Vaping has a long history but has recently become increasingly popular, especially in young adults, as it has been dubbed the ‘safer alternative’ to smoking and perceived as a more socially acceptable habit.
The global e-cigarette and vape market size was valued at USD 22.45 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30.6% from 2023 to 2030. Which is a staggering forecast.
Several Australian health organisations, such as the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Cancer Council Australia and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) have published their positions on e-cigarettes and vaping, sharing the following key messages:
- There is insufficient evidence to promote the use of e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking.
- There is increasing evidence of health risks associated with vaping.
- E-cigarettes may normalise the act of smoking and attract young people.
- Proper regulation is required for these products.
As per the Department of Health in WA they report that vaping has been the cause of several deaths from acute lung disease. There are also an increasing number of studies that demonstrate that vaping has both short and medium term effects on the heart and lungs. The long-term health effects of vaping are still not known as it is a recent activity and some diseases, such as cancer, can take many years to develop.
In short, there are no health benefits if you smoke OR vape. As the vaping industry grows, we can expect more findings and research on the effects it has on your overall health, as well as the effects it has on your skin. Truth be told, what is happening on the inside of your body will ultimately present on the outside.
If you currently vape or you know someone that’s considering starting please read on and share this information.
But Firstly, You Might be Wondering, What am I Vaping?
E-liquid (also known as e-juice) contains:
- Propylene glycol
- Vegetable glycerine
- Acetaldehyde (carcinogen)
- Formaldehyde (carcinogen)
- Chemicals known to cause lung disease like acrolein, diacetyl, and diethylene glycol.
- Vitamin E acetate (linked to lung injury)
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
- Other ultrafine particles
In short vapes contain the same harmful chemicals found in nail polish remover, weed killer and cleaning products.
Effects Vaping has on Your Skin
While research is still limited on how vaping directly effects your skin, due to it only becoming more popular in recent years, dermatologists are reporting similar comparisons to smoking cigarettes.
Smoking tobacco is a terrible habit if you want healthy looking skin as it accelerates the rate your skin ages. Inhaling cigarette toxins decreases the supply of oxygen supply to your face. So if you smoke expect to see an increase in fine lines, wrinkles, and decreased elasticity in your skin.
Tobacco smoking produces a surge of chemicals in the body which leads to inflammation showing on the skin, damaging your skin’s barrier and exacerbating chronic inflammatory concerns like acne, redness, pigmentation, and skin cancers.
Recent evidence indicates that vaping may just be prolonging signs of skin damage mirrored by smoking tobacco. If you are looking for one more reason to quit vaping, consider the impact it could have on your skin.
Vaping and Skin Inflammation
If you suffer from skin concerns such as acne, eczema, or rosacea you will find vaping will make these conditions worse as the increase inflammation to the skin delays the natural heal and repair process. When your skin is already inflamed the inhaled vape chemicals exacerbate any skin concern already present.
Vaping and Acne and Dry Skin
The liquid used in vapes seriously dehydrates the skin. If you are acne-prone, having chronically dry skin will deregulate your skin’s oil production, potentially resulting in your body overproducing sebum and causing acne breakouts.
A main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, which is a skin irritant that can cause breakouts. Nicotine has also been linked to clogged pores which is a nemesis for acne-sufferers.
Vaping liquids can be a significant cause of contact dermatitis. A recent study found that individuals who used e-cigarettes were six times more prone to develop contact dermatitis than those who did not vape.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an accumulation of melanin in the skin. When produced in excess, it can cause brown patches and other discolorations.
Research has shown that the chemicals in e-cigarettes can damage cells and lead to inflammation. This inflammation can trigger the production of melanin, resulting in the development of brown spots and other discolorations.
If not for the sake of your overall health if you experience any adverse skin reactions or worsening of an existing skin concern our best advice would be to STOP. VAPING.
The Future of Vaping
This week we have seen an announcement by the government banning all non-prescription vapes and hiking up the tax on tobacco.
New vaping reforms announced on Monday 1st May 2023 will see the importation of nicotine and non-nicotine vaping products banned in Australia except to pharmacies, along with a range of other measures.
As stated in The Guardian ‘The Australian government will ban the importation of non-prescription vaping products – including those that do not contain nicotine. Minimum quality standards for vapes will be introduced, including restricting flavours, colours, and other ingredients. Vape products will require pharmaceutical-like packaging, and the allowed nicotine concentrations and volumes will be reduced. All single-use, disposable vapes will be banned.’
It says, ‘the target of these reforms are the importers and the vendors, not consumers. It is already illegal to sell vapes to under 18-year-olds, yet convenience stores and online retailers have flouted these regulations by falsely selling nicotine-containing products as “nicotine-free”’.
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