Relevant Vapes - Biomarkers of Exposure That Cut Across Diseases

Vaping generally leads to lower exposure to many of the carcinogens that are associated with smoking. However, more research is needed on biomarkers of exposure that cut across diseases.

In our survey, participants who were ever-vapers were asked to describe the vape they used. Their open-ended responses were manually coded into categories such as disposable vape, refillable vape, pod vape or heated tobacco product.

What is a vape?

Relevant Vapes is an alternative to smoking and involves using battery-powered devices that vaporise a liquid containing nicotine or other chemicals. The person inhaling the vapor is called a vaper. Vaping is generally considered to be less harmful than smoking, but it can be addictive.

Smoking is a highly dangerous habit that can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, lung disease and cancer. The chemicals in cigarettes can also damage teeth, discolour nails and hair, and cause bad breath. Moreover, they are known to increase the risk of dementia and impair mental health. However, vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking as it produces no smoke and does not contain any of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco.

Most e-cigarettes or vapes contain four main ingredients, a base made of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavourings. This is a significant difference to traditional cigarettes which can contain up to 5000 different chemical compounds when smoked. Moreover, there are no harmful gases when vaping which makes it safer to vape in public spaces.

There are many different types of vapes on the market, but the simplest ones are pod or pen devices which have a cartridge that refills with liquid and a small coil that heats it to create a vapor that the user inhales. More complex tank devices are direct-to-lung, which can produce larger clouds of vapor and allow you to alter your power output to suit your preferences.

The choice of e-liquids for vaping is almost limitless, from rich aromatic tobacco flavours to fresh fruit and dessert options. However, some e-liquids do have nicotine and this can be addictive. Even e-liquids that do not contain nicotine can have other ingredients which are a concern for health, such as acetone, which can irritate skin and eyes and may if inhaled, aggravate respiratory conditions.

There is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering about vaping, which is partly due to the fact that the industry is still developing. But there is evidence that it can be used to help people quit smoking and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, which is important for both smokers and non-smokers.

How do vapes work?

With the exception of mechanical mods (which don’t have any electronic components), all vaping devices have integrated circuits and firmware that control what happens when you press the fire button. These are responsible for interpreting the signals that come from your device’s battery and power regulation circuitry, which in turn boosts or reduces the voltage coming from the batteries to output the correct wattage to the atomizer coil.

The atomizer coil then vaporizes the liquid held in your e-liquid tank, which is then drawn from the mouthpiece by your wick and exhaled back into the air as water vapor. This process happens dozens or even hundreds of times per minute, which explains why some vapes are more prone to heating up and losing their flavor than others.

Once the atomizer coil is emptied, it goes back into the tank to absorb more e-liquid and repeat the process. Some atomizer coils are designed to make more voluminous clouds of vapor, while others can deliver discreet, lower-wattage clouds. The amount of vapor produced will decrease over time, which is why most users replace their atomizer coils after a few weeks or so.

Most vaporizers come with a USB port that connects to a standard micro-USB or USB-C cable, which allows you to charge your device. This will keep the battery topped up at its ideal wattage, and ensure that it doesn’t overheat as you use it.

Many people find vaping less harsh than smoking, and it’s a great option for those who want to quit using tobacco products or simply switch to something healthier. However, it’s important to understand the risks involved with vaping and how it can affect your health. Nicotine stimulates your adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine, and it also increases the levels of the chemical messenger dopamine, which can cause pleasure. These pleasurable feelings can motivate some people to continue to use nicotine, despite its damage to their body and brain. It’s also worth noting that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes, vape pens and other devices contains harmful chemicals and tiny particles, including carcinogens like diacetyl, which can lead to a lung condition known as bronchiolitis obliterans or popcorn lung.

Are vapes safe?

Although it is unclear what the long-term effects of vaping are, Public Health England (PHE) reports that switching to vaping from smoking can improve your health by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke. This reduces the amount of tar and carbon monoxide you consume and can also improve your sense of smell and taste.

It’s not just smokers who can benefit from switching to vaping – many ex-smokers have found that it has helped them to stop smoking altogether. The best way to try vaping is with help from a local Stop Smoking Service, which can give you advice about the right device and nicotine strength for your needs, plus extra support. You can get a starter kit at specialist vape shops, some pharmacies or online.

E-cigarettes contain a liquid mixture of chemicals, including nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine and flavouring. These ingredients are usually considered safe for ingestion and can be eaten, but the process of heating them to create vapour may produce new chemicals that are not safe to inhale. Some of these chemicals could cause lung problems, such as worsening of existing lung conditions and potentially permanent damage to the lungs.

Another risk is exposure to second-hand vapour, which can be harmful for non-smokers and people with asthma. It’s possible that some of these chemicals, especially those containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can affect the cardiovascular system too. There are also concerns that the chemical, vitamin E acetate, used as a thickening agent in some e-liquids containing THC, is associated with a serious lung injury called EVALI, which has been linked to several deaths.

In the UK, it is illegal to buy vaping devices containing nicotine for anyone under 18, and you should avoid using them if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are considering vaping, talk to a midwife or a stop smoking adviser for advice and support.

Vaping can also pose a risk of fire and explosion when recharging, so you should never carry spare lithium batteries around where they might come into contact with metal objects such as loose coins or keys. Also, don’t use damaged or faulty devices, as this can lead to burning or explosions.

Are vapes addictive?

Although vapes are marketed as healthier alternatives to cigarettes, they still contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and can be difficult to quit. It also impacts the brain, leading to mood disorders and reducing impulse control. It can also cause lung damage and heart disease. While many people believe vaping is safer than smoking, there are still many unanswered questions about its long-term effects.

It depends on what you’re using your vape for. If you’re only vaping a nicotine-free e-liquid, then it’s unlikely that you’ll get addicted to the liquid itself. However, the use of vaporizers to vape nicotine-based e-liquids is what leads to addiction. Nicotine is addictive and, when consumed regularly, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms if you stop vaping.

Besides the nicotine, there are also other chemicals in vape liquids that may contribute to addiction. These chemicals can affect your hormones and alter your mood, which may cause you to crave more vaping. Moreover, vaping can also lead to a variety of physical health problems, including lung inflammation, throat irritation, nausea, and dry mouth.

If you’re concerned about your child vaping, talk to them in a nonjudgmental manner and listen to their answers. Remember to be patient and don’t make threats. The goal is to help them understand the risks of vaping and encourage them to make healthy choices.

You can also ask them what their motivations are for vaping. It’s important to understand their reasons so you can support them as they try to quit. Some of the most common reasons for vaping include wanting to look cool, losing interest, and health concerns.

Getting hooked on nicotine can occur after just one vaping session. This happens because the brain and body become used to the chemical. If you go too long without vaping, nicotine will drop in your bloodstream, causing unpleasant feelings and strong urges to vape.

You can reduce the chance of developing an addiction to vaping by gradually cutting down your usage. If you do experience cravings, distract yourself by thinking about your goals and motivations for quitting. You can also practice deep breathing or eat a snack to calm yourself. Staying hydrated can also help. If you’re struggling to quit, seek the help of a trained addiction professional.