The relatively new tobacco products on the block, are the vaping devices or e-cigarettes, which are troubling the experts like Best Pulmonologist in Karachi and the American Lung Association. What exactly are the effects of vaping on heart and lung health, read on to find out:
E-liquid contains ingredients with high toxicity
The liquids used in vaping devices coat the lungs with potentially harmful chemicals. Cartridges for e-cigarettes are loaded with concoctions containing: nicotine, vitamin E, oil base and aromatic additives. These substances, when heated, pose a risk to the lungs; in particular the chemicals like propylene glycol, formaldehyde, diacetyl and acrolein. These chemicals cause cardiovascular, as well as, lung disease. Lung injury with COPD, asthma and lung cancer are tribute to acrolein, an herbicide used in the e-cigarettes.
Even secondhand E cigarette smoke is dangerous
Apart from the toxins that the user inhales himself, the secondhand smoke generated by e-cigarettes contain cocktail of chemicals. These chemicals include: nicotine, ultrafine particles, benzene, chemicals associated with serious lung injuries such as diacetyl, metals such as lead, tin and nickel. Needless to say, secondhand emissions from vaping devices are not harmless. Many people assume that the secondhand smoke is water but in fact, it is a concoction of chemicals that is very dangerous for the inhaler.
The FDA has not approved the use of the cigarettes as smoking cessation agents
Vaping devices are often marketed as smoking cessation agents. However, in truth, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has not permitted them as agents for smoking cessation, as they are not safe and effective for this purpose. For adults the FDA recommends use of only approved agents and counselling for giving up smoking and not e-cigarettes.
‘Popcorn lung’ or ‘bronchiolitis obliterans’ is a rare condition that results from the damage incurred by the small airways of the lungs. For people who use e-cigarettes, this damage is due to the liquid contained in e-liquids called diacetyl. This ingredient is added to enhance the flavoring of the vape and ends up causing a lot of inflammation and permanent scarring in the small bronchioles of the lungs. This condition is referred to as bronchiolitis obliterans, and presents with chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. There is no permanent treatment for popcorn lung, except symptomatic management.
Vaping related pneumonia
Lipoid pneumonia develops when the oily liquids of the vaping cartridge get into the lungs and initiate the inflammatory cascade. Due to inflammation induced damage to the lungs, there is chronic cough, blood tinged mucus, hemoptysis and shortness of breath. Unlike the classic infection-induced pneumonia, this type of lipoid pneumonia has to treatment other than supportive care and symptomatic management. If vaping is eliminated, the lungs heal on their own.
Pneumothorax due to vaping
Pneumothorax or lung collapse occurs when the air escapes from the lungs due to a hole. The latter is a result of injury, or rupture of small air blisters on top of the lungs. These blisters are more common in tall and thin individuals who may develop spontaneous pneumothorax when these blisters rupture. With vaping and use of e-cigarettes, there is increased incidence of these blisters bursting, leading to lung collapse.
Pneumothorax presents with sudden chest pain that radiates to the shoulder and difficulty breathing; this collapsed lung is diagnosed on the chest x-ray. Treatment options are limited to rest and oxygen therapy. In more advanced cases, surgery may be needed.
The concern for cancer
The risk of cancer is always a concern of health experts like Best Pulmonologist in Lahore when it comes to vaping and inhaling a horde of chemicals into the lungs.