It’s common to see people vape in parks, bars, and restaurants these days. Unchecked vaping has also been high among high school students over the recent past. Some people are vaping in public places thereby creating huge aerosol plumes that swirl around them. Generally, vaping has become very common with some teenagers being the major fans of fancy e-electronic cigarettes. But, how does vaping influence health in local communities?
E-cigarettes are relatively new after being around for a little longer than a decade. The public health sector and the Food and Drug Administration are starting to comprehend the long-term health effects of vaping. It’s also now that this sector and the FDA are starting to determine whether vaping is better than smoking.
Vaping entails the use of battery-powered devices to heat vape juices that usually contains nicotine. This nicotine can be mixed with chemicals like propylene glycol or glycerin. In most cases, vapers choose juices with flavors like cotton candy or apple. The chemicals in these juices are delivered to the body in form of vapor once heated by electronic cigarettes. No smoke is produced when vaping like it’s the case when smoking.
Influence of Vaping on Health in Local Communities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2 million students in high and middle school use vaping products that come in assorted forms and flavors. These include devices with regular cigarettes resemblance and those resembling flash drives or pens.
A recent study has shown that there has been an increase in the number of the high school students that are reporting their use of electronic cigarettes. This number increased by over 75% between 2017 and 2018. The use of electronic cigarettes among mid- school students increased by almost 50%. Clearly, electronic cigarettes are becoming popular tobacco products especially among the youth. And this popularity is a cause for alarm for public health officials.
Although vaping may be less harmful than smoking, its long-term effects on the human health remain uncertain. The respiratory outcomes of vaping are still unknown. Smoking tobacco is known to cause the chronic obstruction pulmonary disease which is a major cause of deaths in the US. Vaping on the other hand exposes people to aerosol whose impact on respiratory health is unknown.
Reasons for Banning Vaping in Public Places
The best vape juice has an appealing flavor. Some of these juices have kid-friendly flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, and bubblegum. These broaden the appeal of vaping to young people. The fact that vaping entails inhalation of vapor instead of smoke means they could deliver nicotine in lesser amounts than traditional cigarettes. But, this does not necessary mean that vaping is completely safe.
A major concern for the public health officials is that vaping can keep a person smoking traditional cigarettes longer instead of encouraging them to try to quit. It’s estimated that 70 to 90% of vapers also smoke traditional cigarettes. That means they continue smoking regular cigarettes even after they start vaping.
What’s more, whether a person smokes or vapes tobacco, nicotine is delivered into their body. A vape liquid that is made of nicotine in a concentrated form is poisonous. Generally, nicotine affects the reproductive health negatively. It can affect the developing fetus negatively if pregnant women are exposed to it even at what may be considered low levels. Additionally, nicotine is toxic to developing brains. And children develop more respiratory problems when exposed to any amount of nicotine.
Since it’s a cardiovascular stimulant, nicotine can worsen conditions like the heart disease. According to Life Science, e-cigarettes can affect blood vessels and even increase the heart attack risk in some people.
Vaping entails inhalation of high amount of nicotine as well as chemicals like propylene glycol or glycerin. People in public places where vaping is done are exposed to these chemicals too. That means bystanders are likely to suffer the same health consequences with vapers. Chemicals like glycerin and propylene glycol can irritate the human airways and eyes. When vaporized, the ingredients of even the premium vape juice can be degraded into acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. These are harmful carcinogens though research on how exposure to them can cause cancer is not clear yet.
Potential Pros of Vaping
Vaping might be safer than smoking- According to theRoyal College of Physicians, vaping might be up to 95% safer than cigarette smoking. That’s because it does not involve combustion.
No bad odors- Vaping eliminates smoke smell from the vaper and the environment. Some vape juice flavors have aroma that makes tobacco smell barely noticeable.
Nicotine intake control- E juice comes in different strengths that enable vapers to control their nicotine dosage.
- Vapor output control- Pod vapes and other smaller devices are designed for low vapor and convenience. These are ideal for use in places where users want to control vapor output. High-powered mods on the other hand are ideal for cloud chasing.
- Instant satisfaction- Vaping makes silencing cravings quickly possible. Most electronic cigarettes are ready for immediate use. What’s more, there are many flavors of e-juice to choose from.
Potential Cons of Vaping
Same treatment with smoking- In most places, vaping is treated the same way with smoking. That’s because both smoking and vaping can expose smokers and non-smokers, vapers and non-vapers to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
- Unknown health risks- No long-term research has suggested that vaping is completely safe. That means vaping can expose you and those around you to serious health hazards that might be discovered later.
- Youthful perception- A popular perception is that vaping is an activity of young adults.
Effect of Vaping Ban on Community Members
Banning vaping in public places means community members won’t be allowed to vape in restaurants, bars, parks, school grounds, and workplaces. Property managers and owners may also not have the option to designate non-smoking and smoking areas.
In nutshell, vaping produces vapor that may not appear to have carcinogens. However, the health effects of exposure to this vapor to both users and those around them remain unclear. Unlike the traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes might not produce side-stream vapor.
However, users exhale vapors that can be inhaled by non-users and possibly affect them negatively in the future. Banning vaping in public places protects non-users in the community from possible effects of vaping on their health.