Vaping probably started as a way to stop smoking but do you find yourself addicted to it now? Since there's no tobacco, these newfangled e-cigs are totally safe, right? Not exactly. The new way of lighting up may still do serious harm to your body, experts warn. (FYI: "Vaping" is the same as smoking an e-cigarette. Electronic cigarettes can also be called “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems," or ENDS.)
Instead of inhaling smoke as with regular cigarettes, users of e-cigarettes inhale vaporised liquid (or aerosol) made up of a mixture of water and nicotine as well as other substances sometimes added for flavour and texture. There are now more than 7,000 different electronic cigarette liquid flavors, says Dr. Holly Middlekauff, a cardiologist at UCLA Health and researcher who's published several papers on the effects of electronic cigarettes.
Here's why e-cigarettes aren't great for you:
It’s in the flavour too
With so many flavours on the market, only a small portion have been tested, says Middlekauff. But preliminary research shows that certain flavouring chemicals may have serious health consequences. For example, the flavouring chemical diacetyl can be found in high concentrations in many e-cig liquids (from butterscotch and strawberry to tequila and ranch dressing). This chemical has been strongly linked to bronchiolitis obliterans (a severe respiratory disease also called “popcorn lung” after it was observed in microwave popcorn factory workers), according to a study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Inhaling the vaporized version of this chemical deep into your lungs? Not a great idea.