Some people who want to quit smoking look for alternative ways to transition from tobacco cigarettes and cannabis. They turn to vape pens and electronic cigarettes to get a nicotine or THC fix, thinking those are healthier choices.
While ditching cigarettes and other tobacco products is a big step toward good health, vaping may be more dangerous than you realize.
At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, we understand how difficult it can be to overcome an addiction to substances like tobacco and marijuana.
Board-certified addiction specialist Richard E. Repass, MD, offers some insight into vaping and what it can do to your health.
How vaping works
Electronic cigarette devices (e-cigarettes) contain nicotine extracted from tobacco, other chemicals, and flavorings. When in use, the device heats up these substances and creates an aerosol that you inhale.
Vaping products are available in many forms, including disposable and non-disposable devices. Some contain nicotine found in traditional cigarettes, while other products contain THC, a byproduct of marijuana.
Both THC and nicotine are addictive substances, so using vape products that contain these ingredients may not help you quit for good.
Known dangers of vaping
While vaping products are still relatively new, there is research that documents known health dangers in people who use them. Some of the known dangers to date include:
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Traditional cigarettes contain about 7,000 chemicals, including several known toxins. Studies show that vape products do contain fewer toxic chemicals than tobacco products, but that doesn’t mean the ingredients in vape pens are safer for you.
The nicotine in vape products is still highly addictive and can cause unwanted, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit.
Using vape products to help you quit smoking may not be a workable strategy. You can become just as dependent on the electronic sources of nicotine as you were to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Increased risk for chronic disease
Nicotine also has a negative effect on your physical health, causing spikes in your adrenaline levels and an elevation in your blood pressure. This can increase your risk for heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.
Vaping is also linked to chronic lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Both conditions can cause shortness of breath and other symptoms that affect your quality of life.
Smoking cessation alternatives to vaping
Even though many vape products are promoted as a safer alternative to smoking and some people have successfully quit smoking using electronic nicotine replacement devices, there are better ways to overcome a nicotine addiction.
Start with a plan to help you quit. Set a date in the near future where you put down cigarettes, vape pens, and other products for good.
To lessen the side effects of withdrawal, talk to your primary health care provider about nicotine replacement products you can use that are safer than smoking. This can include over-the-counter gums and patches or prescription inhalers and nasal sprays that help you gradually reduce the amount of nicotine you use.
How BR+NAD™ supports smoking cessation
If you use vaping products that contain marijuana but want to quit, Dr. Repass can determine if you’re a candidate for infusions of BR+NAD. Treatment uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a substance found naturally in your body that supports DNA repair and the production of neurotransmitters in your brain.
This minimally invasive treatment can stop your cravings for marijuana in just a few days, so you have a better chance at quitting for good. It stabilizes your mood and enhances your brain function.
We also offer general psychiatry services to support your smoking cessation efforts. Dr. Repass specializes in holistic therapies that help you overcome depression, anxiety, and other issues that may contribute to or result from your reliance on nicotine or marijuana.
Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you stop vaping for good. Call us at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment or book an appointment using our online tool.