Vaping hasn’t been around for very long, and there’s a lot about it that people may not be fully aware of. For instance, how it affects your health or how it’s marketed.
While manufacturers promote nicotine vapes as a safer alternative to smoking, scientific studies tell a different story.
From containing harmful metals and toxic chemicals to unethical marketing campaigns and real-world health risks — this article will cover 9 scary vaping facts you probably didn’t know.
This Article Contains:
- 9 Scary Vaping Facts You Didn’t Know
- Vapes are Targeted At Teens
- Vapes Contain High Levels of Nicotine
- Nicotine Vaping Can Hamper Brain Development Among Teens & Adolescents
- Vape Juice Is Actually Poisonous When Ingested Orally
- Low-Quality E-Liquids May Contain Heavy Metals
- Secondhand Smoke From A Vape Could Be As Harmful As Passive Smoking
- Vaping Could Be a Gateway to Other Addictive Substances
- Vapes Aren’t The Best Smoking Cessation Tool
- Long-Term Effects of Vaping Are Unknown
- Nicotine-Free Vaping - The Safer Choice
Are you ready?
9 Scary Vaping Facts You Didn’t Know
Despite its claim to fame as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, vaping still has a few skeletons in its closet.
Let’s explore nine scary vaping facts you might not know.
1. Vapes are Targeted At Teens
Let’s be honest — when you see a “cotton candy lemonade” flavored vaping device in a store, you don’t think of buying it for your parents.
The truth is that most vape pen flavors are made to appeal to teens and young adults. While e cigarette users can find the occasional “tobacco” or “menthol” flavored vape pen, the market is saturated with flavors based on fruits, candies, and energy drinks.
And there’s a reason why large tobacco companies (aka the “Big Tobacco”) do this.
Youths tend to hop on to vaping to try out the delicious flavors on offer.
After all, aren’t teenagers likelier to try their favorite ice cream flavor than a pungent tobacco product?
This irresistible flavor appeal, combined with the fact that vapes are being heavily marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, is a recipe for disaster. One which has seen vaping rates among teens and young adult crowds skyrocket in recent years!
A recent study by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that an estimated 2.55 million US middle and high school students tried vaping in 2022 alone.
To make matters worse, the sleek and discrete designs allow youth groups to sneak and hide vapes easily.
According to an article from the Tobacco Control Journals, this creates more opportunities for adolescents to “stealth vape” in places like high school, youth groups, or home.
Fortunately, big tobacco companies are starting to face the spotlight for these unethical marketing schemes.
For example, the industry-leading electronic cigarette company Juul has recently agreed to pay $438.5 million in a settlement with 33 states and one territory over marketing its product to youth groups.
2. Vapes Contain High Levels of Nicotine
The high levels of nicotine in vapes is another pressing concern.
Vaping e-juices contain much higher nicotine levels than traditional cigarettes (a standard pod may contain nicotine that roughly equals a pack of tobacco cigarettes.)
This nicotine exposure makes vapes harmful in the long run.
Teenagers or new e cigarette users aren’t fully aware of how addictive nicotine is and often overlook the high levels in electronic cigarettes. Moreover, teens are prone to go overboard with vaping, inhaling significantly higher nicotine levels.
To make matters worse, studies reveal that people who vape nicotine are 3.6 times more likely to smoke regular cigarette products later on.
Did you know? According to a Tobacco Control Journals report, text and pictorial warnings about health hazards effectively encourage people to quit vaping and smoking conventional cigarettes.
Although you can buy safer nicotine-free vapes, they are much more difficult to find, especially in high-quality brands.
This further increases the risk of exposure to side effects and health risks from nicotine use.
Some of these include:
- Increased risk of lung disease, lung injury, and cancer.
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Adverse effects on birth control
Wondering why nicotine is so addictive?
According to researchers at Yale, nicotine can directly affect the brain's mesolimbic dopamine system or “reward system.” This system controls behavioral functions essential for our survival — like the desire to eat and the satisfaction we get from it.
It turns out that nicotine (from vapes and conventional cigarettes) can hijack this system and make itself an “essential requirement” for living. This is why nicotine addiction is tricky to overcome, especially when you develop dependency early as a young person.
3. Nicotine Vaping Can Hamper Brain Development Among Teens & Adolescents
Studies show that nicotine exposure during teenage and adolescence hampers brain development.
The human brain continues to develop until age 25, with the prefrontal cortex (PFC) being one of the last major parts of the brain to mature fully. Nicotine can alter the prefrontal cortex's synapses (connections between nerve cells).
This can have long-lasting effects on cognitive and executive functions like:
- Mood control
- Attention performance
But that’s not all.
Damage to the prefrontal cortex from nicotine use may also increase the risk of developing mental health conditions like anxiety later in life.
4. Vape Juice Is Actually Poisonous When Ingested Orally
Yes, you read that right.
Many ingredients in e-liquids, like vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, might only cause mild discomfort if swallowed in small amounts. However, when ingested orally, liquid nicotine can have deadly effects on the human body.
This is because, unlike the nicotine in tobacco leaves, liquid nicotine is poisonous when ingested orally or absorbed via the skin. It can lead to nicotine poisoning.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning closely mimic those of nicotine overdose, such as:
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and confusion
To give you a scale of how poisonous liquid nicotine is, ingesting one tablespoon of it is enough to kill an adult.
That’s half of a small 30ml e-liquid bottle.
But it can’t get worse than that, right?
Unfortunately, it does.
Vape aerosols may also contain other toxic chemicals like diacetyl and formaldehyde that can cause severe health risks and side effects when inhaled.
