Vaping – not much better than a cigarette

Skyler Radford, Staff Writer

Walking down a sidewalk, you see a puff of smoke from a fellow student, and dread the horrible stench of cigarettes. But as you walk by, your senses are shocked by the delicious smell of cherries instead.

What was that smoke then, and why did it smell so good? Your peer was vaping – smoking an e-cigarette. And that smoke wasn’t really smoke, but actual vapor.

There are many flavors, varying from coffee to desserts to fruits to menthols. These enticing flavors cause many people to make the decision to switch to, or begin, vaping.

Vaping may seem “fun” because it tastes good and doesn’t damage the lungs in the same way smoke from a cigarette does; it doesn’t have the same addicting tobacco or offensive odor.

Vaping seems harmless. But stop fooling yourself. It’s not.

Let’s start with its ingredients: Nicotine – highly addictive, as well as damaging to the cardiovascular system and blood. Beta-damascenome — used to strengthen scent, a chemical commonly found in perfumes. Glycerol – a thickening agent that lets vapor coat the lungs and mouth better, and used in paints and printed photographs. Propylene glycol — used to whiten vapor and make it appear as smoke. Malic Acid — adds complexity to vapor, commonly used in wine.

These are only a handful of the ingredients found in your typical e-cigarette. Sound delicious, huh?

Now let’s take a look at the known health factors involved in vaping. Vaping causes repeated cold sores that don’t heal well. Mouth ulcers develop when someone first begins vaping, and continues if they are a high user. Stomach problems include bad gas and diarrhea. Sore throat and various cold symptoms don’t go away as long as a person is using. Muscle and body aches begin to prevent users from being active. High cholesterol negatively impacts the heart and blood stream.

Do you still feel like going out to have a vape?

Hopefully this has opened your eyes to some of the consequences of vaping. It’s not all cherry, orange cream, latte, and glamour. Think about what that next vape might do to your long term health.

You may have made the smart decision to quit smoking for vaping, and that’s definitely a step in the right direction. Now it’s time to take the next step: quit vaping, and start living healthy.