A lot of former smokers switched to vaping as it is said to be a safer alternative to smoking. In fact, studies over the recent years reveal a significant increase in the number of vapers. However, you might be surprised that vaping also has its share of health risks. Vaping can be just as dangerous as traditional smoking.

Before we get to the dangers of vaping, it is important to understand what exactly vaping is and how it differs from traditional smoking. Also known as e-cigarettes, vaping involves using a battery-operated device that contains vaping liquid. This “vape juice” is a combination of flavorings, chemicals, and nicotine. On the other hand, the heating elements produce a vapor that vapers inhale like traditional cigarettes.

Speaking of nicotine, it is a popular belief that vape does not contain this chemical, which makes it a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, this is not entirely true; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that a lot of e-cigarettes do contain nicotine.

With that said, here are the reasons why vaping can be potentially risky for your health:

1. It contains more than just nicotine.

As mentioned, a lot of e-cigarettes contain nicotine–even if advertised otherwise. In addition, e-cigarettes also contain other substances that can be potentially harmful to your health such as cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and tin, and ultrafine particles.

In addition, e-cigarettes also contain diacetyl, a chemical that is strongly linked to lung disease and a common substance in vape liquid flavorings. While e-cigarettes contain fewer chemicals that can be potentially toxic, vaping can still be harmful to your health nonetheless.

2. It can put your oral health at risk.

Most of us don’t realize that vaping can also put your oral health at great risk. In fact, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that vaping can be bad for your teeth and gums. More so, it is also linked with numerous oral health problems such as bad breath, gum disease, gum recession, and can even compromise your immune system.

3. It can lead to several health problems.

According to several reports, e-cigarettes can result in health conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, poisoning due to nicotine, and even risk injury due to unexpected vape battery explosions. In fact, several reports have already surfaced about e-cigarette explosions and injuring unexpecting users.

4. It can be as addicting as traditional cigarettes.

Many experts agree that e-cigarettes can be just as addicting as regular cigarettes and other tobacco-based products, as well as other addicting substances such as marijuana and alcohol. As we all know, addiction can create a negative impact on someone’s well-being including cognitive, behavior, and mood problems. Such issues can also be triggered by using e-cigarettes.

5. Don’t be deceived with its “tasty” flavorings.

E-cigarettes offer different liquid flavorings – strawberry, orange, grapes, and a lot more – that can be pleasant to inhale. However, don’t be deceived with its irresistible smell and taste. According to American Lung Association’s assistant vice president for national advocacy Erika Sward, flavorings in e-cigarettes contain diacetyl, a chemical existent in popcorns and vape liquid flavorings. Apparently, it can be dangerous when inhaled as it can cause a lung condition called “popcorn lung.”

6. It can be dangerous for pregnant women and young children.

As mentioned, nicotine is present in many vaping products. Nicotine, as we all know, is not good for our health, especially for pregnant women. This is because this chemical can compromise the safety of the unborn child inside the mother’s womb.

Meanwhile, second-hand smoking is also applicable for e-cigarettes, which in turn can affect young children’s developing brain. That is why pregnant women should not use nicotine products. Likewise, young children should not be exposed to any kind of nicotine-based products to avoid compromising their growth and development.

7. It can potentially cause cancer.

One of the most alarming health risks of using vape is a known carcinogen called formaldehyde which is commonly found in e-cigarette vapor. According to research, e-cigarettes contain “masked formaldehyde” which in turn can cause lung cancer when exposed for long. Likewise, vaping can also compromise your immune system.

As mentioned, vapers use e-cigarettes as a “safer” alternative to regular smoking, which can be partly true. However, several studies have found that e-cigarettes may not help in quitting smoking.

In general, quitting smoking can be challenging, but there are safer and more effective programs that may help you quit the habit without using the “lesser evil” that is vaping. Sure, it can be a tough journey, but you can be successful with sheer determination and patience.