Vaper vs cigarette: not a good choice

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The electronic cigarette or vaporiser has become very popular in our society under the false belief that "vaping" is healthier than smoking. The sale of these devices has skyrocketed and this Christmas they are one of the star gifts. However, experts advise against this habit and warn of the potential damage that vaping can do to the lungs. "The lung is designed to breathe fresh air and to allow oxygen from the outside to be conducted into the body so that metabolic and vital functions can be carried out. On this basis, any substance that is not pure air is harmful," says Dr. José María IgnacioHead of the Pneumology from Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella and of the Quirónsalud Campo de Gibraltar Hospital.

The success of vaping is based on its appeal to a segment of the population that rejects tobacco because of its toxicity and considers e-cigarettes to be a better alternative because of their apparently natural composition. "From a medical point of view, we are strongly discouraging this type of product, as many hundreds of other chemical substances are used in their production, which could be more harmful to health," explains the expert.

In this regard, the pulmonologist focuses on the first cases linked to vaping diagnosed by the scientific community. "Now that more than ten years have passed since the appearance of this fad, the first medical reports are already being reported describing a significant number of patients who develop even more serious pathologies than those caused by tobacco itself".

Lastly, the specialist from the Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella and of the Quirónsalud Campo de Gibraltar Hospital issues a specific warning to those affected by asma because of the dangerous effect of e-cigarettes on their respiratory system. "Vaping causes bronchial closure. Many of these patients with respiratory pathology will cause an aggravation of this disease as a direct consequence of vapour inhalation".

Smoking unit

According to expert statistics, a very high percentage of smokers switch from tobacco use to vaping with the intention of cutting down and quitting smoking. The reality is that in most cases there is an initial reduction in smoking but, in the long term, they do not achieve the goal of smoking cessation or change their dependence on vaping.

In the expert's opinion, the toxic relationship continues to exist to the extent that "it is still a drug addiction". The specialist appeals to raise awareness for the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits without the need to resort to this type of product. To this end, the work developed with patients from specialised areas such as the case of the Smoking Unit from Hospital Quirónsalud Marbella y Quirónsalud Campo de Gibraltar Hospital.

Adequate guidance from specialists is essential. To this end, a complete clinical history of the patient and a specific smoking history is compiled during the first consultation, in which the degree of physical dependence on nicotine and the severity of smoking are recorded. On the basis of this information, the team at the Pneumology determines the most appropriate pharmacological treatment as nicotine replacement therapy to combat addiction.

Smoking is considered the leading cause of preventable death in developed countries. It starts as a voluntary action, but soon becomes a habit of willpower that is difficult to control and to give up.