What Happens When You Vape?
Vaping is similar to smoking cigarettes as you heat up a substance to then inhale the fumes that come from the burning substance. The difference between smoking cigarettes and vaping is that when you are smoking cigarettes you are burning tobacco and inhaling whereas, when you are vaping you are using a device such as a vape pen or mod which is an advanced vape pen that resembles a flash drive. Individuals will heat up vape juice which is a liquid that turns into vapor when you heat it in the vape pen.
When you inhale the vaporized liquid, it will coat the inside of your lungs with harmful chemicals. Depending on whether you are vaping nicotine or THC, there will be different chemical compounds within the e-juice or liquid vapor that can significantly impact the health and quality of your lung functioning. Both substances of nicotine and THC have vitamin E within them which is used to thicken the vapor which can significantly impact your lung functioning and cause irritation within your lungs. Diacetyl is also found in many e-cigarettes or vape pens which have been known to cause damage to the passageways in your lungs. Vape juice is also known to have formaldehyde which is known to cause lung disease and heart disease.
How Vaping Can Affect Your Lungs
Vaping is still relatively new making it hard to pull data on the impacts of vaping on your lungs and the potential long term damage. Vaping has been known to have the following effects on some individuals:
- ‘Popcornlungs- This term refers to bronchiolitis obliterans which is a rare condition that causes damage to the lungs small airway. Due to the additive Diacetyl being inhaled, it can cause scarring within the lungs making breathing difficult. Individuals with popcorn lungs will experience symptoms of coughing, wheezing, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
- Vaping Related Lipoid Pneumonia – Lipoid pneumonia develops after having fatty acids enter into the lungs which occurs after inhaling vape juice or liquid. An individual with lipoid pneumonia will experience symptoms of shortness of breath, chronic coughing, or coughing up blood or mucus.
- Collapsed Lung- This occurs when oxygen is let out of the lung from a hole within the lung.Vaping has been known to burst blisters that have occurred within your lungs during adolescence leading to a collapsed lung.
Is Vaping Addictive?
It is a common misconception that vaping is less harmful than regular cigarettes and is less addictive than smoking regular cigarettes. Vaping is often used as a method of quitting smoking and avoiding the harmful substances of regular cigarettes. However, vaping does pose health risks and lung injuries similar to smoking cigarettes. Vaping is addictive as it does contain nicotine and other addictive substances similar to regular cigarettes.
What to Do If You Have Pain In Your Lungs
If you have been engaging in vaping and e cigarettes and are beginning to experience lung pain it is important that you go to see your doctor or health professionals immediately to be assessed. There are health risks associated with vaping and e cigarettes that can lead to lung health and lung injuries that can pose long term effects, and in some cases, lung cancer. Having a complete physical and assessment completed will ensure that you will maintain our lung and heart health.
TruPath Addiction Treatment
At TruPath, we offer support to our patients to overcome your addictions including addictions to vaping and e cigarettes. Our team will provide you with support to stop smoking and quit vaping with various smoking cessation programs that will maintain your overall lung and heart health while reducing any cancer risk. If you are interested in quitting smoking or quit vaping, speak with one of our health professionals and addiction counselors today to hear more about the in depth smoking cessation programs offered within our addiction treatment program.