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Vapes Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

January 23, 2019

Many individuals believe that vaping or using e-cigarettes is safer than traditional cigarettes due to the fact that they are smokeless and introduce fewer particulates into the user’s lungs. These devices, however, still introduce nicotine into the body, cause cardiovascular complications, negative respiratory effects, and even addiction. Vaping, in fact, could be even more dangerous than cigarettes.

Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest smoking cigarettes contributes to one out of every five deaths in the United States. By 2014, more than 10 million Americans had died from illnesses related to smoking. In 2007, the sale of e-cigarettes offered smokers an alternative to cigarettes, affording users the nicotine without the smoke. The devices look and feel like real cigarettes, but deliver a smoke-like, flavored vapor contained in a disposable cartridge.

Vaporizers, or vapes, quickly followed the release of eCigs and are today more popular with customizable pen-like devices and flavor options. There are no cartridges; a large reservoir is refillable, and the “vape” comes with a longer lasting battery, as well as a more direct delivery of nicotine.

Though manufacturers tout safety over conventional cigarettes, there have been no long-term studies to compare the vape option to lighting up. While researchers believe there are likely some advantages to heating vapor over burning a substance and introducing particulate matter into the lungs, no conclusive research exists on the impacts of vaporized additives associated with these alternative products. And in some cases, vapes, especially those that have been modified or “hacked”, may be more dangerous than tobacco.

Growing Concerns With Vaporized Substances

Manufacturers suggested that when people use either ecigs or vapes, that they are breathing in only harmless water vapor and nicotine, but more recently the World Health Organization (WHO), called for a ban on indoor use of the product, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now investigating the effects of the propylene glycol or glycerin along with flavor additives that are heated and vaporized and delivered to the lungs alongside the nicotine.

Researchers also report that contained within the aerosolized e-liquid are agents that, when heated, generate a release of formaldehyde at significantly higher levels than that contained in a tobacco cigarette.

To complicate matters, researchers are turning to social media to understand how some individuals are hacking their devices, allowing for increased heat, a higher release of nicotine, among other alterations. This will afford researchers a better understanding of the impact of these vapors on the lungs and public health.

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Is Vaping Addictive?

For the same reasons cigarettes are addictive, so are vapes and e-cig products. Both contain nicotine, a highly addictive stimulant substance. Nicotine changes the levels of noradrenaline, or norepinephrine, a natural hormone in the body associated with our “fight or flight” response. The release of noradrenaline directs blood flow to essential organs, enriching them with vital oxygen and in an emergency, can give someone a boost of energy to either run away from the danger or fight it off.

Nicotine binds with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, initiates a similar response, causing the body to release noradrenaline, and affording the user the associated euphoric rush of both the noradrenaline and associated dopamine response, part of the brain’s hard-wired reward system. This dopamine release is an after effect of the flood of oxygen to vital organs, but it is the primary culprit in why nicotine is so addictive. The brain now associates nicotine with a life-sustaining response (like eating or drinking water), initiating cravings for the drug.

Negative Health Impacts Of Vaping

Nicotine comes from a plant that is part of the nightshade family, poisonous to humans. In higher doses, it may be used as a biocide. We know now nicotine is linked to cardiovascular complications, respiratory side effects (even in smokeless products) including inflammation and increased risk of bacterial infections, decreased immunity, gastrointestinal upset, and nervous system changes including fainting, headache, dizziness, agitation, insomnia, and stroke.

Other chemicals contained within vapes include formaldehyde, linked to respiratory and blood cancers. A need for long-term studies may reveal more adverse health effects.

The dangers of vaping may include:

  • cardiovascular complications
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeats
  • respiratory side effects
  • lung inflammation
  • increased risk of respiratory infection
  • decreased immunity
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • headache
  • dizziness and fainting
  • agitation
  • insomnia
  • stroke
  • cancer

Is Vaping A Gateway Drug

Due to common misconceptions about the safety of vapes, along with targeted marketing of these products to youth, vapes are quickly becoming popular among teen users. The flavors, including “bubble gum,” along with the appeal of the colorful vape pens make them a trendy choice.

Vape pens are easily concealed from unsuspecting parents. Though vapes are not legal for people under 18 to purchase, they can, with the push of a button and credit card access, be purchased online. Only a handful of states currently ban possession of a vape pen by a minor.

Vape Withdrawals

Withdrawal symptoms make quitting vapes as difficult, if not more so than traditional cigarettes, especially if the product has been modified for higher delivery of nicotine. When an individual, whether a teen or an adult, attempts to quit vaping, they may experience nicotine withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms include flu-like symptoms like upset stomach and headache, changes in stool, low heart rates and blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, trouble focusing, anxiety, depression, and weight gain from increased appetite.

Treatment For Vape Addiction

Treatment options for vape and other drug and alcohol addiction is available. can connect you with the online resources, professional support, and evidence-based treatment options that meet you individual needs.

Don’t let the addiction take away another day, contact us and begin a new and rewarding life in recovery.

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