West Moreton Health’s Chief Medical Officer has issued a warning on vaping, saying it is not a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.
Associate Professor Dr Deepak Doshi said vaping exposed users to potentially harmful chemicals and toxins.
“The lung was not designed for the toxic agents found in e-cigarettes (vapes) and cigarette smoke,” Dr Doshi said.
“Vapers risk poisoning from the unknown and non-tested additives. As the vaping trend is fairly new, the research on the long-term impacts is not conclusive.”
Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, are battery‑operated devices that come in all shapes and sizes. They can look like a colourful ballpoint pen or a computer memory stick.
The user breathes a fine vapour into their lungs due to the flavoured liquid - often laced with nicotine - that has been heated in the vape pen’s chamber.
The myth that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes has led its increased use but Dr Doshi urges people to not be swayed by marketing tactics.
“Although it may possess a better smell and taste than cigarettes, it is still a toxin that is by no means a risk-free alternative to smoking.
“If you want to quit cigarette smoking, have a discussion with your GP or call QUITline (13 78 48) to determine the best options for you,” Dr Doshi said.
Myth 1: Vaping poses no risk
- Vapes contain chemicals that are dangerous to your health, including prohibited substances in some cases.
- Many vape products are incorrectly labelled so you cannot be sure what you are inhaling.
- Health risks include addiction, poisoning, seizures, burns and injuries, lung injury, throat irritation, cough, dizziness, headache and nausea.
- It is still not understood how the chemicals could change once they are heated.
- The long-term effect on health factors such as fertility are unknown.
Myth 2: Vape products are nicotine-free
- Many vape products contain nicotine, even when it is not mentioned on the label.
- Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that can affect brain development and functioning.
For more information, see National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019 (aihw.gov.au)