E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes or vapes, are devices used to heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. They come in different sizes and shapes, and contain a battery, a heating device and a cartridge to hold liquid. They often look like pens or flash drives. The liquid usually has addictive nicotine, flavouring and additives. The act of e-cigarettes is called vaping.
Youth in Canada have one of the highest rates of vaping in the world. Reasons for the high rates include vaping/tobacco companies targeting youth with products including flavorings designed to appeal to youth. Limited awareness of the dangers of vaping is another factor.
Let’s not forget that e-cigarettes may contain addictive nicotine. Nicotine has been linked to affecting memories, having a difficult time concentrating, and altering brain development till age 25. Nicotine can cause reduced impulse control, which can lead to difficulties coping with stressful situations.
The more someone vapes, the more their body craves it, and the harder it is to go without. Vaping can cause mood swings, feelings of irritation, easily fatigued, anxiety and depression. Vaping can also lead to potential lung damage that can be life-threatening.
Is vaping safe when you are pregnant?
“Pregnancy is a great time to focus on your health! Avoiding vaping when pregnant can reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects”.Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
Although the aerosol of e-cigarettes generally has fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke, e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy. Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. Also, some of the flavorings used in e-cigarettes may be harmful to a developing baby.
“The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you quit using tobacco, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope.” Tobacco Use, Smoking, and Vaping – Quitting Support Pages (alberta.ca)
We understand that certain incidents and triggers can cause you to rely on a nicotine rush. But remember, when it gets tough, try some of these healthy distractions instead:
- Try going for a walk to distract yourself from your cravings.
- Drink plenty of water
- Try to keep you mind and hands occupied – perhaps a new hobby, activity or using a stress ball.
- Write down some important reasons why you are quitting and look at them every time you have a craving.