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The Harsh Effects of Vaping

The Harsh Effects of Vaping

Why do People use vape

According to Ayers et al. (2017), the reasons people use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are not fully comprehended. These reasons are posted in expensive surveys with close-ended response options instead of allowing participants to speak for themselves. Some researchers have depended on people’s postings on social media to find out their reasons for using ENDS. Most people resort to stress-relieving behaviours or what they think would minimize their stress and anxiety. For example, in one research study, participants who were school-going adolescents reported that they vaped to reduce stress levels (Chaplin et al., 2020).

Many people, especially the youth, have reported the use of ENDS because of their increased popularity. Shahandeh, Chowdhary & Middlekauff (2021) write that electronic cigarettes were invented as a substitute for nicotine sources for users who are not able or not willing to stop smoking, but in the process, e-cigarettes gained skyrocketing popularity.

Other reasons identified by researchers as to why people vape are for pleasure. For example, Ayers et al. (2017) found that the most documented reasons for vaping include enjoyment and curiosity. Ayers et al. (2017) and Chaplin et al. (2020) discovered that most people vape because they do not know about vaping and thus resort to luxurious reasons for it. Besides, in some research studies, the surveys only ask if participants use vape and hardly ask why they vape. Since most research surveys have focused on close-ended questions, they have limited the participants in providing the reasons why they use ENDS.

Despite the few studies that have reflected the reasons for vaping for participants, Ayer et al. (2017) found that people share their reasons on Twitter, and their reasons for using ENDS have transitioned over time. Initially, people stated that quitting combustibles was their reason for using ENDS. However, based on recent research on Google searches, people’s search for quitting smoking has reduced, showing that quitting smoking is decreasing as the reason for using ENDS (Ayer et al., 2017). Another trend noted in Ayer’s findings is that marketing for ENDS has increasingly grown over time, focusing on social image. In 2015, for instance, it was discovered that people sought a positive social image, so they resorted to using electronic cigarettes (Ayeret al., 2017).

Other reasons for vaping on Twitter were evasion of policies such as those prohibiting novel flavours like cherry on traditional cigarettes (Ayer et al., 2017). Since ENDS users found that they could find this flavour in ENDS, they resorted to vaping. Ayer’s research study reported 30% of tweets that stated policy evasion as their reason for using ENDS.

Positive Effects of Vaping

There has been an increased use of vaping in the market following the increased supply of vape pens. According to the New Health Advisor (2014), vaping is a substitute for tobacco cigarette smoking. Although some scholars have tried to identify the benefits of vaping, the negative implications outweigh the benefits. The New Health Advisor (2014) identified the possible advantages of vaping. First, it was reported that vaping minimizes exposure to tobacco. It is argued that the traditional cigarette is a pollutant of the environment and causes harm to the smokers as well as the nonsmokers surrounding them. When it comes to vape, the surrounding people and the environment are less exposed to tobacco because the chemicals found in tobacco vaporize.

Secondly, when people use vapes, the smell of tobacco is reduced. This organization found out that the liquid found in the vaporizer did not have any scent, unlike the traditional cigarette that produced smell, and the smell was retained on the skin and clothes of the smoker. Another possible benefit of vaping is that consumers can choose from different flavours they prefer. For instance, consumers who like menthol can use menthol vaping liquids, and even though they are made of different flavours, they are scentless.

Negative Implications of Vaping

Despite these possible advantages, a product cannot be significant if its usage ultimately causes harm to the users. As described above, it is evident that the benefits are still detrimental to the users, even though they tend to protect the environment, which should have been protected from abstinence from smoking in the first place. The New Health Advisor (2014) noted five possible drawbacks of vaping, discouraging its use. First, the organization states that the government has no regulations on electronic cigarettes. This makes it difficult to pinpoint whether the quality and approaches taken in vaping use are safe. Therefore, consumers are free to purchase the e-cigarette anytime online or physically and without paying any taxes, let alone being restrained. However, some states, including Boston, Los Angeles, and New York, have introduced new laws on e-cigarette sales.

Vaping and e-cigarette devices generally contain nicotine. Nicotine refers to a drug stimulant that quickens the messages that travel between the brain and the body and has a highly addictive feature (Ryan, 2021). Ryan (2021) writes that adolescents are more vulnerable to being addicted because their brains are still developing and are not yet fully mature enough to process impulses, which further makes them susceptible to external interference. After exposure to nicotine, adolescents are likely to experience mood disorders, addiction, and permanent damage to impulse control (Ryan, 2021). According to Ryan (2021), nicotine can change the formation of synapses, thus harming the parts of the brain that are responsible for learning and attention.

