Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?
As the popularity of vaping continues to rise, so do the concerns about its potential health risks. Many people believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, but the truth is that there are still many unknowns when it comes to the short-term and long-term effects of vaping on our health and it is definitely not a healthy option.
One of the biggest concerns with vaping is the potential for irreversible lung damage. Vaping devices have a battery-powered metal element that heats a liquid to produce aerosol or ‘vape’. The liquid contains nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals.
The chemical used in e-cigarettes vary depending on their purpose and manufacturing, but some popular chemicals include:
- Diacetyl - a food additive used to deepen e-cigarette flavour. It is known to damage the small passageways in the lungs and cause a condition called Bronchiolitis obliterans (ask Popcorn lung)
- Formaldehyde - This toxic chemical can cause lung disease and contribute to heart disease.
- Acrolein - a weed killer also linked to lung disease
Like regular cigarettes, vapes and e-cigarettes also contain cadmium and other heavy metals aluminium, lead, arsenic and nickel. One study found that e-cigarettes contained heavy metal levels that far exceeded the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (USA). Another study found that some vapes contained levels of cadmium that were higher than those found in traditional cigarettes. Heavy metal exposure impacts our nervous system, cognitive function and detoxification. Lead toxicity, for example, has been directly linked to an increased risk of many cancers including Leukemia.
Another concern with vaping is addiction. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and many e-cigarettes and vapes contain high levels of nicotine. This can make it difficult for people to quit vaping once they start and can lead to a lifetime of addiction and health problems.
In addition to these health concerns, there are also concerns about the safety of the devices themselves. There have been reports of e-cigarettes and vaping devices exploding, causing serious injuries and even death. While these incidents are rare, they are a reminder that vaping is not without risks.
So what to do if you are currently vaping and want to stop? Giving up any habit is challenging and vaping is even more so because there is a chemical dependence. Your success will depend on your mindset but there are also other things to you go to ensure your success.
1. Exercise - exercise will help with your motivation, and mood and support your body’s healing and detoxification. Use exercise you enjoy as a distraction while also building exercise into your weekly routine.
2. Support system - discuss your goals with family and friends, this will keep you accountable. Discuss your needs during this challenging time.
3. Find ways to help your stress levels. A new hobby, meditation, yoga, stretching, walking, listening to music – whatever you find helpful. Build them into your routine
4. Nutrition – ensure you are eating a balanced diet with sufficient protein, fibre and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables will help support your body’s healing and support detoxification of the harmful chemical from your body. The fibre in oats helps your digestion and removes harmful toxins. You may need additional supplementation to support this process such as liver support, b vitamins and probiotics.
5. Buteyko breathing exercises – these improve mood and mindfulness but also help to repair damaged lung tissue.
6. Infra-red sauna – can support your nervous system but also help with detoxification.
7. Avoid any situations where you are more likely to be tempted to vape
8. Avoid people who are not supportive of your goals
9. Celebrate your amazing achievements and acknowledge how far you have come.
10. Still struggling? Try hypnotherapy or counselling to help you shift your mindset and see yourself as someone who does not vape.
If you need additional support please reach out! At Elemental Health we have a number of practitioners who can help you on your health journey and help achieve your goal.
If you need support with your health and wellbeing book an appointment with a naturopathat Elemental Health. If you have any questions or would like to understand how we can help you with your health goals book a free Discovery call. Alternately you can call our reception during business hours on (02) 8084 0081.
|Tags:Preventative medicineCardiovascular healthButeyko Breathing