Smoking-vaping-cigarettes-marijuana-lung-health

Vaping, Cigarettes or Marijuana

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Vaping

Vaping is the same as what some call e-cigarettes. Vaping is an electronic device that heats liquid to make a smoke-like vapor and often contains nicotine. Nicotine is the ingredient that is found in regular cigarettes and is one of the ingredients that makes vaping and smoking regular cigarettes so addictive and harmful to your health (American Academy of Family Physician, 2019).

So why do so many people choose vaping over regular cigarettes…..?

Two main reasons:

  1. Smokers believe vaping is safer.
  2. E-cigarettes (vaping) does not smell like smoke.

Are e-cigarettes/vaping safe?

Is Vaping as Bad as Smoking?

Vaping can be as toxic as smoking ⚠️

Posted by Cultura Colectiva + on Sunday, February 18, 2018

The fast answer is….NO! As stated before, vaping contains nicotine which is very addictive and there are chemicals used in vaping products that can cause cancer, lung and heart disease. Vaping liquid also has the potential of being poisonous if spilled on the skin and can be fatal if swallowed. The liquid used for vaping also is at risk for exploding and can cause serious injury (American Academy of Family Physician, 2019).

Cigarettes

Cigarettes are made from tobacco. Nicotine is naturally found in tobacco. Nicotine is highly addictive and is thought to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2019). Cigarettes can cause various cancers, heart, lung disease and many other conditions.

Nicotine

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that is easily and quickly absorbed into the blood through the lungs spreading through the body (ACS, 2019). 

In even small amounts, nicotine affects the mood causing pleasant feelings and distracting the user from unpleasant feelings such as depression, stress, anxiety, and frustration causing the user of this substance to want or crave more (ACS, 2019).

You see, seconds after inhaling/vaping nicotine, it reaches the brain but the effect decreases within a few minutes. This may leave the smoker feeling restless, edgy and irritated provoking the smoker to, once again, light up to “take the edge off” (ACS, 2019). 

The reason for beginning a bad habit, most times, is not why it has continued for so long. Why a habit continues is for an entirely different reason. 

Fairly quickly, the body gets use to the amount of nicotine that is used, leaving the smoker feeling the need to increase the amount of nicotine smoked to get the same feeling. This is the start of the body building up a tolerance for the original amount and the effect is no longer the same so the amount of nicotine must be increased to get the same impact (ACS, 2019).

Therefore, a smoker can quickly become dependent on nicotine which leads to withdrawal symptoms causing the smoker to suffer both emotional and physical symptoms (ACS, 2019). These symptoms include headaches, irritability, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Eventually, this is what leads to addiction (ACS, 2019).

How can vaping help you to quit smoking if nicotine is very addictive?

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, (2019), vaping replicates smoking cigarettes and contains the same addictive substance – nicotine. Therefore, the safest way to quit smoking is using proven methods such as using nicotine patches, lozenges, gum, and joining a smoking cessation group….not vaping.

Smoke-free nicotine is used to assist to stop smoking because even though nicotine is still released into the body, one of the two problems is deleted. That is mentally, the behavior of lighting, puffing, and inhaling is taken out of the equation. One method is wearing a nicotine patch. This assists in weaning from the amount of nicotine while going to counseling or support groups to work on behavioral issues that helped to fuel the addiction in the first place.

Nicotine Addiction. Why is it so hard to quit?

Almost 70% of smokers say they want to quit and even try to, however, many times, it takes outside help to quit due to the nature of the addiction and the dependence that people have developed physically and emotionally to the substance. Physically, the chemical has caused a craving, wanting, calling for more. Emotionally, nicotine alters the mood and so without it, the person is left dealing with unpleasant moods and feelings. The smoker can no longer distinguish between real issue that cause unpleasant feelings and nicotine withdrawal. Now the smoker has to deal with just another problem – substance dependence and the original issues that still linger but are only masked. Leaving the person with little to no skill to productively deal with life issues.

As stated before, stopping any addictive substance requires a period of withdrawal and this can become very uncomfortable physically and emotionally since nicotine impacts both (ACS, 2019). Physically the body must go through detox and the brain must work on giving up a habit that requires major changes in behaviors that the smoker has become accustomed to and may not have knowledge on how to exchange a negative behavior for a positive one. Plus, learned behaviors such as not dealing with problems, in some cases, but numbing or covering the problem with a feel good substance becomes another issue (ACS, 2019).

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal:  

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within a few hours of the last interaction with nicotine and can peak within 2-3 days. Withdrawal can last for several weeks getting better each day that the person stays nicotine free. Withdrawal from nicotine is uncomfortable but not dangerous as the body comes off of the substance (ACS, 2019).

