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How To Search ELI5: A Quick Reminder About Rule 7
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ELI5 Why does water turn white when going over a waterfall? My 8 year old asked me and I was at a loss to explain.
440
ELI5: how did women shaving their legs/armpits come about and why did men not do it too?
8399
ELI5: Why does a familiar word sound unfamiliar after you overly repeat it?
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ELI5: There's 21% oxygen in air. When we breathe out, there's still 16% oxygen in the exhaled air. Why's our lung so inefficient?
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ELI5: How close to 50/50 are genes from our parents? Is it possible to have more genes from one parent than the other?
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ELI5 why is there so much activity with the Ring of Fire recently? How do we know which earthquakes are directly linked? Should California be as worried as the media makes out?
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ELI5: Why does having "good lawyers" get people off with lesser punishments even if they're obviously guilty?
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ELI5: Why is older wine considered "better"?
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ELI5: Why might it be so hard for me to fall asleep again after waking up, but once my alarm goes off and I'm supposed to wake up, I suddenly can't stop hitting snooze and going back to sleep?
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ELI5 How do civil engineers determine if a building is structurally sound after an earthquake?
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ELI5: Why do we feel tense in our shoulders when we are stressed?
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ELI5: Why didn't the US experience hyperinflation that many economists and politicians said was going to happen when the FED did its quantitative easing during the Great Recession?
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ELI5 If symptoms of a cold serve the function of ridding our body of the illness, then do cold medicines that reduce these symptoms slow our recovery?
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ElI5: How does anesthesia make us unconscious but doesn't harm or shut off unconscious functions?
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ELI5; why is it that people snore when they are asleep, but don't have the same breathing pattern when awake?
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ELI5: How can a cable possibly be stretched across the entire Atlantic Ocean?
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ELI5 why is it that we always see so many new awesome ways to fight cancer and yet it seems nothing of it is ever being used?
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ELI5:Banned weapons in war
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ELI5: Why is CTE brain damage such a hot topic in the NFL, but don't hear anything from the Rugby community?
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ELI5 Why do so many conservative groups use the word "Patriot" in their name?
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ELI5: Why does the ESRB have a "Real Gambling" descriptor if online real-money gambling is illegal in the USA?
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ELI5 why we tend to raise our voice when we're mad
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ELI5 How do certain animals have the exact same pattern as a leopard?
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ELI5: Why do indian people and other asian people have different skin tones despite being so close geographically?
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ELI5: Why can my body handle heat or cold somedays better than others?
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ELI5:Why is there such a huge disparity in airline prices (example in text)?
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ELI5:Why must the Pythagorean Theorem contain squared values? Is there a relationship between sides prior to squaring them?
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ELI5: Would inflation still happen if the population didn’t increase?
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ELI5: Why are there still a few operating Blockbusters, and where does the money that they make go?
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ELI5 - I'm driving on a Rosario with my 5 year old and she asks me how power lines carry electricity
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ELI5 why can't we smell anything wen having a cold?
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ELI5: That feeling you get when you’re traveling in a car and you go over a small but quick hill and your stomach has that weird sensation in it right as you reach the top and are hearing back down.
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ELI5: What exactly is happening when one has water trapped in their ear?
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ELIF: Why do people in black and white movies and tv shows sound the same?
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ELI5: How does someone end up in extended domestic captivity and remain there?
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ELI5: Why aren't service animals regulated by any sort of governing entity?
5
ELI5: Why didn't the confederates ever march on Washington D.C.?
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ELI5:Why do some books have "This page has been intentionally left blank" page?
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ELI5: why does a combination of weird scents, audio, and visual stimulation make me feel nauseous?
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ELI5: How are satellites able to show such high definition photos from outer space
2046 MolesterDetester The issue with vaping is that it is a relatively new way to use nicotine. It took decades of research and observation to identify the adverse health effects to chronic users of other tobacco products, and it will likely take a similar amount of time to confidently identify any problems that arise with e-cigarette use. That said, e-cigarettes do not contain the same harmful ingredients as cigarettes, which probably makes them safer, although I can't say how much. There have been some studies that show using e-cigarettes increases your risk of developing respiratory symptoms such as coughing or increased phlegm production. It is possible that it could increase your risk for heart disease, although that risk seems to be hypothetical at the moment. As far as cancer goes, while many of the carcinogens found in cigarettes are much lower in e-cigarettes, propylene glycol and glycerol (the main components in the liquid cartridge) both break down into several potential carcinogens. I can't say whether this makes lung cancer/disease more or less likely, however. And of course, nicotine abuse is bad for your cardiovascular system. That has not changed. TLDR; it's up in the air. The general consensus seems to be it is likely safer than cigarettes, however it's possible that there could be some bad stuff in the vapor. If there are negative health consequences, we won't really find out until people start getting sick, unfortunately.
81 kodack10 Vaping is unhealthy compared to breathing in fresh air. It's healthy compared to breathing in cigarette smoke. It's healthy compared to inhaling aeresolized fat molecules from a deep fryer. It's all relative OP. The ELI5 answer is that vaping has not shown any long term health problems for users yet, but that this is still being studied closely. Vaping can help cigarette users quit smoking and it has none of the negative health effects that inhaling cigarette smoke does. People that switch to vaping to quit cigarettes can look forward to similar health levels as non smokers. While all of the ingredients in e-juice are approved for human consumption, there may be different health effects inhaling an aerosol of flavorings versus swallowing them. For example soda pop is okay to drink, but if you inhaled it, you would not find it agreeable and it could damage the lining of your lungs. While eating flavorings is healthy, the jury is out on effects of different flavorings on the lungs. A cigarette is consumed by burning it and inhaling the combusted gases, tars, ash, and chemicals released from combustion. Combustion isn't perfect and so a wide range of chemical compounds, many of which cause health problems are released. Vaping is not burning something, it is converting a liquid into an aerosol and inhaling it. This does not significantly change the chemical makeup of the aerosol versus the liquid juice. More details: The main materials are vegetable glycerin and polypropylene glycol. Both of these are FDA approved and safe for consumption and have no known health problems inhaling. The nicotine content varies from 0mg (none) to 24mg (around a cigarette strength). Nicotine is a drug, and in high concentrations it's a poison. This is mainly a concern for people handling 60-100mg/ml laboratory grade nicotine for mixing their own juice, but you wouldn't want a child to get a hold of a bottle of e-juice, or spill it on your shirt and ignore it. The main point of contention are the flavorings used to make the juice taste good to the user. The majority of these flavorings are USDA approved for human consumption, but the long term study of inhaling them is on-going. Most of the dangers you hear about from vaping products are a class of flavorings known to cause popcorn lung in high concentrations and prolonged exposures. To date there have been no instances of this occurring in any vaper, and the evidence of this occurring outside of factory conditions where workers spent hours a day breathing concentrated diacetyl in are anecdotal. Still though, better safe than sorry, and most vaporizer juice companies avoid these flavorings and volunteer laboratory results of their juice tests.
