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Vape a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. Truth or myth?

Suddenly everyone is talking about Vaping. There are so many articles on social and print media, the ill effects of it and all.

So what is it?

Many may be hearing this word ‘ VAPING ‘ for the first time. But we all have at some point or other heard the term e-cigarette, at least during the inflight announcements, saying that ‘ smoking including e-cigarettes not permitted on this flight”.

So, Vaping = Smoking E-Cigarettes.

So what are they?

An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a handheld battery-powered vaporizer that simulates smoking by providing some of the behavioural aspects of smoking, including the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, but without burning tobacco. These cigarettes contain e- Liquids ( usually contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine ) and these are atomised by a heating element creating the puff. Introduced in 2003/4, they were meant to help people quit smoking. They were promoted to make the transition from smoking to no smoking easier and smoother. But is smoking e-cigarettes better for you than using tobacco products? Can e-cigarettes help you to stop smoking once and for all? Well, there is no long term scientific evidence to this at all. Rather, recently several studies have been published confirming the ill effects of vaping. One must understand that nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave for smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. Even if you decide to choose one without nicotine ( since these are also available), there is a lot of damage caused to inner linings of our blood vessels and lung cells caused by the other particulate matter that is inhaled.

On my recent trip to Thailand, I was extremely saddened to see the profound use of this e-cigarette amongst teenagers. What I thought that there are three reasons e-cigarettes may be particularly enticing to young people. First, many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have a lower per-user cost than traditional cigarettes. Finally, vape cartridges are often formulated with flavourings such as apple pie and watermelon that appeal to younger users.

Replacing traditional smoking with vaping is another thing. What is concerning to me is that people who would have never taken up smoking otherwise are picking up this habit considering that it is safe. One starts it as a purely recreational activity only and then, later on, continues it believing that it is safe.

So are we creating a new generation who is going to be hooked on to a new fancy addiction? Definitely Not.

We all know that smoking kills.

There’s a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular disease and between smoking and cancer. But the sooner you quit, the quicker your body can rebound and repair itself.

Want to Quit Smoking?

Talk to your doctor about what smoking cessation program or tools that would be best for you. But definitely vaping is no good.

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