By Saya Norm
In these modern days, vaping commonly means electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). The cigarette is invented aiming to reduce the bad effects of traditional cigarettes. The history of smoking dates back thousands of years. The act of smoking various substances for medicinal, ritualistic and recreational purposes has been documented indifferent cultures throughout history.
It is believed that the practice of smoking tobacco originated in America. Indian people in America, such as the Mayans and the Aztecs, were known to have used tobacco for religious and medicinal purposes long before the arrival ofEuropeans The use of tobacco in smoking pipes and cigars were an integral part of their culture.
Tobacco was introduced to Europe in the late 15th century. It gained popularity among Europeans, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries. By the 19th century, the production and consumption of tobacco particularly in the form of cigarettes, became more widespread. The invention of the cigarette rolling machine in the late 1800s significantly increased cigarette production and accessibility.
In the 20th century, scientific evidence linking smoking to various health problems, including lung cancer and heart disease began to emerge.
This led to increased awareness of the danger of smoking and subsequent public health campaigns to discourage tobacco use. And then efforts to regulate and discourage smoking followed.
Governments around the world have implemented measures to discourage smoking, including restrictions on advertising, warning labels on cigarette packs, public smoking bans, limiting smoking areas and increased taxation on tobacco products. Vapes or e-cigarettes are the consequence of those attempts. They are invented as an attractive alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
The first commercially successful electronic cigarette was developed and introduced to the market by a Chinese pharmacist named HonGu in 2003. His invention was inspired by personal experience with his father, who died from lung cancer due to smoking. The device he created was called the Ruyan, which means ‘like Smoke’ in Chinese. The Ruyan e-cigarette consisted of a battery-powered heating element that vaporized a nicotine solution, creating an aerosol that the user could smoke. The device mimicked the act of smoking by producing a vapor that resembled smoke, but without combustion and associated harmful byproducts found in traditional cigarettes.
Vapes (e-cigarettes) have many good purposes. They reduce the harmful effects of traditional ones. One of the main motivations behind the invention of vapes was to provide an alternative to combustible tobacco products, which are known to be harmful to health. Vapes were designed to deliver nicotine to use in a potentially less harmful way compared to traditional Smoking.
The cigarette substitute helps to quit or reduce cigarette consumption for smokers. The idea was that it could provide a similar experience to smoking including hand-to-month action and inhalation of nicotine, but with potentially fewer harmful chemicals. Vapes are marketed as a trendy and modern alternatives to traditional cigarettes, appealing to smokers who wanted as potentially the less harmful and more socially acceptable way to satisfy their nicotine cravings. The variety of flavours available in e-liquids also added to their appeal.
The intentions are good but the results are bad. It is now clear evidence that vapes cause inflammation and damage to the airways. Vape smoke exposure can cause more acute inflammation of the airways than traditional cigarettes do. There are kinds of evidence that regular vaping can lead to an accelerated loss of lung function; with drops of as much as five per cent over two years. It is five times the standard rate of decline.
Most people know that vapes have less known carcinogens so will possibly cause less cancer, but they don’t actually know for sure.
Through the heating involved in the vaping process, thousands of new chemicals were created, which were never inhaled into the airways before.
A 2012 Dutch study linked nicotine exposure from cigarette smoking whether it is by vaping or real cigarette cause adolescents to cognitive impairment in later life and attention deficits.
Vaping can cause seizures, nicotine toxicity,nicotine addiction and be a gateway to tobacco smoking Accidental or intentional exposure to vape’s nicotine liquids can lead to poisoning. In one study, 25 per cent of mice exposed to nicotine containing vape for five days a week over 12 months developed adenocarcinoma of the lung, a form of lung cancer. And also, human respiratory cells exposed to vape over five days showed extensively damage to respiratory airway cells. After five days, those cells didn’t regenerate and they didn’t repair themselves.
In fact, vapes not only protect against the harmful effects of traditional cigarette but also produces their own bad effects. At present, vape shops are very popular all over the world including Myanmar. Vaping is cool and it smells nice thus even kids are trying it. It is easier to hide than smoking and packaging and variety are aimed at enticing kids. That is why vape became a threat rather than an alternative to traditional smoking. There are concerns about rising nicotine addiction too.
It is important to note that quitting smoking entirely is the only answer to reducing the risk of developing smoking-related diseases. Vaping may be a temporary reason to quit smoking. But if you ask “Is vape a lesser evil?”, we have to answer with only one word – No.