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Vaping E-Cigarettes, a Dangerous Addiction

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Vaping E-Cigarettes, a Dangerous Addiction

5 min read


People have a misconception that e-cigarettes are an alternative to conservative combustive tobacco smoking and help in smoking cessation.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. P. C. Pavithra Pattu

Published At September 4, 2015
Reviewed AtMarch 7, 2024


Electronic (e)-cigarettes (electronic nicotine delivery system - ENDS) vaping has almost doubled among adolescents and teenagers in a few years after the emergence of these new addictive nicotine delivery devices. So, it is an issue with a massive impact concerned about the health of teenagers worldwide.

What Are E-Cigarettes?

  • Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, heat a liquid to create an aerosol, or mixture of tiny particles in the air.

  • There are numerous sizes and shapes for e-cigarettes. The majority feature a heating element, a battery, and a liquid-holding capacity.

  • Certain e-cigarettes have the appearance of traditional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Certain ones resemble pens, USB flash devices, and other commonplace objects. Tank systems, sometimes known as "mods," are larger devices that don't resemble other tobacco products.

  • There are numerous names for e-cigarettes. They go by several names, including "electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)," "tank systems," "e-cigs," "e-hookahs," "mods," "vape pens," and "vapes."

  • Sometimes, using an e-cigarette is referred to as "vaping."

There are two classes of teenage and older e-cigarette smokers:

  1. Those who never smoked conventional tobacco cigarettes.

  2. Those who were previously on conventional combustible tobacco smoking shifted to e-cigarettes for recreational purposes or adopted them just to quit tobacco smoking. Eventually, many have started using both of them, which is the main concern for medical attention.

Responsibility of Physicians:

Physicians ask their patients very little about smoking. It is highly recommended to ask 5-A's to every suspected patient.

  • Ask if they smoke tobacco.

  • Advice about the cessation of smoking.

  • Assess if the patient is willing to quit.

  • Arrange for a proper follow-up and reinforcement.

A new trend has become famous amongst adolescents: e-cigarettes, and they feel this is harmless compared to conventional tobacco smoking. But they mostly end up in actual tobacco smoking. E-cigarettes contain high concentrations of nicotine and produce an aerosol that is inhaled.

What Are the Side Effects of Nicotine Inhalation?

  • It causes addiction, pleasure, and a feeling of reinforcement.

  • Researchers believe that nicotine inhalation can cause a lack of confidence and a social cut-off among teens.

  • Problems with neural development.

  • Irritation of the respiratory tract starts from the lips to the ends of the alveoli in the lungs, causing cough, ear, nose, and throat infections.

  • Headache, insomnia, diarrhea.

  • Bone issues like backache.

  • Skin problems like acne.

  • Deranged and painful menstrual flow.

  • Cardiac rhythm abnormalities and high blood pressure (ultimately lead to problems involving blood vessels).

  • Loss of appetite and indigestion.

How Do E-Cigarettes Function?

The e-cigarettes heat the liquid in it and vaporize it to form an aerosol. So, vaping is the alternate name as smoking is used conventionally for tobacco products. If used continuously at a higher voltage setting, it harms health. It may affect small blood vessels throughout the body and coronary arteries in the heart. Arteries become thicker, stiffer, and get blocked, making them unfit to serve as an optimal conduit for the blood to pass according to the needs of the organs in hours of strenuous activity like running or exercise.

What Do the Condensed Vapors of E-Cigarettes Contain?

It contains acrolein, glycerine, nitrosamines, propylene glycol, flavoring, other chemicals, and toxic metal nanoparticles. The propellant agents used in e-cigarettes end up in metabolic end products like formaldehyde and acetone which are very well-known chemical carcinogens. Although these hazardous chemical vapors are far less harmful than those emitted in conventional combustible tobacco smoke, they are still bad for health. Assuming it to be less harmful to human health, some people use e-cigs as an alternative aid for quitting tobacco smoking. But this is not true, and a lot more research is needed yet to confirm that. Unfortunately, very little data is available to say about the safety of these products, but it is harmful to human health.

How Easily Are E-Cigarettes Available?

