ABC Medical Center > Digital magazine > Know the risks of using vapes and electronic cigarettes

Know the risks of using vapes and electronic cigarettes

3 December 2022

Key points:

  • Vapes and electronic cigarettes contain nicotine and other carcinogenic substances.
  • In 2018, there was a lung inflammation pandemic in the United States due to the use of these devices.
  • By having nicotine, vapes, and electronic cigarettes can cause a dual addiction to conventional tobacco.

The lack of information regarding electronic cigarettes and vapes has created a false belief, especially among young people, that these devices are harmless to health and a good option to quit smoking.

Dr. José Padua García, pulmonologist and internal medicine specialist at ABC Medical Center, says that vapes and electronic cigarettes can cause addiction in the same way as conventional cigarettes because they contain nicotine and this addiction may arise from the first or second intake.

The devices also carry other health risks, as they contain carcinogenic substances, that is, they can cause cancer. It is important to mention that flavoring makes them more attractive for consumption.

Aerosols from most electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) contain toxic chemicals, including nicotine and substances that can cause cancer, and are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and lung disorders. There are also significant risks for pregnant women who use them, as they may cause adverse effects on the fetus development during pregnancy.1

This addiction is as difficult to quit as the one that occurs with a conventional cigarette.

Despite that most labels state that they do not contain nicotine or that they have very little, the reality is that it does have this ingredient, as well as other chemicals that are not found in the conventional cigarette.

Due to these characteristics, vapes and electronic cigarettes are not part of the treatments established by the health authorities to quit smoking and can cause a dual addiction to conventional tobacco.

On the other hand, the chemicals found in these devices can cause acute damage, since they are associated with diseases such as pulmonary inflammation due to vaping and electronic cigarettes (EVALI). Inflammation that does not occur when consuming a conventional cigarette and that produced an epidemic in 2018 with more than 2,000 cases in the United States. During this time, many young people between the ages of 16 and 20 ended up in intensive care units with lung inflammation from the use of ENDS.

At ABC Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

Dr. José Padua García –  Pulmonologist and internal medicine specialist at the ABC Medical Center

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