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Is Vaping Addictive?

Is Vaping Addictive?

The nicotine found in vaping devices can be addictive. The use of electronic cigarettes is rising, and with it, challenges for people who struggle with nicotine addiction. To find out if vaping is really addictive, consider some of the following information about e-cigarettes and how they work.

Effects of Nicotine

Nicotine is a naturally occurring chemical with many complex and sometimes unpredictable effects on the brain and body. Nicotine is absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes of the nose and mouth in the lungs as it is inhaled. It reaches peak levels in the bloodstream and brain quickly. Cigarette smoking and vaping result in nicotine reaching the brain within just 10 seconds of inhalation. When nicotine reaches the brain, it attaches to acetylcholine receptors and mimics the actions of acetylcholine, resulting in:

  • Too many chemicals in the synapses, which are the gaps between neurons where neurotransmitters and receptors are located.
  • Due to flood of neurotransmitters, the body stops producing acetylcholine and reduces the number of receptors in the synapses. The brain is reliant on nicotine to function normally (a sign of addiction).
  • If nicotine use ceases, the brain produces too little acetylcholine, so the person will likely experience withdrawal.

Risks and Dangers

One of the major reasons there are so many concerns over the safety and health effects of e-cigarettes is the scarcity of information when it comes to ingredients in various e-cigarettes and e-liquids. While the FDA is taking steps to regulate the industry, there is little information regarding exact ingredients in e-liquids and effects on the body when inhaled. Testing on various e-liquids has revealed chemicals such as diacetyl, a chemical tied to ‘popcorn lung,’ a disease that can be debilitating. There are probable carcinogens present in it, in addition to these chemicals, the components of heating elements and other e-cigarette parts can aerosolized some of the metals and allow them to pass into the person’s bloodstream. Some e-cigarette users introduce marijuana or marijuana concentrates into the devices for added effect.

The truth is, anything with nicotine in it can become addictive. The advent of vaping has increased the ways people use nicotine, which can increase the ability to become addicted. It is a difficult process to quit any drug, but nicotine can be especially tough cold turkey. It helps to find support from a smoking cessation program. Smoking may also go hand-in-hand with other addictions which need to all be treated at the same time by professionals.

Smoking cigarettes may not seem like an addiction to the person who is doing it. Others who know that person may see it as a problem, including other addictions as well. If someone you love needs help kicking the habit of seeking help for addiction, call us. Our programs and services are designed with your recovery in mind. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401