560 aresfour If we don't read into your question at all, the answer is of course, vaping is unhealthy. Inhaling any foreign substance is generally going to be unhealthy. If you're vaping or thinking about vaping just to vape, and not as a smoking cessation method, please don't, it's pretty dumb. If you insist, at least use zero nicotine juice. All that said, if you're using vaping to quit smoking cigarettes, that's a different conversation. I smoked for 25 years and quit the day I got a vape setup. I vaped for 2 years, slowly lowering my nicotine intake, and then I quit the vape, about a year ago. It was pretty effortless, although I'll stress that using a vape to quit smoking requires 1) a good investment in a quality kit 2) another investment in a quality BACKUP kit and accessories so when your batteries are dead or you're out of coils or juice, you're not forced to go buy cigarettes. 3) the right amount of nicotine in your juice. If you're still feeling the need to smoke a cigarette, increase your nicotine. I started with 18mg/ml, you may need 24mg/ml, or 9mg/ml might sate your craving. It depends on the person. I felt respiratory improvement after 2 weeks of not smoking. I certainly felt it in my wallet (vaping is ridiculously cheap compared to smoking), and I even felt it in my personal life, my wife really liked that I didn't smell like smoke.
134 Wild_Bill567 Source: Former smoker who now vapes, have read some news coverage and some actual scientific coverage. Nicotine by itself is not actually all that harmful, its similar to caffeine. No reasonable person will argue that it is not addictive, it clearly is. However, it is well understood that people get addicted to cigarettes because it is a highly efficient nicotine delivery system, but they are killed by the other components in the cigarette. Many of the chemicals in smoke which are known to be harmful come specifically from the combustion. If you were to dry out some lettuce and smoke it, you would inhale many of the same carcinogens. Used properly, vaping does not burn anything - i.e. there is no combustion. However, it is possible to 'dry hit' a vape - such as when you forget to refill the tank. This causes the cotton to burn and therefore creates the same types of carcinogens to be produced as in cigarettes. Some studies of vape technology have reported very high levels of formaldehyde, specifically, but examining the materials and methods of these studies shows that they were almost certainly burning the cotton. Therefore, high levels of formaldehyde actually are a good litmus test for the validity of a study. If the levels are too high, they are likely studying older technology and using it improperly. This is not to say the scientists involved are incompetent or doing this deliberately, the technology has improved very significantly in the last few years. Public Health England [has concluded through scientific study](https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review) that vaping is about 95% less harmful than smoking. This does not mean that vaping is harmless, simply less harmful. What is **not** yet known is the long-term effects of vaping. The first e-cig was invented in 2003. There were only a handful of products on the market before the last few years. We have about a century of data on smoking and its long term effects. Is it possible that in fifty years we will learn that vaping was in fact more harmful in the long term? We cannot rule that out, but we have no reason to believe it will happen. However it is known that continuing to smoke will be harmful, so for people like me who have had no success quitting without vaping it is worth a try. We have a choice between something that will definitely kill us, or something that might but more likely won't. **TL,DR:** If you've never smoked, its probably not a good idea to start vaping. If you can quit smoking without vaping, quit smoking. However, many people have been unable to quit smoking without vaping, and reducing harm is better than continuing to smoke.
97 Kiwikwan I used to work for an e-cig company working for a friend. He made millions when it first became a big hit (here in Canada) 6-8 years ago. My job was to make the juices, i.e. liquids that go into the devices. I was labels as an "E-Liquid Engineer". It kind of made me laugh, and it was then I realised sometimes the words "professional" and "highly trained" gets thrown around more often then it should. Essentially, what I was tasked with doing was mixing the core ingredients of the chemicals. There are two main ingredients, PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerine). Depending on the type of vape you want, be it more cloud, or smoother vape, etc. you would change how much of each of those main parts go into the mixture. People normally want a flavour to go along with the vape. I would add from a variety of flavours to the concoction. These flavours would range from something sweet, to fruity, to ones that taste like normal cigarettes. Most of the flavourings were harmless in their own, with most being simple flavour shots you could get at grocery stores or bulk barns. Others were concentrates mixed with a few other harmless ingredients. The last ingredient was the nicotine. It wasn't mandatory to have nicotine added to the bottle. There are many different "strengths" you can purchase, ranging from zero nicotine, to an extremely large amount (sometimes more then a regular cigarette). As others have mentioned, the nicotine is certainly a harmful chemical, and the vapes with in included should not be deemed "healthy". However, without that included, most vapes are relatively harmless. Of course what's even healthier then ingesting the PG and VG would be not vaping at all. I worked there for a couple of years, and I never vaped. I never smoked, so I felt no need to. It was a little odd being the only non-vaper, because vaping becomes a lifestyle of sorts. It's something a lot of people who begin vaping reaaaally get into. Bottom line though, the nicotine in the is essentially the worst part of vaping. Without that, it's truly not that bad. I mean, eating a Big Mac could probably prove to be worse for you then vaping without nicotine.
