Slacker’s Syllabus: How vaping can impact your health

Lorenza Centi

When vapes first hit the market, everyone thought they were totally safe. “We’re just inhaling a little water vapor mixed with toxic chemicals,” we thought. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Well, it turns out that vaping can impact your health in multiple ways — and some of them aren’t great.

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Proponents of vaping often argue that vaping is healthier than smoking regular cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is totally harmless. And let’s be real, smoking has been proven to be so devastating to your body that there’s very little that isn’t healthier.

The idea that e-cigarettes might be better than traditional cigarettes is not a crazy one—you can see why people might think that. But the evidence is showing that’s simply not the case.

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Recent studies suggest that vaping increases the heart rate and raises blood pressure — even in healthy, young users. It has also been shown to increase the risk of blood clots and damages small arteries.


We’re still learning about all the ways vaping affects the lungs, but it has been associated with outbreaks of lung injury and correlated with lung disease.

That means that while the impact vaping has on the body is not the same as smoking tobacco, there are similar risks involved. In 2020 — when vaping-related illnesses came a public crisis, the CDC reported 2,602 vape-related lung injuries and 59 deaths.


Recent studies, conducted on young people in the Army, suggest that individuals who vape generally have a lower level of fitness than those who do not.


Vaping can also affect your brain. It can inhibit cognitive development in adolescents, and in adults it’s linked with poor short term memory and brain fog.


What’s more, while nicotine is often referred to as a stimulant and touted as a pick-me-up, it’s actually both a stimulant and a depressant so it’s a pretty complicated substance for your body to metabolize.

To boot, recent research has linked vaping with depression and other mental health issues.

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The truth is that it will be decades before we really know the health impacts of vaping. Hopefully, it is less harmful than smoking.

But let’s not forget that doctors used to vouch for cigarettes before there was ample research that proved smoking was bad for us.

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