Vaping in public… things to consider


Vaping is the inhalation of vapour produced by an e-cigarette or any other vaping device. Here's what you need to consider while vaping in public. - by Kunal Chowdhury on

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Vaping is the inhalation of vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or any other vaping device. E-cigarettes are electric-operated devices that heat liquid and produce an aerosol or a mixture of small air particles.

 

They are available in various sizes and shapes, and they have a heating element, a battery, and a cartridge to hold a liquid, which usually contains chemicals, flavorings, and nicotine. E-cigarettes can be in the shape of cigars, cigarettes, or pipes. Others look like pens and USB drives.

 

Vaping in public… things to consider

 

Vaping and the Brain

E-liquids contain nicotine that is readily absorbed into the bloodstream from the lungs when an individual vapes an e-cigarette. Once in the blood, adrenal glands are stimulated by nicotine to release the adrenaline (epinephrine) hormone. Adrenaline increases heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and stimulates the central nervous system. Like other addictive substances, nicotine sets off the brain’s reward circuits and increases dopamine levels.

 

Dopamine is a chemical messenger, which strengthens rewarding behaviors. The pleasure and euphoric feeling that is obtained from nicotine’s interaction with dopamine motivates some people to keep on vaping, overlooking the risks to their well-being and health.

 

 

Vaping and the Lungs

Human lungs are delicate organs, and when you vape, you inhale particulates and chemicals into your lungs. Vaping is associated with an inflammatory action in the lungs’ lining, which is the place that is most affected by most respiratory infections.

 

Is Vaping Safer than Smoking?

E-cigarettes use nicotine obtained from tobacco, chemicals, and flavorings to produce an aerosol for inhaling. Regular tobacco cigarettes have over 7,000 chemicals, most of which are toxic. In 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported substantial evidence to prove that exposure to these harmful substances from e-cigarettes is substantially lower than in regular cigarettes.

 

However, as of January 2020, 60 confirmed deaths resulted from lung injury associated with vaping and e-cigarettes, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These incidents are predominantly evident among people who alter their vaping devices or use e-liquids modified in the black market. Such cases have been seen in vaping products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

 

 

Another inconclusive claim is the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool for regular tobacco use. Until there is conclusive evidence to support this claim, a cessation strategy should include nicotine replacement therapy, counseling, and administration of cessation-approved drugs, such as varenicline.

 

Furthermore, while the technology behind e-cigarettes is steady, variability exists within the product category, there being no typical e-cigarette. The products entail different hardware and ingredients that deliver variable amounts of nicotine and possibly toxic substances, including heavy metals like copper, tin, nickel, lead, and cadmium. This variation has made it difficult to issue general public health guidelines about vaping in public. A thorough and long-standing pre-market review of these products needs to be done to establish their effects on health.

 

E-cigarette consumers should be educated on whether it is safe to vape. Increasing evidence of probable health risks and lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes has made researchers question their safety compared to combustible cigarettes.

 

 

Vaping and COVID-19

Are people who vape at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19?

Yes, e-cigarette users who contract COVID-19 are at a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Vaping lowers your lungs’ immunity and its response to infections. COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the lungs, where people who vape have higher risks of attaining lung infections. The increased risk is also prevalent in adults over 65, people with weak immune systems, and those with underlying medical conditions. Existing medical conditions include lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.

 

Can you spread COVID-19 by vaping?

Yes. Vaping involves repeatedly touching your face and mouth. If you have the virus on your hands, vaping can increase the chances of getting into another person, especially if you share the vaping device. Water pipe and hookah use mostly happen within groups, and the water, hose, and mouthpiece can host and transmit bacteria from one person to another when sharing. The COVID-19 virus can spread in the manner if one member of the group has the virus.

 

In conclusion, vaping can be addictive as it uses nicotine products. With the outbreak of COVID-19, it is advisable not to share vaping devices to prevent spreading the virus amongst users. If you have to inhale an e-cigarette, do it when alone and avoid doing it in public to protect the health of others.

 

 

 




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