157 DaraelDraconis It's not harmless. It's significantly *less* harmful than smoking, but most e-liquids contain nicotine, which has harmful effects of its own, and many contain at least some carcinogens (that's "things that cause cancer", this being ELI5). That's just to *start* with; there are other reasons it's not good for your health. The long-term effects are unknown, so no major effects have been established, but that's not the same thing as an *absence* of major effects having been established.
10 baissist I'm not going to say it's healthy. Vaping is definitely healiER than smoking a traditional cigarette. Compared to the thousand of chemicals in cigarettes, vape juice has only 4 or 5 (vegetable glycerin; propylene glycol; artificial flavoring; nicotine, if you choose; and some add artificial sweeteners). Not to mention that the wires that are used (kanthol) is the same wire that are used in your toaster. While the PG is one of the ingredients that are found in medical IV's, asthma inhalers, shampoo (a lot of day to day uses). You don't have all the carcinogens because you aren't actually burning anything. Believe it or not, vaping has been around since the 60s, but because of technology only being available to those who had the money to afford it. It's more readily available today because technology is in general. Just keep in mind that anything you put into your body is potentially harmful to you. The biggest point that I always made to people was that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking.
5 DPool34 There haven't been many studies on vaping since it's relatively new. A few weeks ago, Vice featured vaping (in a different context), but cited a federal study which found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. I vape myself. I know it can't be as harmless as breathing fresh air, but it's a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. My doctor told me he looks at this way: cigarettes are known to have thousands of different chemicals in them, vaping e-liquid has 3 (glycerin, nicotine, natural/artificial flavors). So, I view it as the *much* lesser of two evils. Edit: here's a [study](https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review) conducted by the U.K.'s health department on vaping. And a [PDF](https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/media/Documents/Nicotine%20without%20smoke.pdf) from the Royal College of Physicians, going into detail about the benefits to vaping over cigarettes.
3 theangleopposite The honest truth is that we don't know. As someone else mentioned, it took years to measure and prove the negative effects of tobacco smoke (all smoke is carcinogenic) and although it seems that most ingredients in e-liquid and vapor (e-vapor is not smoke) are probably not carcinogenic its still not know if they could be harmful in the long term, as vaping is relatively new. As a best guess it's probably much less harmful than smoking and not likely to cause cancer but might cause other lung/respiratory issues, especially if you're sensitive to that sort of thing. The dangers of nicotine are also not well know, it seems that nicotine itself is not carcinogenic, but like most drugs it is indeed a poison, but only in very large amounts. It also might promote the growth of tumors but not enough is known to confirm this either. Its addictive effects are well know and because if this it is probably best avoided, although nicotine itself is not the most dangerous part of smoking. Much like smoking, its probably not to start of you can avoid it. However if you're curious its most likely a much better alternative than the proven dangers of smoking.
3 ChristyCMC Please understand that nicotine is not bad for you unless you take in too much -it can actually kill you. ....kind of like caffeine. Too many energy drinks and you're a gonner. Nicotine is actually used as a stimulant (medication) for certain human diseases. It's also used as a primary ingredient in termite eradication liquids. It frustrates me when people think that Nicotine is the agenda that kills....usually it is NOT the catalyst.
7 FUKNWUTM9 I feel 100x better vaping than smoking cigs. Im not dead yet, and we are all but a blip in the universe..Have some fun while youre here. Take a chance-Colombus did!
4 Binsky89 The truth is that we don't really know. People are just now starting to hit the 10 year mark with vaping, so it might be 20 more years before we have a definitive answer. That being said, it almost certainly has to be better than smoking. You'll be hard pressed to find any knowledgeable vaper who will say that vaping is completely harmless. For most of us it's about harm reduction. The good news is that the legitimate studies support this assumption. Nicotine has passed the AMES test, which looks to see if a substance causes DNA mutations in bacteria, which points to it being a carcinogen. There are also a few more studies that show that it's 95% less harmful than smoking. The only real big unknown out there is the flavorings, but unflavored is an option. There are a lot of bogus studies out there, though. I remember the big formaldehyde study a few years back had taken the crappy CE4 tanks and fired them at over 5V for 90 seconds. I've built some stupid big coils and I've never gone above 4.3V, plus no human is going to inhale for 90 seconds. Using those test parameters there's no doubt a bunch of garbage was produced (probably from the tank melting). At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you're willing to take a risk that some unforseen major illness could be caused by vaping, or are you willing to stay with something that you know is going to kill you. I know the choice was easy for me.
25 Oh_god_not_you [Serious]: So how does that work for cannabis which is vaporized fresh using convection heat?
3 _evil_overlord_ There's great documentary by BBC Horizon – "E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace?". I urge everyone to watch it. Vaping is MUCH healthier than smoking. There's almost immediate health improvement as you switch and it's pretty much no-brainer. BUT you tend to vape more often then you smoke as vaping is easier and more socially acceptable. And nobody really knows about all the flavouring side effect could have. If you're smoker, switch to vaping as it will improve your health immensely. If you don't smoke - don't touch any of it.
3 drunkh0rse For what it's worth, I smoked cigs for about 8 years then switched to vaping for two and a half years. I was diagnosed with cancer on my tongue in june, and had to have half of my tongue cut out and replaced with flesh from my wrist. I used a small pen style vape for about half a year and used a big sub ohm box mod for 2 years.
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2 fross The short answer is we don't really know yet. The longer answer is it's question that many people care about significantly from either side, so they really want their conclusion to be upheld. As a result, many of the "studies" cited are biased one way or another. It's difficult to determine the longterm effects of something like vaping without, well, long enough time to test it. Once we have better quality tests over longer durations (and done by impartial bodies), we will have a definitive answer to it.
10 Phage0070 It probably isn't great. It is likely worse than not smoking anything, but is much better than smoking actual smoke. Unfortunately it hasn't been around long enough for there to be enough evidence to be definitive.