These devices are easily available in developing as well as developed countries and have become a status symbol unfortunately amongst the youth. It is manufactured at a low cost and so easily available to the masses. School and college-going students are the major prey to this industry.

E-Hookahs (Sheesha) is an alternative name for the same kind of product that works on the same principles.

Advertisement is the mother of all modern-era illnesses, and it is almost always based on unreal myths shown as facts, and the dilemma is that nobody ever bothers to stop this dangerous game.

They claim it to be an alternative to tobacco smoke and an aid to help in quitting. But the research and clinical experiences say that people who smoke tobacco also smoke e-cigarettes, and they continue both of them and remain exposed to the hazardous effects of both products. But they actually would have started e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking in the first place.

Why Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous for Adolescents and Emerging Adults?

  • Nicotine, the addictive substance found in traditional cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products, is a common ingredient in e-cigarettes, or vapes.

  • According to a little research, nicotine was present in 99 percent of the e-cigarettes sold in the US in locations that were evaluated.

  • Certain vape products have nicotine hidden on their labels, and it has been discovered that some vape liquids advertised as having no nicotine do contain nicotine.

  • Adolescent brain development can be harmed by nicotine. Up until around age 25, the brain continues to develop.

  • Adolescents who use nicotine may experience damage to the areas of the brain responsible for mood, impulse control, learning, attention, and learning.

  • The synapses, or connections, between brain cells, are stronger every time a new memory or ability is gained. The brains of children develop synapses more quickly than those of adults. Nicotine alters the process by which these synapses develop.

  • Adolescent nicotine use may also raise the chance of developing a substance addiction in the future.

Why Are E-cigarettes Unsafe for Pregnant Adults?

Since the use of tobacco and other tobacco products by mothers affects both the mother and the fetus, the health hazards associated with these uses are magnified during pregnancy. Moreover, pregnant individuals are especially vulnerable to negative consequences from inhalation toxicant exposure due to the physiological changes in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that occur during pregnancy. Combustible cigarette smoking has been shown to have several detrimental health effects on perinatal health, including low birth weight, preterm birth, neurocognitive and behavioral effects, possibly long-term epigenetic programming, and small for gestational age infants. These effects have been thoroughly studied and documented, as it was previously discussed. A baby with stunted intrauterine growth has an increased chance of cardiovascular and other ailments, according to the Barker Hypothesis, which makes small for gestational age status concerning. Thus, a lot of people thought that e-cigarettes would be a safer choice for delivering nicotine to expectant mothers. However, worries regarding the burgeoning e-cigarette market and the safety of toxicant exposure for the mother and the fetus are becoming more and more prevalent.

Why Are E-Cigarettes Addictive?

  • The body and brain of a person who is dependent on (or addicted to) nicotine must adjust to not having it when they quit using it. This may cause brief withdrawal symptoms from nicotine.

  • Irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, difficulty focusing, and a need for nicotine are some of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. People may continue to use tobacco products in an attempt to manage these symptoms.

  • Young people may consider vaping as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety, which can lead to a vicious cycle of nicotine addiction. However, a nicotine addiction can lead to stress.

  • Addiction might develop from something that may begin as social experimentation.

    • "A friend used them" is the most frequent excuse given by middle and high school students in the United States for attempting an e-cigarette.

    • Youths most frequently cite "I am feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed" as their justification for keeping up their e-cigarette use.

  • Teenage use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes has been linked to mental health issues like depression.

Can Individuals Who Smoke Cigarettes Stop Using E-cigarettes?

The FDA has not yet approved e-cigarettes as a tool for quitting smoking. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of medical professionals that offers recommendations for preventive healthcare, has determined that there is not enough data to support the use of e-cigarettes in adults, including pregnant smokers who want to quit.

However, if used as a full replacement for all cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products, e-cigarettes may benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant.


Until the arrival of peer-reviewed studies, vaping cannot be considered a healthy alternative to smoking or a beneficial technique to quit smoking. Do not use e-cigarettes as they also can lead to respiratory and heart diseases.

Dr. Muhammad Majid Hanif
Dr. Muhammad Majid Hanif



bupropionelectronic nicotine delivery systemside effects of nicotineaddictione-cigarettes vaping
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