5. Low-Quality E-Liquids May Contain Heavy Metals
While we wish this meant that Led Zeppelin was performing live in your electronic cigarette, sadly, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Low-quality e-liquids may contain trace amounts of heavy metals like arsenic, chromium, lead, manganese, cadmium, and nickel.
Heavy metals exposure increases the risk of developing cancers and health conditions.
Let’s briefly cover these metals and their effects:
Chromium and lead: According to the NJ Health Hazardous Facts Sheet, chromium compounds can cause lung cancer and lung disease. Similarly, inorganic lead can lead to brain, lung, kidney, and stomach cancer.
Manganese and Nickel: Inhaling nickel compounds may lead to rhinitis, sinusitis, and anosmia. Prolonged exposure to nickel may also perforate the nasal septum.
Excessive ingestion of nickel may lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, coughing, shortness of breath, and lung damage.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to manganese fumes can lead to “manganism,” — a neurological condition.
The symptoms of Manganism closely mimic those of Parkinson's disease, such as trembling, slow motor movement, and stiffness.
Cadmium: A study from the US National Institute of Health found that inhaling cadmium without antioxidants can lead to pulmonary inflammation and emphysema.
Cadmium is also known to inflame organic lung tissue and cause shortness of breath and lung injury (like popcorn lung).
Choosing to inhale heavy metals may not be wise, but at least it's your choice to make. The people around you may not be as fortunate.
6. Secondhand Smoke From a Vape Could Be As Harmful As Passive Smoking
By now, you may have realized that your favorite vape pod or puff bar doesn't emit just “harmless water vapor.”
Secondhand smoke from a vape may contain many constituents harmful to public health. This includes compounds like ultrafine particles, low levels of toxins known to cause cancer — and yes, you guessed it, nicotine.
The concentration of ultrafine particles in the vapor from e cigarette use is significantly higher than in tobacco smoke.
Secondhand exposure to ultrafine articles can:
- Aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma
- Further constrict arteries in those with heart conditions (increasing the risk of a heart attack.)
And like tobacco smoke, vape aerosol constituents are not limited to ultrafine particles.
According to the American Lung Association, other chemicals in secondhand vape aerosol include diacetyl, benzene, and all the heavy metals we mentioned earlier.
According to the CDC, many of these compounds (like formaldehyde) can cause eye, nose, skin, and throat irritation.
Long-term exposure to these compounds can cause asthma in children, among other public health concerns like lung damage.
What can you do to avoid the risk?
Don’t vape indoors or around high-risk groups — like children, young adults, the elderly, or people with respiratory or heart conditions.
You can also switch to high-quality nicotine-free vapes with superior ingredients.
7. Vaping Could Be a Gateway to Other Addictive Substances
A 2015 US National Institute of Health report revealed that 38.8% of adolescents (under 25) used nicotine before trying alcohol or marijuana.
Because no one forms a substance use disorder (SUD) by diving straight into hard drugs like cocaine, meth, or heroin. Many Americans, especially the young adult group, often start with tobacco use, or nicotine vaping.
Due to the wide availability of vapes in the US market, a young person is more likely than ever to try vaping, which almost always ends in nicotine addiction.
Nicotine addiction is likely to lead to the subsequent abuse of other substances — typically starting with alcohol and marijuana, then moving on to more problematic substances.
And any smoker you know will assure you that a glass of whiskey or a pint of beer paired with a regular cigarette is worth its weight in gold — because each substance enhances the others' “euphoria.”
This can be a never-ending cycle with devastating long-term effects on health and addiction.
8. Vapes Aren’t The Best Smoking Cessation Tool
According to John Hopkins Medicine, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved vapes as an effective smoking cessation tool for combustible cigarettes.
It’s because, like combustible cigarettes, vapes contain nicotine – keeping smokers hooked. The John Hopkins Medicine report further affirms that nicotine levels in vapes are much higher than in traditional tobacco products.
This means that vaping might even intensify nicotine addiction in smokers, making future attempts at quitting smoking cigarette or vape products even more challenging.
9. Long-Term Effects of Vaping Are Unknown
The truth is that there’s limited research exploring the long-term effects of e cigarette usage compared to tobacco product use.
However, existing studies by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) reveal that nicotine in vapes may severely impact cardiovascular health by restricting blood vessel function — increasing the risk of heart disease.
Scientists also believe that certain chemicals in low-quality e-liquids (like diacetyl and formaldehyde) contribute to lung-related injuries and diseases, like popcorn lung” — a severe health risk from vaping low-quality vape products.
With chemicals like formaldehyde, vitamin E acetate, and nicotine plaguing the vaping markets, it seems there’s no way to vape while mitigating its risks.
Or is there?
Nicotine-Free Vaping - The Safer Choice
The truth is, vaping in all forms is bad for you. However, removing harmful chemical compounds (like nicotine) from the mix can drastically reduce the health risks and side effects of vaping.
Thankfully, companies like Cyclone Pods aim to make vaping safer and more accessible with their nicotine-free vape range.
Cyclone Pods is a US-based vape company that provides a world-class vaping product range that is free from harmful chemical compounds like:
- Vitamin E acetate
Looking to test out a nicotine-free vaping device for yourself?
Try the Gust Super from Cyclone Pods. It packs in over 5000 puffs and comes in 15 delicious flavors, including:
Or, if you prefer a longer-lasting vaping device with refillable pods, try out the Thunder Device.
You can begin vaping with a health-first mindset by removing harmful and unnecessary chemicals like nicotine from your vape products and routine. And Cyclone Pods is here to guide the way.