However, the following symptoms, many times, leads to the continued use of nicotine as a way of stopping the symptoms from continuing:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of impatience, anger and frustration, restlessness or boredom
  • Dizziness (may last within a day or 2)
  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping (includes staying asleep and having bad dreams)
  • Slower heart rate
  • Chest tightness
  • Dry mouth
  • Cough
  • Nasal drip
  • Sore throat

Breaking it Down: So a smoker may start smoking to initially experience a pleasant, calming feeling, but as the smoker continues, the reason for smoking changes, and that is to help unpleasant feelings go away that are associated with nicotine withdraw in addition to undealt with emotions that started this in the first place; and so the cycle continues (ACS, 2019). The longer the person smokes, the harder it is to stop because withdrawal symptoms get worse. So now, there are two problems, issues that may have led you to smoke originally and now the uncomfortable feelings of withdraw (ACS, 2019). 

Marijuana

 Marijuana (cannabis) is the second most commonly smoked substance after tobacco; and even though it has become legal in most states, it still may be harmful to your health. There is no safe way to smoke marijuana, plus there are no filters to help to filter out some of the toxins. Therefore, marijuana is harmful to the health of your lungs and contributes to heart disease (Anonymous, 2017).

It is now known that heavy marijuana smokers also may develop lung disease just as smokers of tobacco because marijuana smoke has many of the same harmful chemicals and over a long period of time, it increases the risks of developing COPD and at the very least smoking marijuana can make breathing worse especially for those who have existing lung problems (Anonymous, 2017). Marijuana smoke may also increase your risk of lung infections and lung cancer as marijuana smoke contains many (450) cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) that are similar to tobacco smoke (Anonymous, 2017).

How to know if marijuana is affecting your lungs

  • Coughing
  • Increased mucus or phlegm
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the throat

However, with stopping, these symptoms have a chance of going away.

Many states have prescribed medical marijuana for health reasons however it has not been approved by the FDA for any known medical conditions. The FDA, however, has approved medications containing THC, an active ingredient found in marijuana, for treating pain and nausea (Anonymous, 2017).

Am I addicted to smoking?

The most telling sign of addiction is when a person still smokes even though they know that it is bad for them, they begin to see the negative effects it is having on their emotional and physical health and personal life and still does not stop (ACS, 2019).

Bottom Line

Healthy lungs are required to live a healthy life. Your lungs were made to inhale oxygen (air); and only air, to live a vibrant healthy life. When carcinogens are inhaled, through vaping or smoking cigarettes and marijuana, the lungs become polluted. Eventually, oxygen does not travel properly to your blood as the lungs begin to become diseased making it harder to breathe resulting in conditions such as COPD, emphysema, asthma, lung cancer and/or heart disease.

Be your own advocate, gain as much as knowledge as you can to make sure you are making the best decisions for your health. As we know, many things have been hyped up for the public to use as harmless or for the betterment of a certain condition. Just to later find out that the risks were no way near better than the rewards (Anonymous, 2017).

Take care of your body when you are young, and it will take care of you when you’re old. – Grammy

Smoking Cessation and Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy specializes in smoking cessation (stopping) and emotional and behavioral issues that have contributed to beginning and continuing to smoke. Many times, people start smoking for one reason but continue for many years for another reason (addiction). Reasons, why people may have started smoking, may be due to social isolation, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, peer pressure, low self-esteem, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and stress. Occupational therapy holistically addresses behaviors, feelings and thought processes that contribute to a reduction in health, wellness and life satisfaction and develop a plan to increase quality of life for the individual who wishes to stop smoking (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014). 

For more information, please contact Life Wellness at Christa@OTWellness.com.

References

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, S1–S48. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.682006

Anonymous (2017). Smoking marijuana and the lungs. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 195(3).

American Academy of Family Physician. (2019).  e-Cigarettes, vaping, and juuls:  What you need to know.  Retrieved from www.aafp.org/afp.

American Cancer Society. (2019). Why people start smoking and why it’s hard to stop. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/tobacco-and-cancer/why-people-start-using-tobacco.html

FDA. (2019). FDA and cannabis: Research and drug approval process.  Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-and-cannabis-research-and-drug-approval-process

340 thoughts on “Vaping, Cigarettes or Marijuana”

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    1. I appreciate your comment and I am glad that you found the information to be useful. I take care in carefully researching information before publishing to ensure those reading the information are getting up-to-date and evidence-based information. Please subscribe, if you haven’t so that you can stay updated as new articles are published. Take Care!

