Electronic cigarettes are devices designed to heat a nicotine-based liquid into a vapor, which can then be inhaled. Here’s a look at the known health risks associated with vaping.

Exposure to nicotine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping is a less harmful option than smoking if you already smoke. However, since most e-cigarette liquids contain nicotine, they pose a number of health risks. Among other things, vaping can:

• Lead to addiction

• Affect memory and concentration

• Cause behavioral problems

• Alter brain development

It should be noted that adolescents are particularly susceptible to the dangerous effects of nicotine. This is why it’s illegal to sell or give vaping products to anyone under the age of 21.

Exposure to other chemicals

The main liquids found in vaping products are vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol and chemicals used for flavor such as diacetyl. When these substances are heated in a vaping device, they create a carcinogen called formaldehyde. Other toxins that can be found in e-cigarette vapor include nickel, tin and aluminum.

Heart and lung disease

Inhaling the harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes increases the risk of cardiovascular and lung disease. Health experts are also currently investigating the rise of a severe and potentially fatal lung disease referred to as vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI).

While the potential long-term effects of vaping are still unknown, there’s no doubt that the use of e-cigarettes is hazardous. The best way to avoid the health risks associated with vaping is to not start or to ask a health-care professional for advice on how to quit.

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