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2 thedrizztman Source disclaimer: Extensive conversations with my mother-in-law, who is a 30-year Mayo Clinic nurse. Not published science. Personal experience. So, according to my source, while vaping definitely doesn't share the same chemical hazards as cigs, the medical community has most definitely seen an uptick in health related issues that happen to correlate with the newfound popularity of vaping. She says that almost daily..DAILY..they are admitting people with extreme shortness of breath and early signs of COPD. Almost every patient admitted with these symptoms have self identified as habitual vapors. After tests, they have consistently found residual fluid in the lungs of the patients. She described it as slowly but surely giving yourself "Pulmonary Edema" which will eventually lead to chronic COPD. Basically, you are slowly drowning yourself. As I said, this isn't published science yet, but she says she wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years you START to see published science on the negative health effects of vaping.
3 BannedMyName Nobody ever talks about teeth in the middle of all this? Is vaping better for my teeth?
1 Hooligan666 Well, since there is a lot of misinformation being spread here, let me clear the air. Vaping is not harmful, despite the false positive studies. There are 3 main ingredients in the liquid used for vaping. All three are used in your day to day life whether you vape or not. Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and just about any flavoring. Nicotine, being the fourth ingredient, is optional. Now, with vaping, nothing is burning, so let's get that ignorance out of the way. The liquid is atomizing, not burning. Think of it as the same way a dog machine works. Heated coil, liquid atomizes in to a vapor. With actual studies form credible sources done, vaping has been proven to be 99% safer than smoking and has been 95% effective is smoking cessation and harm reduction. Who is said this, American Lung Association, Royal College of Physicians, American Heart Association, and now even the CDC. The scare tactic of vaping being harmful was a hype train implemented by the tobacco companies who are losing money and are so far behind the market when t comes to vaping that they are scurrying for a way to regain their losses. Now, to anyone that wants to claim otherwise, throw your questions at me and I can easily answer them. I have experience in the vaping industry and the medical field, so unlike the majority of people buying in to the "Vaping is as bad as smoking" hype, I know the reality and the truth behind it.
1 Chemspiration So a buddy of mine (PhD Analytical Chemist) has a company that tests e-liquids for various vendors. His two main concerns are nicotine quality/quantity and buttery flavors. On the nicotine; nicotine oxidizes fairly rapidly and some of the oxidation products are more carcinogenic. You can probably taste these as they are decidedly bitter. If you have an e-liquid that has bittered or yellowed, best to throw it out. To store e-liquids, use the fridge as it is dark (UV light will enhance the oxidation process) and cold which will minimize dissolved ROS, or reactive oxygen species. On the buttery flavor; there are three compounds that give a buttery flavor that are known to be extremely carcinogenic. This was found from a factory that made microwave popcorn. Many of the workers developed cancer after working in the factory, where they were exposed to these flavor compounds in the air on a daily basis. After a lawsuit resulted in a scientific study, it was found that inhaling these compounds is extremely carcinogenic and should be avoided. This means any flavor that has a butter addition is bad; cake, some "cereals" and "milks," cinnamon rolls, etc. It's best to stay away from anything you may suspect has a butter flavor. On a side note, there are only two flavor companies he recommends if you mix your own liquids. I can ask him the company names if anyone is interested.
1 Dancingrage It likely has effects over a long time we don't know about yet, because it's pretty recent. As it doesn't have the tar content that tobacco cigarettes have, it is likely a safer option than smoking for those with a nicotine habit like myself. I always say it's most likely safer than smoking cigarettes, but I wouldn't say perfectly safe, just because we don't know what happens over long periods of time. I switched to vaping when the technology was enough to mimic smoking without having to resort to odd gimmicks like the early E-cigs used to have. I still vape years after the switch, and find I prefer it to cigarettes by a large margin, as in I don't get the same level of pleasure from smoking cigarettes that I do from puffing out a huge cloud of vapor. I behave like it's the same as smoking cigarettes for social purposes, so no trying to vape in buildings, avoid kids and pregnant women, and so on. I'm certain it will have drawbacks, we just need to find out what they are, which we will given more time.
1 cubzee I think it's simply too soon to tell. I'm no expert so this is purely my opinion. Everyone pretty much knows the best thing to put in your lungs is air, this carries forward to mean that everything else is less than ideal. I don't think these are controversial statements. Helium is not going to cause much damage to your lungs any more than holding your breath will. But we also know that anything but gases on the lungs is usually bad. The most harmless liquid we know of, water, can still reduce us to painful coughing fits without much needed to enter the lungs. We know the vegetable oil in the vapors must stay in the lungs to a certain extent because the nicotine enters the person's system. So my uneducated opinion is that they are likely to be harmful over the long term. I also think they are a much better option than traditional smoking. I wouldn't want to be breathing deep fryer fumes for the rest of my life but to each their own.
1 Plane_pro disclaimer: I am not a doctor, i have just studied biology...and asked a doctor. Basically your lungs like air. Pure air. that's what they're designed for. Smoking releases tons of particulates into your respiratory tract, and irritates/damages/settles on the insides of your trachea and lungs. Vaping releases less of these particulates, and in a more controlled fashion (ie, the particulates are similar, they've been produced by a constant electrical heat source instead of a fire which can result in particulates of different sizes). this just scrapes the iceberg of the complexities of vaping...and please note there is a whole discussion related to nicotine and addition that I committed, so note that as well. To sum up: due to the smaller and more controlled particulates, vaping is not AS bad as smoking, but it's still pretty terrible for you. TLDR; vaping isn't as bad as a cigarette, but still worse than...you know...AIR.
3 KWtones [This](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxuFSGjZeBg) is worth a watch. Not the whole picture, but definitely some good basic science here, and just a straightforward display of how some information is getting skewed when it comes to vaping.
1 SarcasticBadger1231 So far, few things have been found that are unhealthy in regards to vaping/e-cigarettes. Nicotine itself isn't great for you, but it's only about as un-healthy as caffeine. Not good for you, but it won't wreak havoc on your health. If you burn the E-liquid at too high of a temperature, it can cause trace amounts of carcinogens to appear in the vapor. That said, if you burn it at a temperature high enough for those chemicals to form, it will taste very nasty and you won't want to inhale it. Even if you do like to inhale vapor that tastes like burnt asshole, only 6 of the harmful chemicals appear of the roughly 2,000 found in cigarettes.
