Vaping companies often refer to their products to as “less harmful” when compared to other substances, but is “less harmful” the same as “healthy?” To answer this question, let’s think about soda companies. Sugary sodas and soft drinks were very popular until it was revealed that the large amounts of sugar and calories were linked to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions. This type of information isn’t good for business and as profits began to go down, creative marketing ideas went up. This gave way to, “diet soda”, a type of soda that is “less harmful” than regular soda. Sound familiar? Diet soda does contain less calories than regular soda, and some contain less sugar than regular soda… but when you look at the ingredients, there are many chemicals and artificial sweeteners used that leaves diet soda a far cry from being “healthy.”
At our organization, our goal is to promote healthy choices and lifestyles. Not choosing options that are “less harmful” than others. This isn’t an argument about which substances are more or less dangerous… our bottom line is that being healthy means being substance-free. Much like diet soda, vaping brings its own host of issues that can show just how unhealthy something that is “less harmful” can be.
Vaping companies want their customers to believe their products are “less harmful” since they are not the same as traditional cigarettes. However, vaping products can contain as many as 7,000 different chemicals, many of which can be toxic.  Most vaping products contain nicotine, the addictive chemical found in cigarettes. Nicotine affects blood vessels, the heart and blood pressure. Regulations on what goes into vaping cartridges is very loose, so you never really know what’s in a vape cartridge; some even contain THC or other psychoactive chemicals. There are also chemicals for the flavorings, metals and even pesticide-related chemicals found in vape cartridges. It probably doesn’t take a lot of convincing to see why inhaling these things into your lungs is unhealthy, despite claims it is “safer.”
Negative Effects on the Body
Our goal is to see the healthiest version of you. Again, while large vape companies claim their products to be less harmful than others, the negative consequences on the body (especially the developing body) are worth noting. As the aerosol from the vape travels to the lungs, the healthy lung tissue is coated with thousands of chemicals. These chemicals are usually dissolved in an oily, liquid base. More and more cases of lung irritation from some of the vaporized elements of that oil getting deep into the lungs are popping up. That isn’t all. Chemicals from the flavorings in vapes have caused permanent lung damage and scarring, affecting breathing and throat health. Aside from lung health, we mentioned previously that chemicals found in vape cartridges can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure. Vaping is also addictive. It creates a physical and psychological dependence to nicotine and even increases the chances of using traditional cigarettes in the future.
The Bottom Line
Simply put, inhaling foreign chemicals into healthy developing lungs is not healthy. Being “less harmful” is a marketing phrase used to try and convince people their product is somehow healthy. Remember, the best way to preserve your lungs and health in general is to remain substance-free. Not starting is the easiest way to stay healthy, but if you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, check out http://www.youthresourcealliance.org/ for resources in your area. Choosing to be healthy isn’t saying “no” to everything, it is making one choice to put your health first and discard anything that doesn’t nourish that health.