The Truth About Cigarettes, E-Cigs, Vapes and JUULS
It is often assumed that the tobacco found in cigarettes is what makes them harmful and bad for you, however, that is not entirely accurate. Dana Toussant, nurse practitioner at IU Health West Hospital’s Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Office, is breaking down the misperceptions surrounding e-cigs, vapes and JUULS.
E-cigs, vapes and JUULS heat a liquid cartridge that contains nicotine, flavoring and other harmful chemicals that is then inhaled as vapor. They appear to be smokeless because it is a liquid that is heated instead of tobacco.
“While tobacco is harmful, it is the nicotine naturally found in tobacco that makes cigarettes addictive,” Toussant says. “Because vapes, JUULS and e-cigs are marketed as being tobacco-free products, they are viewed as being healthier than cigarettes. Many people don’t know that e-cigs, vapes and JUULS are just as harmful as cigarettes. These devices contain a laundry list of harmful chemicals, many of which are also found in cigarettes.”
The devices come in different flavors, such as mango, mint, creme brulee and many more. Just one JUUL pod contains 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine. The majority of young people are unaware that they are inhaling nicotine because they believe they are only inhaling flavoring.
“It is never too late to quit,” Toussant says. “The sooner you stop, the sooner your body can regulate itself to get healthier. Even within the first 20 minutes of quitting, you’ll see an improvement in your heart rate and blood pressure.”
Toussant recommends the following advice when setting a quit date:
- Allow yourself time to prepare and feel confident in your decision to quit.
- Pick a date that is no more than a week away to decrease the likelihood of changing your mind.
- Remind yourself that you’re in control of your quit time. Leave time to set yourself up for success when preparing to quit.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking tobacco products (including cigarettes and cigars) causes almost nine of every 10 cases of lung cancer, but no matter how long you have smoked, quitting can reduce your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.