Smokers are increasingly turning to vaping to aid in smoking cessation. There are science-backed reasons for this uptake.
One study in France found that vaping can help adults cut down on smoking as well as quit the habit entirely. An analysis of 61 studies found that e-cigarettes are more effective in smoking cessation than other tools, such as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs).
If you’re vaping, considering vaping, or know someone who does, it’s important to know the associated risks and benefits. Let’s look at what vaping can do to the body, both good and potentially bad.
Legal vs Illegal Vaping
Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Vaping has recently received criticism due to its growing use among young people.
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It’s important to emphasise that, in Australia, e-cigarettes can only be legally bought under a GP prescription. Nicotine vaping products bought locally from registered pharmacies are made in accordance with standards set by the TGA.
Vapes sold illegally, such as those purchased via convenience stores and from overseas sellers, have been found to contain high amounts of toxic chemicals that can cause considerable damage to the body.
In this article, we will be exploring the health impacts of quality, medically-trusted NVPs rather than the illegal products that have unfortunately become popular among children, teens and young adults.
What Does Vaping Do to Your Body?
Vaping is only considered for use as a smoking cessation tool when smokers have unsuccessfully attempted to quit using other methods. Nicotine Vaping Products (NVPs) are intended to be used for a short period of time to help the body wean off nicotine.
Ultimately, no amount of nicotine is completely safe, and becoming nicotine-free is the goal. However, high-quality e-cigarettes are vastly preferable to traditional cigarettes if you’re finding other quitting methods unsuccessful.
This is because traditional smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco, which is proven to cause smoking-related illnesses, and vaping can deliver nicotine by heating a liquid in a much less harmful way.
Short-Term Effects of Vaping
Vaping is designed to mimic the hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking and gradually nudge smokers away from the habit. But as you move from smoking to vaping, you may experience some short-term side effects.
In some cases, the immediate physical effects of vaping may include headaches, coughing, dryness or irritation in the mouth and throat, nausea, and shortness of breath.
These symptoms lessen with continued use.
Long-Term Effects of Vaping
As vaping hasn’t been around for long, there is no conclusive research pertaining to the long-term harmful effects of vaping.
But we do know that, because of a marked reduction in exposure to toxic substances, what vaping does to the body is significantly less harmful than what smoking does to it.
Remember, vaping isn’t intended for long-term use. It’s a temporary measure to aid you on your quitting journey.
Vaping and Addiction
With nicotine, there is always the possibility of addiction. However, when used in consultation with a doctor and as part of an overall smoking cessation plan, long-term or sustained use is not a likely outcome.
In fact, a study that looked into this matter found that e-cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared to e-cigarettes without nicotine and compared to NRTs.
A study based in the UK found that there is now general agreement that vaping exposes the user to fewer toxicants compared to traditional smoking. It further stated that it is plausible that e-cigarettes may have contributed to the higher quit rate observed in England during part of the study period.
Quit Smoking with Smokefree
We know you’re reading this post because you’re eager to learn about the effects of vaping on the body.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.