1 recon6483 Well I've been vaping for 2 years, and I would say so far I haven't noticed any issues, but I'm not saying issues won't rise, I'm really and idiot for vaping meaning that it could possibly be dangerous in the future. But I do enjoy nicotine. I vaped 6mg for past 2 years and I can definitely gurrantee you my cardio as far as working out and exercising has not been affected at all. I workout and run consistently and have not noticed anything unusual at all. So far I have zero symptoms at the moment. My cardio seems to be much more affected after smoking weed (meaning my lungs burn when I run after smoking the day before or so)
0 thedrizztman Source disclaimer: Extensive conversations with my mother-in-law, who is a 30-year Mayo Clinic nurse. Not published science. Personal experience. So, according to my source, while vaping definitely doesn't share the same chemical hazards as cigs, the medical community has most definitely seen an uptick in health related issues that happen to correlate with the newfound popularity of vaping. She says that almost daily..DAILY..they are admitting people with extreme shortness of breath and early signs of COPD. Almost every patient admitted with these symptoms have self identified as habitual vapors. After tests, they have consistently found residual fluid in the lungs of the patients. She described it as slowly but surely giving yourself "Pulmonary Edema" which will eventually lead to chronic COPD. Basically, you are slowly drowning yourself. As I said, this isn't published science yet, but she says she wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years you START to see published science on the negative health effects of vaping.
1 jifbas I need to hijack your thread for another ELI5, OP :) My boyfriend is now vaping for almost a year - and I love it!! I have never smoked and it was such an improvement in quality of life: He simply didn't stink anymore :) He smokes inside and usually I really like the smoke or it doesn't bother me at all respectively. But once I suddenly felt a big pressure on my chest and I couldn't breathe normally. I didn't feel well and had to leave the room. Now to my question: Do we know anything about the side effects for bystanders, especially non-smokers?
2047 0 MolesterDetester The issue with vaping is that it is a relatively new way to use nicotine. It took decades of research and observation to identify the adverse health effects to chronic users of other tobacco products, and it will likely take a similar amount of time to confidently identify any problems that arise with e-cigarette use. That said, e-cigarettes do not contain the same harmful ingredients as cigarettes, which probably makes them safer, although I can't say how much. There have been some studies that show using e-cigarettes increases your risk of developing respiratory symptoms such as coughing or increased phlegm production. It is possible that it could increase your risk for heart disease, although that risk seems to be hypothetical at the moment. As far as cancer goes, while many of the carcinogens found in cigarettes are much lower in e-cigarettes, propylene glycol and glycerol (the main components in the liquid cartridge) both break down into several potential carcinogens. I can't say whether this makes lung cancer/disease more or less likely, however. And of course, nicotine abuse is bad for your cardiovascular system. That has not changed. TLDR; it's up in the air. The general consensus seems to be it is likely safer than cigarettes, however it's possible that there could be some bad stuff in the vapor. If there are negative health consequences, we won't really find out until people start getting sick, unfortunately.
84 0 kodack10 Vaping is unhealthy compared to breathing in fresh air. It's healthy compared to breathing in cigarette smoke. It's healthy compared to inhaling aeresolized fat molecules from a deep fryer. It's all relative OP. The ELI5 answer is that vaping has not shown any long term health problems for users yet, but that this is still being studied closely. Vaping can help cigarette users quit smoking and it has none of the negative health effects that inhaling cigarette smoke does. People that switch to vaping to quit cigarettes can look forward to similar health levels as non smokers. While all of the ingredients in e-juice are approved for human consumption, there may be different health effects inhaling an aerosol of flavorings versus swallowing them. For example soda pop is okay to drink, but if you inhaled it, you would not find it agreeable and it could damage the lining of your lungs. While eating flavorings is healthy, the jury is out on effects of different flavorings on the lungs. A cigarette is consumed by burning it and inhaling the combusted gases, tars, ash, and chemicals released from combustion. Combustion isn't perfect and so a wide range of chemical compounds, many of which cause health problems are released. Vaping is not burning something, it is converting a liquid into an aerosol and inhaling it. This does not significantly change the chemical makeup of the aerosol versus the liquid juice. More details: The main materials are vegetable glycerin and polypropylene glycol. Both of these are FDA approved and safe for consumption and have no known health problems inhaling. The nicotine content varies from 0mg (none) to 24mg (around a cigarette strength). Nicotine is a drug, and in high concentrations it's a poison. This is mainly a concern for people handling 60-100mg/ml laboratory grade nicotine for mixing their own juice, but you wouldn't want a child to get a hold of a bottle of e-juice, or spill it on your shirt and ignore it. The main point of contention are the flavorings used to make the juice taste good to the user. The majority of these flavorings are USDA approved for human consumption, but the long term study of inhaling them is on-going. Most of the dangers you hear about from vaping products are a class of flavorings known to cause popcorn lung in high concentrations and prolonged exposures. To date there have been no instances of this occurring in any vaper, and the evidence of this occurring outside of factory conditions where workers spent hours a day breathing concentrated diacetyl in are anecdotal. Still though, better safe than sorry, and most vaporizer juice companies avoid these flavorings and volunteer laboratory results of their juice tests.
556 0 aresfour If we don't read into your question at all, the answer is of course, vaping is unhealthy. Inhaling any foreign substance is generally going to be unhealthy. If you're vaping or thinking about vaping just to vape, and not as a smoking cessation method, please don't, it's pretty dumb. If you insist, at least use zero nicotine juice. All that said, if you're using vaping to quit smoking cigarettes, that's a different conversation. I smoked for 25 years and quit the day I got a vape setup. I vaped for 2 years, slowly lowering my nicotine intake, and then I quit the vape, about a year ago. It was pretty effortless, although I'll stress that using a vape to quit smoking requires 1) a good investment in a quality kit 2) another investment in a quality BACKUP kit and accessories so when your batteries are dead or you're out of coils or juice, you're not forced to go buy cigarettes. 3) the right amount of nicotine in your juice. If you're still feeling the need to smoke a cigarette, increase your nicotine. I started with 18mg/ml, you may need 24mg/ml, or 9mg/ml might sate your craving. It depends on the person. I felt respiratory improvement after 2 weeks of not smoking. I certainly felt it in my wallet (vaping is ridiculously cheap compared to smoking), and I even felt it in my personal life, my wife really liked that I didn't smell like smoke.
