If you are deciding whether to quit smoking using vaping then you will want to fully understand vaping health concerns. No doubt, you’ll be curious about the effect of vaping on your lungs, whether you will risk popcorn lung or mysterious lung disease.
At Vape and Juice, we aim to be transparent. We want our customers to know everything they need to know so they can make informed decisions.
Are you worried about popcorn lung or mysterious lung disease? Read on.
In this blog, we are going to tell you everything we know about the health risks from vaping.
In this blog you will hear about:
- Is vaping safe?
- Popcorn Lung
- Mysterious Lung Disease
- Are E-liquids Regulated?
- Exploding Vape Devices
- Wet Lung
Is vaping safe?
Smoking tobacco has been around for years. Thousands of years. However, vaping and e-cigs are relatively new in the grand scheme of things. We know, from the years of research and volume of data, that smoking causes cancer. A large number of other life-threatening illnesses are associated with smoking especially tobacco smoking.
Burning tobacco produces cancer-causing chemicals as well as produces poisons that are inhaled. In e-cigs, there are just a few ingredients. These include Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, flavorings, and nicotine if required.
E-cigs don’t produce tar or carbon monoxide, these are two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
While research is ongoing for the long term health effects of vaping, Public Health England and Cancer Research UK all back vaping as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Cancer Research UK’s expert in cancer prevention, said:
“In fact, the overall evidence points to e-cigarettes actually helping people to give up smoking tobacco. Free Stop Smoking Services remain the most effective way for people to quit but we recognise the potential benefits for e-cigarettes in helping large numbers of people move away from tobacco. Cancer Research UK is funding more research to deal with the unanswered questions around these products including the longer-term impact.”
If you are a smoker, and find yourself concerned to whether vaping is safe then have a look at some independent reviews which clearly show how dangerous smoking tobacco is. You might also consider using free stop smoking services if you are unsure whether vaping is safe but want to quit the habit.
Popcorn Lung – What is it and will I get it?
Popcorn lung is a serious lung condition that people have tied in with vaping. However, this is unfounded as there have been no cases of vapers with popcorn lung.
In fact, Cancer Research UK writes on their website:
“There’s no good evidence that e-cigarettes could cause the lung condition called popcorn lung. There’s been no cases of popcorn lung reported in people who use e-cigarettes.
If you’re a smoker, the best thing you can do for your health is to stop.”
What is popcorn lung?
Popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans) got its nickname from a disease that spread amongst people who worked at a popcorn factory. It was from breathing in a chemical called diacetyl over a long period of time.
This is a buttery, caramel taste used to flavor popcorn, it has also been found in some e-liquids. In a research conducted under the supervision of 85 Def. Counsel J. 1 (2018), individuals were exposed to diacetyl and were compared with those individuals exposed to chemicals in tobacco smoke. The results showed that vaping was about 95% safer then the chemicals in tobacco smoke. However, more research is needed into the connection between this chemical and the lung disease.
Cigarettes have 300-750 times more diacetyl than an e-liquid. Vaping e-liquids come under strict regulations for their components especially for nicotine and diacetyl.
Some e-liquids don’t come under these regulations, such as shortfills, however, there is still much less of the chemical than in your cigarettes.
Will I get Popcorn Lung?
If you have managed to smoke 20 cigarettes a day and not got popcorn lung, then we can say with some confidence that you won’t get this illness.
If you are really concerned, then we suggest avoiding any e-liquids which contain diacetyl.
Up till now, only some rare cases of severe lung diseases caused by vaping have been reported. But the vapes being used were unregulated containing some dangerous chemicals including diacetyl. So using a regulated vape is essential for your health.
Mysterious lung disease
Mysterious Lung Disease has been hitting the headlines recently, in association with vaping. However, this isn’t from vaping traditional, regulated e-liquids, it is from vaping THC oil.
Lipoid Pneumonia – A form of Mysterious Lung Disease
Oil in any form should not be vaped, ever. In fact, this “mysterious lung disease” is actually called Lipoid Pneumonia, which we’ve known about for years.
Oil is not soluble in water. This means if you inhale oil into your lungs, then the moisture in your body will not be able to wash it away from the pores and alveolus in your respiratory system. The mucous of the respiratory system is unable to clear any oil based secretions or products. As a result, this oil builds up in the lungs leading to severe complications.
Essentially, when you vape oil, you are causing the build-up of fats to reduce your lung capacity, which can lead to ‘Lipoid Pneumonia’. This can be fatal and it has shown it with these US cases. Several researches [1, 2] have linked the vaping of oil based products to Lipoid pneumonia.
Spontaneous Pneumothorax – A form of Mysterious Lung Disease
Another disease that may come under this mysterious title is spontaneous pneumothorax, which is where a lung collapses for no reason.
This happens to around 1 million people a year. Some studies have established vaping oils as a risk factor for developing both primary and secondary pneumothorax. But This can happen to almost anyone probably a vegan, a non-smoker, someone who lives a super healthy life. The exact cause and risk factors are still under study.
It is spontaneous.
Will I get Mysterious Lung Disease from Vaping?
The modern vape device came out in 2003. This means people have been vaping for over a decade now and only in the last year have any deaths been reported.
What is the connection? Well, it is a small cluster of people in America who have become unwell because of this “mysterious lung disease”.
Is it possible that they added something to the vape?
In June 2020, CDC in America did a test on the 8 people who were admitted for lung injury from vaping.
- 6 patients said they vaped THC
- 1 patient said nothing
- 1 patient said they vaped only nicotine products
- 7 patients were urine tested – all showed THC
- 1 patient was not urine tested – reported THC
This shows that one of the tested patients lied as they found THC when they were tested.
Of all the 8 patients who were admitted for vape related lung issues, had all vaped THC.
