Vaping (using an e-cigarette) has dramatically increased in popularity over the last few years but do we really know what we're inhaling and is it bad for you?
Electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes or vapourisers, are battery-powered devices that mimic the action of smoking, offering nicotine (in most cases), but without the toxic effect of tobacco smoke from cigarettes.
Is it bad for you? E-cigarettes chemical formulas contain carcinogens and irritants but just not to the same extent as cigarettes (Environmental Science & Technology in July 2016).
Nicotine is highly addictive and causes the release of adrenaline which stimulates an increase in heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. They are just as, if not more addictive than normal cigarettes with 40% of young vapers having never even smoked tobacco.
The younger generation find vaping appealing as they are supposedly not as bad for your health, they are cheaper than ordinary cigarettes and have enticing flavourings.
The issue with vaping is that there are no long-term studies showing the effect prolonged vaping has on our cardiovascular and respiratory systems or whether they increase our risk of cancer.
E-cigarettes can be a useful tool for reducing smoking cigarettes but we wouldn't advise non-smokers to take up vaping due to the unknown health implications.