132 0 Wild_Bill567 Source: Former smoker who now vapes, have read some news coverage and some actual scientific coverage. Nicotine by itself is not actually all that harmful, its similar to caffeine. No reasonable person will argue that it is not addictive, it clearly is. However, it is well understood that people get addicted to cigarettes because it is a highly efficient nicotine delivery system, but they are killed by the other components in the cigarette. Many of the chemicals in smoke which are known to be harmful come specifically from the combustion. If you were to dry out some lettuce and smoke it, you would inhale many of the same carcinogens. Used properly, vaping does not burn anything - i.e. there is no combustion. However, it is possible to 'dry hit' a vape - such as when you forget to refill the tank. This causes the cotton to burn and therefore creates the same types of carcinogens to be produced as in cigarettes. Some studies of vape technology have reported very high levels of formaldehyde, specifically, but examining the materials and methods of these studies shows that they were almost certainly burning the cotton. Therefore, high levels of formaldehyde actually are a good litmus test for the validity of a study. If the levels are too high, they are likely studying older technology and using it improperly. This is not to say the scientists involved are incompetent or doing this deliberately, the technology has improved very significantly in the last few years. Public Health England [has concluded through scientific study](https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review) that vaping is about 95% less harmful than smoking. This does not mean that vaping is harmless, simply less harmful. What is **not** yet known is the long-term effects of vaping. The first e-cig was invented in 2003. There were only a handful of products on the market before the last few years. We have about a century of data on smoking and its long term effects. Is it possible that in fifty years we will learn that vaping was in fact more harmful in the long term? We cannot rule that out, but we have no reason to believe it will happen. However it is known that continuing to smoke will be harmful, so for people like me who have had no success quitting without vaping it is worth a try. We have a choice between something that will definitely kill us, or something that might but more likely won't. **TL,DR:** If you've never smoked, its probably not a good idea to start vaping. If you can quit smoking without vaping, quit smoking. However, many people have been unable to quit smoking without vaping, and reducing harm is better than continuing to smoke.
96 0 Kiwikwan I used to work for an e-cig company working for a friend. He made millions when it first became a big hit (here in Canada) 6-8 years ago. My job was to make the juices, i.e. liquids that go into the devices. I was labels as an "E-Liquid Engineer". It kind of made me laugh, and it was then I realised sometimes the words "professional" and "highly trained" gets thrown around more often then it should. Essentially, what I was tasked with doing was mixing the core ingredients of the chemicals. There are two main ingredients, PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerine). Depending on the type of vape you want, be it more cloud, or smoother vape, etc. you would change how much of each of those main parts go into the mixture. People normally want a flavour to go along with the vape. I would add from a variety of flavours to the concoction. These flavours would range from something sweet, to fruity, to ones that taste like normal cigarettes. Most of the flavourings were harmless in their own, with most being simple flavour shots you could get at grocery stores or bulk barns. Others were concentrates mixed with a few other harmless ingredients. The last ingredient was the nicotine. It wasn't mandatory to have nicotine added to the bottle. There are many different "strengths" you can purchase, ranging from zero nicotine, to an extremely large amount (sometimes more then a regular cigarette). As others have mentioned, the nicotine is certainly a harmful chemical, and the vapes with in included should not be deemed "healthy". However, without that included, most vapes are relatively harmless. Of course what's even healthier then ingesting the PG and VG would be not vaping at all. I worked there for a couple of years, and I never vaped. I never smoked, so I felt no need to. It was a little odd being the only non-vaper, because vaping becomes a lifestyle of sorts. It's something a lot of people who begin vaping reaaaally get into. Bottom line though, the nicotine in the is essentially the worst part of vaping. Without that, it's truly not that bad. I mean, eating a Big Mac could probably prove to be worse for you then vaping without nicotine.
162 0 DaraelDraconis It's not harmless. It's significantly *less* harmful than smoking, but most e-liquids contain nicotine, which has harmful effects of its own, and many contain at least some carcinogens (that's "things that cause cancer", this being ELI5). That's just to *start* with; there are other reasons it's not good for your health. The long-term effects are unknown, so no major effects have been established, but that's not the same thing as an *absence* of major effects having been established.
10 0 baissist I'm not going to say it's healthy. Vaping is definitely healiER than smoking a traditional cigarette. Compared to the thousand of chemicals in cigarettes, vape juice has only 4 or 5 (vegetable glycerin; propylene glycol; artificial flavoring; nicotine, if you choose; and some add artificial sweeteners). Not to mention that the wires that are used (kanthol) is the same wire that are used in your toaster. While the PG is one of the ingredients that are found in medical IV's, asthma inhalers, shampoo (a lot of day to day uses). You don't have all the carcinogens because you aren't actually burning anything. Believe it or not, vaping has been around since the 60s, but because of technology only being available to those who had the money to afford it. It's more readily available today because technology is in general. Just keep in mind that anything you put into your body is potentially harmful to you. The biggest point that I always made to people was that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking.
5 0 DPool34 There haven't been many studies on vaping since it's relatively new. A few weeks ago, Vice featured vaping (in a different context), but cited a federal study which found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. I vape myself. I know it can't be as harmless as breathing fresh air, but it's a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. My doctor told me he looks at this way: cigarettes are known to have thousands of different chemicals in them, vaping e-liquid has 3 (glycerin, nicotine, natural/artificial flavors). So, I view it as the *much* lesser of two evils. Edit: here's a [study](https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review) conducted by the U.K.'s health department on vaping. And a [PDF](https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/media/Documents/Nicotine%20without%20smoke.pdf) from the Royal College of Physicians, going into detail about the benefits to vaping over cigarettes.
