Vaping? How bad can it be?
I have to be honest. Vaping was first becoming a thing when I was starting practice after residency, and when patients asked me about it, my common response was “Well, I feel like it has to be safer than smoking cigarettes, but there’s not enough evidence on it yet”. Here’s where I insert my foot in my mouth. It’s not quite as bad as the 1930s, where you might have seen something like this, but still guys!!
And what’s worse- the companies producing vape pens are marketing directly to our kids with these crazy flavors and designs that are so easily hidden and “vapor free” you don’t think it’s more than a flash drive when you see it.
Because none of it is regulated at all, who even knows what is in the liquid you are inhaling deep down into your lungs. The chemicals in the flavorings have a solid link now to causing chronic lung disease, and many of these liquids that have been analyzed have contained heavy metals, which are definitely not meant to be inhaled. And let’s not forget, these liquids usually contain nicotine, an addictive substance that has many negative long term effects on our bodies, or THC, which is pretty dangerous to kids developing brains for a lot of reasons.
I’m sure you’ve seen it on the news lately as well- the number of cases of serious lung disease associated with vaping is skyrocketing. Yes, it’s already linked to lung cancer, and although it’s not known exactly what it is that is causing deadly lung disease in people who are vaping, it’s highly linked enough to say just don’t do it.
I could really go on and on about this, but the moral of my story is please don’t replace one vice with another. Vaping is NOT a safe alternative to smoking, and please please don’t let your kids do it.