Effects of Vaping


Photo Credit: vapingvibe.com

A animation of the literal meaning of Popcorn Lung.

Grace Antonelli, Staff Writer

In recent years, vaping has become an epidemic in American culture.

People have always said that smoking is extremely bad for you and causes cancer. Though this may be true, a new device that mimics smoking has recently been created within the last few years. This electronic device was supposedly created to help people transition from smoking to eventually quitting. While this may be true, it has also become a craze among many teens across America. Many underage teenagers in middle and high school are doing this new “cool” thing, called vaping.

Due to vaping being such a new concept, it is hard to pinpoint the long term effects. However, since it is so closely related to the cigarette, medical professionals still have some ideas as to what kind of damage that it causes. A majority of electronic vaporizers contain nicotine within them. By vaping nicotine, a person’s chances for heart attack and stroke increase. Additionally, youth who use e-cigarettes are at increased risk for coughing and wheezing, and an increase in asthma exacerbation.

“I think there’s a lot we don’t know about vaping, and it’s scary the effects it could possibly have, so everyone needs to consider the consequences it could have before doing it and decide if it’s worth it or not,” said senior Maddie Pape.

The Rolling Stone, David Amsden
A anti-vaping advertisement that highlights the younger generations.

Essentially, vape makers are required to inform the FDA of what is in their product, but there is no public disclosure. Companies can tell customers as much or as little as they want. With that being said, the cheap mass-market electronic cigarettes have been found to contain diethylene glycol. This is an industrial solvent that is poisonous. Additionally, there is even less regulation in countries such as England where there are concerns about heavy metals and chemicals being found within the vapor.

“I think vaping is bad because of the overall effects to your body. Why would you want to put chemicals in your body that you would find in a cigarette? Until I see positive effects of vaping, it will forever be a bad epidemic,” said senior Emma Brown.

With that being said, it all comes back to the question, what exactly does vaping do to the human body, and more specifically, the respiratory system? One condition found to be directly correlated to vaping is called “popcorn lung” also known as Bronchiolitis Obliterans. Bronchiolitis Obliterans results from the exposure to many different chemicals that cause inflammation and obstruction of the bronchioles. The symptoms of popcorn lung include, wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath, and exhaustion.

E-cigarettes produce a number of dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. Acrolein is a herbicide that is used in many chemical weed killers. These aldehydes can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and asthma.

In 2016, the Surgeon General found that the vapor emission of electronic cigarettes have chemicals that are also found in car exhaust. These materials include heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.

Philip Clapp, PhD, doctor of philosophy, found in a study that exposure to e-cigarettes containing a chemical called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde is known for giving off a cinnamon flavor decreased movement of cilia, which are hairline structures covering bronchial epithelial cells. By moving the cilia, it increases the chance of bacteria that is inhaled to get into the lungs, rather than being cleared from the airways like it normally would be.

Overall, the effects of vaping are completely negative. With it being so new, it is still a mystery as to what the long term effects are, but it is easy to see the short term effects are very serious and can lead to many other problems later in life.