You Should Stop Vaping If This Happens To You

Vaping is seen as a healthier alternative to smoking, but some evidence suggests that it might not be as safe as we once thought. 

Vape pens or e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices through which users inhale vapor produced by heating "e-juice" (via the American Lung Association). Most liquids in vape pens contain nicotine, in addition to a host of other chemicals and heavy metals that could cause damage. Research shows that vape devices can contain acrolein, a herbicide that can cause irreversible lung damage. Diacetyl and diethylene glycol are two toxic chemicals linked to lung disease that have also been discovered in e-cigarettes. Furthermore, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde are two cancer-causing chemicals found in vape pens.

Vape pens have not been on the market long enough for the full extent of their potential damage to be known. That being said, the World Health Organization notes that e-cigarettes are "undoubtedly harmful" and should be regulated. Because human brains are still developing until the age of 25, young people should avoid nicotine in any form, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Symptoms you should not ignore

Lung injury associated with vaping is an ailment referred to as EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated with lung injury). It is a serious condition in which the lungs are damaged due to the aerosols inhaled during vaping, per Yale Medicine.

If you experience abdominal pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, chills, coughing, diarrhea, fever, nausea, rapid breathing, and an abnormally fast heart rate, you should stop vaping. In one case, a young man experienced pressure on his chest before collapsing and needing to be placed on a ventilator (via Today). 

Symptoms can develop over a few days or weeks. Severe cases can result in acute respiratory failure. Because symptoms can mimic the flu or pneumonia, it is best to visit your doctor so they can determine a diagnosis. The good news is that many symptoms improve within several days or weeks after patients stop vaping, according to WebMD.