is a health coach, author, public speaker and founder of The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health and medical advice. Please consult a doctor or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses and/or treatment.