THC oil or any oil is not supposed to go in your vape device, and certainly not in your lungs. THC oil is illegally sold and therefore does not abide by any regulations like nicotine e-liquid and CBD e-liquid does.
When you buy THC oil from someone on the street, in the pub or market and decide to vape it, you are putting your lungs at risk.
Are e-liquids regulated?
When you buy e-liquid from a store or brand that has a great reputation and reviews you know that they will be regulated.
We, like other reputable stores, will have to adhere to certain industry rules and standards, such as selling certain size bottles and nicotine levels, listing ingredients as well as other info on the bottle.
When you buy something unbranded and illegal you will be taking a risk with your health.
How can you tell your vape product is regulated?
- Any volume above 10ml will have 0mg nicotine
- The tank on your kit will be max 2ml
- CBD products will come with a certificate of analysis
- CBD products will contain no more than 0.02% THC
Will my vape explode?
One of the horror stories that has made the news is about a 17-year old’s vape device exploding in America.
A vape device is an electrical item, which needs to have specific safety measures in place. If you think back you have probably heard news stories about unofficial or faulty phone chargers exploding and causing fires – this isn’t too different.
How to ensure your device is safe
There are a few things you can do yourself to ensure that your vape device remains as safe as the manufacturer intended it to be.
- Never leave your device in direct sunlight, a hot car or somewhere very cold
- Do not alter any of the safety features of your device
- Use the lock when you keep it in your pocket or bag
- Replace batteries if they get wet
- Don’t let batteries come into contact with other metal items in your pocket or bag, such as your keys or coins
- Avoid charging your vape overnight or leaving it unattended when on charge
- Use the charger that came with the device, not a mobile or tablet charger
What do I do if my vape explodes?
If your vape explodes then you should seek medical attention if you are injured. You should then report the device to the FDA, explaining the conditions of the explosion or malfunction. You may also want to contact the brand so they can investigate if it was a manufacturing issue.
Wet Lung Disease (ARDS)
You might have heard the news story that hit the headlines in America- “Teen develops wet lung after vaping for just 3 weeks”. The news channels jumped on this story saying that it was purely vaping that caused the condition.
The young girl was admitted to the hospital after suffering chest pains, coughing and having trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome, which the newspapers called wet lung and put down to vaping.
What is wet lung?
Wet lung, or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), occurs as a result of inhalation of material particles or any liquid into the lungs which then triggers an immune response.
As a result, the lung tissue becomes inflamed causing shortness of breath, feeling faint, tired and confused. This is basically a hyperinflammatory reaction caused by immune system. It can be the result of allergies to things like dust, smoke, pollens, or some perfumes as well.
Could vaping cause wet lung?
Vaping cannot accumulate water in your lungs. In fact, the contents of e-juice, PG and VG, are humectants which means that they absorb moisture.
Ever get a dry mouth from vaping? Yep, that will be why. If vaping did cause water on the lungs then so would taking a hot shower, going to a steam room, or even cooking pasta without the window open.
Was this another way to scare people off of vaping?
Encourage us to keep smoking and breathing in 1000 of chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer. The teen in the news story was said to have suffered from her symptoms due to allergies, including dust.
Journalists sensationalised the story by using the term wet lung, despite it rarely being used by medical professionals.
Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos made a statement about the situation – “This is the first time that I see a case report is featured in the media. This is a new low for e-cigarette opponents. The “wet lung” is… total nonsense. The case was about an allergic reaction causing pneumonia.”
Should I give up vaping?
We know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the UK, which is why people choose the vaping option. Public Health England declared vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco. The main reason is the absence of those harmful chemical substances in regulated vaping which are present in tobacco.
Deaths and illnesses from vaping
As it stands, vaping illegal THC cartridges are thought to be the main cause of the vaping associated deaths in America. THC cartridges are sold by illicit and anonymous companies. The ingredients in the cartridge can be tampered with by the seller to bulk it out and make the THC go further. Inhaling an unregulated substance is never going to be the safest option.
So far, there have been seven confirmed deaths among 400 cases from a mysterious lung disease, which has been linked to vaping. However, it has been linked to THC vaping.
Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health said: “This outbreak does not appear to be associated with traditional legally-sold e-cigarettes, but with illicit and sometimes counterfeit THC vaping cartridges.”
Can you quit vaping?
If you feel that you don’t want to continue to vape nicotine and regulated e-liquids, then you can quit.
You can quit vaping in a few different ways. One option is to go cold turkey. Throw out your kit and be done with it.
Another way is to gradually reduce your nicotine levels down to 0mg. Once you have reached 0mg nicotine you just need to break the habit, which should be easier without the cravings.
Best Method to Quit
The best method to quit any type of addiction is to gradually cut it off. Start by taking smaller amounts day by day un till the amount is too small. Then you can give it up without having to experience any withdrawal signs and symptoms.
Vaping Deaths – Should I be worried?
We don’t think you need to be worried about vaping nicotine e-liquids brought from trusted stores. However, if you are vaping any product with THC then you should stop. You cannot be 100% sure what you are putting into your body when you buy illegal THC cartridges off of the street or illicit sellers.
To put it into perspective, there are 480,000 deaths per year from smoking cigarettes in the United States. Now there is a serious risk.
While we want to protect our industry, we would not do so if we truly believed vaping to be causing deaths or illnesses.
News stories tell a story, but not the whole story. That’s how they sell papers and draw in readers. At the end of the day, if you are considering quitting smoking but are unsure whether vaping is safe, remember Public Health England has said that vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco.
When you smoke tobacco you you need to be aware that it is the leading cause of preventable death. Vaping, however, as long as you vape regulated products and steer clear of THC oil and knock-off e-liquids and devices, you won’t be at risk.
If you have any concerns, then drop us a message.
NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Vaping