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Will Vaping Kill You? Is It Safe?

In the past decade, tons of smokers have made the switch to electronic cigarettes. And it’s no wonder why: e-cigarettes are cleaner and cheaper than regular cigarettes, and they give off virtually no odor. Vaping, supporters say, is much safer than smoking, with some even going so far to say that vaping poses no dangers.

Not so fast. While vaping is probably safer than smoking a cigarette, it would be a bit of a stretch to call it completely “safe”. Here are some reasons you might want to avoid picking up that vape pen.

Vaping Isn’t FDA-Approved

When it comes to vaping, one of the biggest causes for concern is that the effects of vaping haven’t been thoroughly studied. In short, we don’t know a whole lot about the short-term effects of e-cigarettes, much less the long-term effects.

As a result, vaping is yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which ensures the safety of the drugs we buy in the United States. According to the FDA, dangers lie in consumers not knowing the potential risks of e-cigarettes, how much nicotine they’re ingesting, and whether there are any benefits to vaping. And because vaping remains unregulated, it’s up to the vaporizer and vape juice manufacturers to be honest and accurate in selling their products.

What We Know About the Effects

While many more studies are still needed, the initial research doesn’t bode well for vaping. What we’re beginning to learn is that vaping–whether with nicotine or without–can still be damaging to the lungs.

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that acrolein, a substance found in nicotine-free vape juice, attacks the endothelial cells in the lungs, which line the walls of blood vessels. The researchers also noted that the heated vapor of an e-cig can cause lung inflammation.

The Bottom Line

Will vaping kill you? The short answer is that we don’t know yet. Electronic cigarettes are a fairly recent invention, and we simply don’t have the research to understand the full effects of vaping. No one can be said to have died because of vaping, but it could be too soon to tell.

However, when compared to smoking cigarettes, many say vape instead, and better yet, use electronic cigarettes as a way to stop smoking and vaping altogether. Recently, the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom recommended that smokers take up vaping instead. This recommendation has been lauded and criticized by various professionals and organizations, a sign that the safety of vaping is still under great debate.

[Image via Getty]

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