If a user tries to overcome addiction, vaping will not help them. This is because even though vaping allows consumers to choose e-liquid that lacks nicotine, they are still exposed to e-liquid with nicotine because some companies offer nicotine-based e-cigarettes. The e-cigarette has only substituted the traditional cigarette because of the vapour feature, but the content is the same. This means that the health risks that traditional cigarettes have on smokers would still be the same. The New Health Advisor (2014) writes that dehydration is one of the health risks of smoking e-cigarettes. The company adds that the propylene glycol in the content of e-liquid absorbs and retains water, thus dehydrating the smoker. They have found that some users are allergic to the chemical content in the e-liquid. Additionally, nicotine has been reported to have negative health impacts on circulatory systems and blood sugar and is also addictive.

However, regarding health impacts, some studies have compared traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes and found that e-cigarettes are better than the former. For instance, Blalock et al. (2021) found that blood pressure and heart rate reduced after consumers switched from traditional cigarettes to vapes. They also stated that in some research studies, only blood pressure was found to have reduced after the switching. Their findings showed that the use of e-cigarettes had no impact on the cardiopulmonary system. In yet another study, the link between e-cigarettes and cardiovascular risk was found to be uncertain (Shahandeh, Chowdhary & Middlekauff, 2021). This research study reported that although there were no sustainable outcome studies on the link between e-cigarettes and cardiovascular risk, there were effects of e-cigarettes that were risk factors for cardiovascular illness. These risk factors include thrombosis, endothelial function, inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurohumoral activation. This study also concluded that while e-cigarettes may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they are far from harmless. These findings are not consistent with the concept that nicotine in e-cigarettes increases heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Other studies, on the other hand, indicated that vaping increases blood pressure and heart rate (Blalock et al., 2021). This means that it is difficult to conclude that vaping is unsafe or safe based on the inconsistencies of these research studies. However, it is possible to state that vaping is less risky than traditional cigarette smoking but is not risk-free.

Next, some reports show that there is a risk of battery explosions due to unconfirmed e-cigarette sources. For instance, CBS News reported a man who was injured due to an e-cigarette battery explosion, severely damaging his teeth, mouth, and tongue (The New Health Advisor, 2014). This risk can be furthered if a cheap vaporizer imitates an e-cigarette. Some imitated products can burst marijuana rather than vaporize the THC (The New Health Advisor, 2014).


Reducing the increased usage of vaping requires a localization approach. The users need to know more about the product they are using and determine for themselves if it is harmful to their health or not. According to Chaplin et al. (2020), the best strategy is to increase consumers’ knowledge so they can make informed decisions when they decide to continue with vaping. This approach, coupled with identifying the reasons for vaping among consumers, is among the most proactive methods to help reduce the rate of vaping that is detrimental to the users. In Chaplin et al. (2020) research study, it was found that most students who participated in the study vaped because they understood that vaping was safer than traditional smoking. The participants also reported that the main reason for vaping was to reduce stress. Chaplin et al. (2020) also discovered that in the effort to help adolescent students stop vaping, the most motivating reason was providing them with the negative effects of vaping on their health and the health of their families. This research study indicated that education intervention is effective in enhancing students’ knowledge about the risks linked with vaping, especially the risks associated with their health. This was their motivation for ceasing their vaping behaviour. Additionally, Shahandeh et al. (2021) suggest that physicians need to confidently advise their patients who smoke that the aim of using e-cigarettes is to use them as a method of quitting smoking to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, control quality, and enhance regulation. This will help users understand their role in using e-cigarettes so that they do not harm their health unknowingly.

Providing evidence or case studies of the negative impacts of vaping is also likely to influence the behavioural change of vaping users through the concept of social cognitive theory and reinforcement. For example, the findings of Faulcon et al. (2020) suggested that there was a connection between seizures and electronic nicotine delivery systems use. However, this study could not establish a concrete relationship between the two and called for more research to clarify the association between electronic nicotine delivery systems and seizures. They also call for researchers to try to research more to comprehend how product attributes like quantity, formulation, content, and other contaminants may lead to seizures. Healthcare providers should be at the forefront of establishing this relationship to address this issue, especially when evaluating neurological symptoms. This will help address the problem before it is mature and difficult to deal with. Faulcon et al. (2020) also suggest that consumers need to report adverse experiences with the use of e-cigarettes to the Safety Reporting Portal and Food and Drug Administration to help facilitate research and address the issues raised.