3 0 theangleopposite The honest truth is that we don't know. As someone else mentioned, it took years to measure and prove the negative effects of tobacco smoke (all smoke is carcinogenic) and although it seems that most ingredients in e-liquid and vapor (e-vapor is not smoke) are probably not carcinogenic its still not know if they could be harmful in the long term, as vaping is relatively new. As a best guess it's probably much less harmful than smoking and not likely to cause cancer but might cause other lung/respiratory issues, especially if you're sensitive to that sort of thing. The dangers of nicotine are also not well know, it seems that nicotine itself is not carcinogenic, but like most drugs it is indeed a poison, but only in very large amounts. It also might promote the growth of tumors but not enough is known to confirm this either. Its addictive effects are well know and because if this it is probably best avoided, although nicotine itself is not the most dangerous part of smoking. Much like smoking, its probably not to start of you can avoid it. However if you're curious its most likely a much better alternative than the proven dangers of smoking.
4 0 ChristyCMC Please understand that nicotine is not bad for you unless you take in too much -it can actually kill you. ....kind of like caffeine. Too many energy drinks and you're a gonner. Nicotine is actually used as a stimulant (medication) for certain human diseases. It's also used as a primary ingredient in termite eradication liquids. It frustrates me when people think that Nicotine is the agenda that kills....usually it is NOT the catalyst.
7 0 FUKNWUTM9 I feel 100x better vaping than smoking cigs. Im not dead yet, and we are all but a blip in the universe..Have some fun while youre here. Take a chance-Colombus did!
4 0 Binsky89 The truth is that we don't really know. People are just now starting to hit the 10 year mark with vaping, so it might be 20 more years before we have a definitive answer. That being said, it almost certainly has to be better than smoking. You'll be hard pressed to find any knowledgeable vaper who will say that vaping is completely harmless. For most of us it's about harm reduction. The good news is that the legitimate studies support this assumption. Nicotine has passed the AMES test, which looks to see if a substance causes DNA mutations in bacteria, which points to it being a carcinogen. There are also a few more studies that show that it's 95% less harmful than smoking. The only real big unknown out there is the flavorings, but unflavored is an option. There are a lot of bogus studies out there, though. I remember the big formaldehyde study a few years back had taken the crappy CE4 tanks and fired them at over 5V for 90 seconds. I've built some stupid big coils and I've never gone above 4.3V, plus no human is going to inhale for 90 seconds. Using those test parameters there's no doubt a bunch of garbage was produced (probably from the tank melting). At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if you're willing to take a risk that some unforseen major illness could be caused by vaping, or are you willing to stay with something that you know is going to kill you. I know the choice was easy for me.
25 0 Oh_god_not_you [Serious]: So how does that work for cannabis which is vaporized fresh using convection heat?
3 0 _evil_overlord_ There's great documentary by BBC Horizon – "E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace?". I urge everyone to watch it. Vaping is MUCH healthier than smoking. There's almost immediate health improvement as you switch and it's pretty much no-brainer. BUT you tend to vape more often then you smoke as vaping is easier and more socially acceptable. And nobody really knows about all the flavouring side effect could have. If you're smoker, switch to vaping as it will improve your health immensely. If you don't smoke - don't touch any of it.
3 0 drunkh0rse For what it's worth, I smoked cigs for about 8 years then switched to vaping for two and a half years. I was diagnosed with cancer on my tongue in june, and had to have half of my tongue cut out and replaced with flesh from my wrist. I used a small pen style vape for about half a year and used a big sub ohm box mod for 2 years.
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2 0 fross The short answer is we don't really know yet. The longer answer is it's question that many people care about significantly from either side, so they really want their conclusion to be upheld. As a result, many of the "studies" cited are biased one way or another. It's difficult to determine the longterm effects of something like vaping without, well, long enough time to test it. Once we have better quality tests over longer durations (and done by impartial bodies), we will have a definitive answer to it.
7 0 Phage0070 It probably isn't great. It is likely worse than not smoking anything, but is much better than smoking actual smoke. Unfortunately it hasn't been around long enough for there to be enough evidence to be definitive.
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3 0 thedrizztman Source disclaimer: Extensive conversations with my mother-in-law, who is a 30-year Mayo Clinic nurse. Not published science. Personal experience. So, according to my source, while vaping definitely doesn't share the same chemical hazards as cigs, the medical community has most definitely seen an uptick in health related issues that happen to correlate with the newfound popularity of vaping. She says that almost daily..DAILY..they are admitting people with extreme shortness of breath and early signs of COPD. Almost every patient admitted with these symptoms have self identified as habitual vapors. After tests, they have consistently found residual fluid in the lungs of the patients. She described it as slowly but surely giving yourself "Pulmonary Edema" which will eventually lead to chronic COPD. Basically, you are slowly drowning yourself. As I said, this isn't published science yet, but she says she wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years you START to see published science on the negative health effects of vaping.
3 0 BannedMyName Nobody ever talks about teeth in the middle of all this? Is vaping better for my teeth?
2 0 Hooligan666 Well, since there is a lot of misinformation being spread here, let me clear the air. Vaping is not harmful, despite the false positive studies. There are 3 main ingredients in the liquid used for vaping. All three are used in your day to day life whether you vape or not. Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and just about any flavoring. Nicotine, being the fourth ingredient, is optional. Now, with vaping, nothing is burning, so let's get that ignorance out of the way. The liquid is atomizing, not burning. Think of it as the same way a dog machine works. Heated coil, liquid atomizes in to a vapor. With actual studies form credible sources done, vaping has been proven to be 99% safer than smoking and has been 95% effective is smoking cessation and harm reduction. Who is said this, American Lung Association, Royal College of Physicians, American Heart Association, and now even the CDC. The scare tactic of vaping being harmful was a hype train implemented by the tobacco companies who are losing money and are so far behind the market when t comes to vaping that they are scurrying for a way to regain their losses. Now, to anyone that wants to claim otherwise, throw your questions at me and I can easily answer them. I have experience in the vaping industry and the medical field, so unlike the majority of people buying in to the "Vaping is as bad as smoking" hype, I know the reality and the truth behind it.
