Vaping… what is it?
When electronic cigarettes first appeared on the market in the late ’00s, many people mistakenly believed they were a healthier option to traditional cigarettes. Nearly three thousand cases of EVALI, a new lung disease linked to vaping, have been recorded by the CDC (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury). The agency has recorded 68 deaths based on data from 29 states. The new coronavirus, Covid-19, has the potential to cause severe illness and even death, and smoking can make symptoms worse.
The use of electronic cigarettes is extremely dangerous. It’s also very enticing. The health risks of using a JUUL are comparable to those of smoking 20 cigarettes every day. The term “vaping” refers to the act of inhaling vaporized liquid (or “e-juice”) from a cartridge attached to a vaping device. The nicotine in that liquid may be mixed with any number of other chemical ingredients and flavorings.
Flavors like bubble gum, mango, and mint have helped to make vaping popular among young people. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that teen vaping increased by 900 percent between 2011 and 2015.
The FDA issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to JUUL Labs Inc. in June 2022, effectively banning the company from distributing or selling the JUUL device or any of its four varieties of “JUULpods.” The action was a part of a larger FDA initiative to scrutinize the vaping industry and force manufacturers to show that their e-cigarette products are safe and effective tools for reducing or eliminating tobacco use. There is an ongoing federal effort to regulate vaping and discourage e-cigarette use, despite the agency’s decision to temporarily suspend the order to conduct more research.
However, similar to quitting smoking, giving up vaping can be challenging. And while there are physical effects of quitting, you’ll likely begin to feel better almost immediately. What happens to your body when you finally put down the e-cigarette?
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After 20 minutes: Improved cardiovascular health
According to Nikola Djordjevic, MD, project manager of Med Alert Help, “your heart rate returns to normal, blood pressure drops, and circulation starts to normalize” in as little as 20 minutes.
In addition, you may notice an improvement in your breathing: According to research published in 2018 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, heating the two main ingredients in an electronic cigarette—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—creates chemicals that are harmful to your respiratory tract. Caleb Backe, a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, says that once you give up vaping, you’ll notice a difference in how hard it is to breathe and how clear your airflow is.
A short time later: Effects of quitting nicotine
Some mild and transient symptoms are to be expected when using nicotine, and the drug can be addictive. According to Dr. Djordjevic, “acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be both psychological and physical.” He lists nicotine cravings, mood swings, difficulty focusing, irritability, and anxiety as potential psychological symptoms. “headaches, sweating, tremors, insomnia, increased appetite, abdominal cramps, and constipation,” Dr. Djordjevic lists as examples of physical symptoms.
These symptoms typically appear between four and twenty-four hours after you quit smoking. Dr. Djordjevic predicts that by day three, these effects will have reached their maximum “and taper off over the subsequent three to four weeks. That puts the time required to kick the habit at about a month.” If you think vaping is harmless, you might be surprised to learn about these hidden effects.
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When we fast forward a day: The probability of suffering a heart attack decreases
A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that daily e-cigarette use doubles a person’s risk for a heart attack. However, the danger rapidly diminishes after you stop. According to Dr. Djordjevic, “after just one day, your heart attack risk starts to decrease” because of improvements in blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and the reduction of the negative influence on cholesterol levels and blood clot formation. (Here’s what your doctors don’t want you to know about getting enough oxygen.)
Later that same weekend: The improvement in senses
Similarly to the effects of smoking cigarettes, vaping can dull your senses, making it harder to detect subtle flavors. Your sense of taste and smell may improve after only 48 hours without smoking. New evidence suggests that nicotine can also increase blood sugar levels, impacting more than just the brain.
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After waiting three days: Nicotine has been eliminated.
Even if you haven’t experienced nicotine withdrawals yet, you might start feeling them around day three.”
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are at their worst on the third day after you quit using the drug “So says Dr. Djordjevic.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can include “headache, sweating, abdominal cramping, or nicotine cravings,” according to Osita Onugha, MD, director of thoracic surgery research and surgical innovation lab at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
After a full month has passed: The improved health of the lungs becomes apparent.
Many people call the persistent cough that smokers often have a wheezing sound when they breathe. Tobacco use, including vaping, is associated with severe declines in lung function and decreased resistance to infection. However, your lungs will recover faster if you quit. You’ll feel less breathless and cough less after a month, according to Dr. Djordjevic. To improve your breathing, follow these steps.
Following a duration of three months: An increase in blood flow is apparent.
According to 2016 research published in the journal Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine, nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in the skin and around the heart. Nicotine found in electronic cigarettes may be just as dangerous. The diameter of your blood vessels will return to normal after you quit smoking, resulting in better blood flow. Many people who want to quit smoking are concerned about gaining weight as a side effect of quitting.
Nine months later: Your pulmonary defenses are back to normal.
In the lungs, tiny hair-like structures that aid in mucus expulsion and infection defense are replaced after nine months, significantly enhancing lung function “So says Dr. Djordjevic. Infections and complications from respiratory diseases like influenza and pneumonia may be less likely to develop as a result of this.
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A year later: One’s chance of having a heart attack is halved.
You are less at risk for a heart attack now that your blood vessels are shrinking back to normal, your heart rate is normalizing, and your blood pressure is decreasing. Dr. Djordjevic estimates a 50% reduction in cardiovascular risk after a year. This woman had a stroke at the young age of 29, so don’t assume you’re immune to cardiovascular issues just because you’re young.
Significantly reduced risk of stroke after 5 years
Better heart health and lower blood pressure have long-term effects that reduce your risk of stroke. Research presented at the 2019 International Stroke Conference found that e-cigarette users had a 71% increased risk of stroke compared to nonsmokers. The risk drops almost immediately after quitting, and it continues to drop with each passing month.
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After ten years: Reduced potential for developing cancer
The use of electronic cigarettes and vaping has been linked to DNA changes and genetic mutations that increase cancer risk, according to a study published in Scientific Reports in 2017. This means that the longer you can go without using an e-cigarette, the better for your health your body will be. After ten years, the risk of developing lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, oral cancer, and throat cancer is cut in half, according to Dr. Djordjevic. “When you have quit smoking for 15 years, your risk of developing coronary heart disease is the same as that of a nonsmoker. Pancreatic cancer incidence is similarly high.”
It’s like you’ve never smoked a cigarette in 20 years
One day, the harmful effects of vaping on your body and health will be completely temporary. Dr. Djordjevic says that if you quit smoking or vaping for 20 years, your health risks will be the same as those of someone who has never smoked or vaped. Ex-smokers share their best tips for kicking the habit if you’re ready to make the change.
The post 12 Physical Changes Your Body Will Experience When You Quit Vaping appeared first on The Healthy.
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