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      Thank you for your comment and I’m sorry that you feel that I leaned on the videos to make my point. However, that was not my intent. There are two videos that were chosen to assist those reading this article in understanding the information that I am bringing forth. I do this so that those with various learning styles can become a part of the learning experience. I realize that some people are visual learners, some learn better through hearing; and other people need a mixture of both to better understand written material; so when I can find a good video I post it as well. But I will take your comment into consideration.

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      Thank you for the feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed the article. I take great care in writing evidence-based informative articles in an attempt to educate the public on how to stay healthy to live a quality-filled life for as long as possible. I welcome you to this website and I appreciate you wanting to stay updated as new material is released. Take Care!

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      Hi there! Thank you for the feedback. It is my intention to inform the public using recent evidence-based research so that each individual can choose what is best for themselves to keep the body healthy as long as possible.

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  20. I think smoking is the old trend while vaping is the new trend. Everything evolves and nobody can resist it. For mass-market, easily obtainable e-Juice (this juice is easily found pretty much anywhere online or in shops) it’s a really good choice for anyone looking for something easy and delicious.

    1. christaspence

      Thanks for your comment. I urge everyone to do their own research regarding your health as it concerns smoking/vaping. Please be and stay informed.

    1. christaspence

      So glad you found the site and found it to be useful. Please feel free to pass the information along and sign up, if you haven’t already, to stay updated on future articles that will come out. Also, if there is a topic that you or anyone you know are looking for more information on and it is relevant to health and wellness, please let me know and I will write an article on it. Take Care!

    1. This is the first time this has happened. I am not sure if this is something I can control on my end since you clicked to notify you when new comments are added. Is there anything on the notification that says unsubscribe or stop? I’ll see what I can do on my end, but I am not sure. Sorry about this.

    1. Thank you for contacting Life Wellness and I am glad that you found this article to be helpful. On the home page is a “Contact” tab where you can email Life Wellness. Let me know if there is other information that you are looking for other than email to contact us. Thank you.

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  22. After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!

    1. christaspence

      Sorry about this. I am not sure if you were hoping to be notified when there is a new article and not every time someone comments. I can’t seem to find that there is anything I can do on my end. Have you checked the bottom of the notification that is sent to see if there is a link to unsubscribe? If there is a link, unsubscribe there and if you want to continue to receive new postings, resubscribe under the subscribe section. Let me know if this helps. Thanks.

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad that you found the article to be informative as I take care in writing each article that is published to accurately inform the public. Take care!

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you very much for your feedback. Yes, I built this myself. I took my time and learned how to build this site little by little to make sure it reflects my vision. I use WordPress, the Astra theme under health and wellness. I hope this helps. Take care!

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you. I spend time doing updated evidence-based research on topics such as this to make sure the public is informed. It can become very confusing trying to navigate several topics that are mixed with marketing to promote products to get to the truth and really understand what is really going on. 🙂

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you so much for commenting. I am glad to hear that someone shared the website and you found the information enjoyable. What type of FB group is it? Take Care!

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  33. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had
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    1. Wow! I’m sorry that happened. I think if you use the “Ask the OT” tab, you may be able to write a little more without your message being eaten :), but thank you for your feedback. Yes, so regarding your blog – try to be consistent in your writing. I try to write at least once a month or twice month. Lately, I’ve fallen off writing regularly as I am creating an online course that is taking the majority of my time. Also, make sure you are writing longer articles (about 1200-1500 words minimally). For some reason, longer articles are picked up by Google and your rating increases to inch your site closer to the top of the search. Also, be yourself. Let your personality come through and if the topic that you are writing on is informative, make sure you are doing your research and it is not just based on opinion. I hope this helps. 🙂

  34. I am curious to find out what blog platform you have
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    Do you have any solutions?

    1. christaspence

      Yes. My platform is SiteGround. I hope this helps. Thank you. You can also always ask questions at the tab “Ask the OT” for general questions.

    1. christaspence

      You’re welcome. I am happy to know that you enjoyed the article. You can either choose to ask questions using the tab “Ask the OT” on the home page or you can send an email at Christa@OTWellness.com. Life Wellness is also on Facebook and IG at @christa.spence.ot. Take Care 🙂

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you. There is a subscribe box that should pop up within a few seconds of you being on the site. You can subscribe there. I hope this helps. Let me know if you still have a problem subscribing. I appreciate your support and feedback and your wanting-ness to join the Life Wellness community. 🙂

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  38. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your website. It appears as though some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Kudos|

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment. I believe it is your web browser. Try a few other ones and let me know how it works out for you. Thank you.

  39. Hey! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.|

    1. christaspence

      I use WordPress too. You may have to purchase the package that allows for security to avoid hackers. Double check to see if your current site has security on it. I paid extra for it. I hope this helps. 🙂

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you for your feedback and for subscribing. Welcome to the Life Wellness community of subscribers 🙂 Have a great day!