Since, as reported by the New Health Advisor (2014), there are almost no regulations on vaping, another strategy to reduce the rate of vaping is putting in place control measures that would control or curtail the use of ENDS, like vaping indoors. Ayers et al. (2017) report that fewer research studies point to actionable reasons as guidance to certain control measures to end the use of vaping. These studies suggest putting in place laws banning vaping indoors. Ayer et al. (2017) reported that about 500 legislative bodies have banned vaping, especially in places where smoking is forbidden.

Moreover, another way to address the high rate of vaping is by understanding why people vape. Ayer et al. (2017) posit that some people choose to vape to evade policy regulations placed on combustible tobacco use. For instance, some policies banned the use of novel flavours like the cherry on traditional cigarettes. Policymakers can also employ the same approach and ban the use of tobacco flavours in ENDS.

Lastly, controlling the marketing rate is the best and most effective way of reducing vaping use. Marketing is one of the biggest reasons for the popularity of vaping worldwide, whether on social media or television. Ma et al. (2022) argue that although regulations like taxes effectively reduce demand for ENDS, price promotions could throw their effect off the wheel. It is reported that until now, there has been no ban from the federal office on the promotional discounts that are applied to nicotine and tobacco products in the U.S. (Ma et al., 2022). many studies have indicated that price promotions are highly linked to e-cigarette use among adults and youth. Therefore, policymakers, activists, healthcare providers, researchers, scholars, and other actors need to generate more evidence on the effect of price promotion on e-cigarette use and inform the relevant authorities, such as the local, state, and federal governments.


In conclusion, as seen, the benefits of vaping have been scarcely reported. Although there is not enough evidence linking vaping to serious health issues, e-cigarettes and other vaping products containing nicotine should warn users that their health is at risk. Besides, some studies have explicitly stated the connection between vaping and health risks that lead to serious illnesses like cardiovascular diseases. Users need to be convinced with knowledge of the risks of vaping. This is because research has shown that the main reasons for using vape are because it is popular, and youth are more thrilled with experiencing fun and excitement and using vape is one way to do so. Chaplin et al. (2020) study showed that students use vape to relieve themselves from stress. If educators could educate them that the nicotine in vape can actually be the leading cause of their stress, this strategy would lead to social cognitive learning, as explained by social cognitive theorists. Besides, letting the consumers know the effects of vaping coupled with reduced marketing and regulation seems to be effective ways of addressing the skyrocketed use of vaping.


Ayers, J. W., Leas, E. C., Allen, J. P., Benton, A., Dredze, M., Althouse, B. M., … & Unger, J. B. (2017). Why do people use electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes)? A content analysis of Twitter, 2012-2015. PloS one, 12(3), e0170702.

Blalock, K., Breve, F., Varrassi, G., Magnusson, P., & Pergolizzi, J. (2021). Vaping and subsequent comorbidities potentially associated with increased mortality and more severe illness in COVID-19: a narrative review. Signa Vitae, 17(6), 25-36.

Chaplin, M. D., Brogie, J., Burch, A., Hetzler, J., Hough, D., Gustafson, B., … & Gillette, C. (2020). Effectiveness of an educational intervention on health risks of vaping for high school–aged adolescents. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 60(6), e158-e161.

Faulcon, L. M., Rudy, S., Limpert, J., Wang, B., & Murphy, I. (2020). Adverse experience reports of seizures in youth and young adult electronic nicotine delivery systems users. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(1), 15-17.

Ma, S., Jiang, S., Ling, M., Chen, J., & Shang, C. (2022). Price Promotions of E-Liquid Products Sold in Online Stores. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(14), 8870.

New Health Advisor (2014). Pro and Con of Vaping: Should you start Vaping?

Ryan (2021). The Real Cost of Vaping.

Shahandeh, N., Chowdhary, H., & Middlekauff, H. R. (2021). Vaping and cardiac disease. Heart, 107(19), 1530-1535.


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The Harsh Effects of Vaping

The Harsh Effects of Vaping

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