1 0 Chemspiration So a buddy of mine (PhD Analytical Chemist) has a company that tests e-liquids for various vendors. His two main concerns are nicotine quality/quantity and buttery flavors. On the nicotine; nicotine oxidizes fairly rapidly and some of the oxidation products are more carcinogenic. You can probably taste these as they are decidedly bitter. If you have an e-liquid that has bittered or yellowed, best to throw it out. To store e-liquids, use the fridge as it is dark (UV light will enhance the oxidation process) and cold which will minimize dissolved ROS, or reactive oxygen species. On the buttery flavor; there are three compounds that give a buttery flavor that are known to be extremely carcinogenic. This was found from a factory that made microwave popcorn. Many of the workers developed cancer after working in the factory, where they were exposed to these flavor compounds in the air on a daily basis. After a lawsuit resulted in a scientific study, it was found that inhaling these compounds is extremely carcinogenic and should be avoided. This means any flavor that has a butter addition is bad; cake, some "cereals" and "milks," cinnamon rolls, etc. It's best to stay away from anything you may suspect has a butter flavor. On a side note, there are only two flavor companies he recommends if you mix your own liquids. I can ask him the company names if anyone is interested.
1 0 Dancingrage It likely has effects over a long time we don't know about yet, because it's pretty recent. As it doesn't have the tar content that tobacco cigarettes have, it is likely a safer option than smoking for those with a nicotine habit like myself. I always say it's most likely safer than smoking cigarettes, but I wouldn't say perfectly safe, just because we don't know what happens over long periods of time. I switched to vaping when the technology was enough to mimic smoking without having to resort to odd gimmicks like the early E-cigs used to have. I still vape years after the switch, and find I prefer it to cigarettes by a large margin, as in I don't get the same level of pleasure from smoking cigarettes that I do from puffing out a huge cloud of vapor. I behave like it's the same as smoking cigarettes for social purposes, so no trying to vape in buildings, avoid kids and pregnant women, and so on. I'm certain it will have drawbacks, we just need to find out what they are, which we will given more time.
1 0 cubzee I think it's simply too soon to tell. I'm no expert so this is purely my opinion. Everyone pretty much knows the best thing to put in your lungs is air, this carries forward to mean that everything else is less than ideal. I don't think these are controversial statements. Helium is not going to cause much damage to your lungs any more than holding your breath will. But we also know that anything but gases on the lungs is usually bad. The most harmless liquid we know of, water, can still reduce us to painful coughing fits without much needed to enter the lungs. We know the vegetable oil in the vapors must stay in the lungs to a certain extent because the nicotine enters the person's system. So my uneducated opinion is that they are likely to be harmful over the long term. I also think they are a much better option than traditional smoking. I wouldn't want to be breathing deep fryer fumes for the rest of my life but to each their own.
1 0 Plane_pro disclaimer: I am not a doctor, i have just studied biology...and asked a doctor. Basically your lungs like air. Pure air. that's what they're designed for. Smoking releases tons of particulates into your respiratory tract, and irritates/damages/settles on the insides of your trachea and lungs. Vaping releases less of these particulates, and in a more controlled fashion (ie, the particulates are similar, they've been produced by a constant electrical heat source instead of a fire which can result in particulates of different sizes). this just scrapes the iceberg of the complexities of vaping...and please note there is a whole discussion related to nicotine and addition that I committed, so note that as well. To sum up: due to the smaller and more controlled particulates, vaping is not AS bad as smoking, but it's still pretty terrible for you. TLDR; vaping isn't as bad as a cigarette, but still worse than...you know...AIR.
3 0 KWtones [This](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxuFSGjZeBg) is worth a watch. Not the whole picture, but definitely some good basic science here, and just a straightforward display of how some information is getting skewed when it comes to vaping.
1 0 SarcasticBadger1231 So far, few things have been found that are unhealthy in regards to vaping/e-cigarettes. Nicotine itself isn't great for you, but it's only about as un-healthy as caffeine. Not good for you, but it won't wreak havoc on your health. If you burn the E-liquid at too high of a temperature, it can cause trace amounts of carcinogens to appear in the vapor. That said, if you burn it at a temperature high enough for those chemicals to form, it will taste very nasty and you won't want to inhale it. Even if you do like to inhale vapor that tastes like burnt asshole, only 6 of the harmful chemicals appear of the roughly 2,000 found in cigarettes.
1 0 recon6483 Well I've been vaping for 2 years, and I would say so far I haven't noticed any issues, but I'm not saying issues won't rise, I'm really and idiot for vaping meaning that it could possibly be dangerous in the future. But I do enjoy nicotine. I vaped 6mg for past 2 years and I can definitely gurrantee you my cardio as far as working out and exercising has not been affected at all. I workout and run consistently and have not noticed anything unusual at all. So far I have zero symptoms at the moment. My cardio seems to be much more affected after smoking weed (meaning my lungs burn when I run after smoking the day before or so)
-1 0 thedrizztman Source disclaimer: Extensive conversations with my mother-in-law, who is a 30-year Mayo Clinic nurse. Not published science. Personal experience. So, according to my source, while vaping definitely doesn't share the same chemical hazards as cigs, the medical community has most definitely seen an uptick in health related issues that happen to correlate with the newfound popularity of vaping. She says that almost daily..DAILY..they are admitting people with extreme shortness of breath and early signs of COPD. Almost every patient admitted with these symptoms have self identified as habitual vapors. After tests, they have consistently found residual fluid in the lungs of the patients. She described it as slowly but surely giving yourself "Pulmonary Edema" which will eventually lead to chronic COPD. Basically, you are slowly drowning yourself. As I said, this isn't published science yet, but she says she wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years you START to see published science on the negative health effects of vaping.
1 0 jifbas I need to hijack your thread for another ELI5, OP :) My boyfriend is now vaping for almost a year - and I love it!! I have never smoked and it was such an improvement in quality of life: He simply didn't stink anymore :) He smokes inside and usually I really like the smoke or it doesn't bother me at all respectively. But once I suddenly felt a big pressure on my chest and I couldn't breathe normally. I didn't feel well and had to leave the room. Now to my question: Do we know anything about the side effects for bystanders, especially non-smokers?