  41. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your website.

    1. christaspence

      Yay!!! So glad that this was helpful enough for you to be treated to breakfast 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback. Take care and have a great day!

    1. christaspence

      Thank you for your feedback. I’m glad that you stumbled upon it somehow. I hope you come back. 🙂

  42. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.|

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      Thank you for your kind comment and feedback. I will take into consideration regarding adding more pics.

    1. christaspence

      Love, love, love feedback like this. Thank you! I took a lot of time to select and choose to ensure that this is simple, user-friendly, effective and visually appealing. Thank you again for your comment. 🙂

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      Wow! Thank you for your feedback. I am humbled. This article was never meant to say “do or not do” vaping or smoking. Everyone is a free agent and can do as they wish. However, commercials and marketing can be somewhat confusing and misleading. My intention was just to breakdown and simplify the facts so that people are aware of what they are choosing to engage in and the effects of that choice. Take Care! 🙂

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    1. christaspence

      Thank you for your feedback. It is the desire of this site to inform based on evidence-based research so that the public can make informed-based decisions because the media can mix messages of truth and misguide the public, at times, for capital gain. It is not our intention to sway anyone to do or not to do something because we believe in choice. We write to make sure people are educated on specific topics and are understanding the good and bad consequences of the choices they make. Once again, thank you for your feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to write in. Take Care! 🙂

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  47. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions? Appreciate it!|

    1. Thank you! I would not start out with a free platform if you want to eventually expand. Free is easy to build but there is a lot you cannot do. Also, many times, free websites do not always have good security from hackers. I started out with a free website and realized 3 months in, that it was too restrictive. However, if you just want to just simply blog, a free website might be okay….just make sure the website is secure.

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  49. I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own personal site and want to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. I built this myself with a lot of time and effort. The theme is under Health and Wellness from Astra. I am using WordPress. I did a lot of revising and color changes to make it more tailored to my taste.

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    1. Thank you for your feedback. I will see if there are any solutions to fix this. Thanks for letting us know. 🙂

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    1. Thank you. I am glad that you enjoy the site. Please feel free to reach out if you ever would like for us to write on a specific topic that is related to emotional, mental, physical, relational or spiritual health and wellness. Take Care! 🙂

  53. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.|

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I try to make each article easy to understand so that the public becomes informed so that they can make the best choices for themselves. Take Care. 🙂

  54. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea
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    1. I do get some. I monitor the site and report the incoming spam as such. It has slowed it down but unfortunately. It has not yet stopped. Stay encouraged. 🙂

    1. Sure. What specifically do you want to know. I may be able to incorporate it into the article. Thanks for reaching out. Take care. 🙂

  57. I am curious to find out what blog platform you’re working with? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?|

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    1. I really appreciate your feedback. It is always our intention to inform the public with evidence-based research and without no hidden agenda so that the public can make the best decisions for themselves. 🙂 We understand that through all of the marketing that is out there, sometimes trying to get to the bottom of things can be difficult. Thanks again for writing in. Take Care! 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your feedback 🙂 Is there something specific that you would like to read about regarding this topic? I will consider writing about it. Let me know. Take Care! 🙂

    1. Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed the article and find it helpful. Please feel free to have your sister reach out if she would like for me to research and write more on this topic. Let me know what specifically she may be analyzing so that I can help her out, if she’d like. Take Care! 🙂

    1. Thank you and we will do our best to keep putting out reliable and interesting work. Please let us know if there is anything of interest that you would like us to write about and as long as it pertains to health and wellness and we will see what we can do. Thanks again and have a great day! 🙂

    1. Thank you. I am glad you subscribed. We are trying to at least write monthly. Although, there has been a bit of a delay as there was a request made to do a few presentations for teens and young adults in the NY area as it pertains to emotional and social learning so the focus has been that lately (Had to meet a few deadlines). However, there will be more writings to come very soon. Thank you for your feedback and have a great day 🙂

    1. You are very welcome. A few people have asked me about my contact info. There is a Contact tab that allows you reach me from there. I will also update the site to provide my phone number and email addresses for direct and easier access. Thank you for your feedback 🙂

  60. Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it

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  61. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
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    1. Thank you for your feedback. There is a Contact tab on the home page for communication. Please let me know if you are having problems with it, but it should be working. Thanks for writing in. 🙂

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    1. I will definitely work on including an email hyperlink so that those that would like, can reach out. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your feedback 🙂 People have been asking about ways to get in touch with us. I will post the contact info in a few different locations. Thank you for visiting the site.

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