Vapers: everything you need to know

Vapers or electronic cigarettes are electronic inhalation systems designed to replace and emulate tobacco consumption.

These devices they contain less toxic substances than conventional tobacco, since they do not contain tobacco and there is no combustion. However, the compounds used to vaporize nicotine and the flavors at low temperature are transformed into some toxic substances.

How are the vapers?

The vapers they are cigarette-like devices formed by three elements:

  • Battery.
  • The atomizer
  • The cartridge

The cartridge contains a liquid solution that can contain different substances and it's called vaping liquid. The cartridges can be refillable or replaceable, although there are also disposable electronic cigarettes.

What do vape liquids contain?

The main components of the vaping liquid They are:

  • Propylene glycol: generally around 70%.
  • Vegetal glycerin: around 20%.
  • Nicotine: It can be found in different doses, between 0 mg and 54 mg / ml.
  • Flavors and aromas.

Both glycerin and propylene glycol are not considered toxic when administered orally. However, these liquids may contain chemicals that increase their toxicity. Among them, the following are included:

  • Alcohol.
  • Tobacco essence.
  • Menthol.
  • Citric acid.
  • Butyl Valerate.
  • Geranyl Butyrate.
  • Isopentyl Hexonate.
  • Benzyl benzoate.

Analysis of different liquids used for vapers has been carried out. The results vary depending on the brand. However, It has been seen that the more ingredients they contain, the greater their toxicity.

Too traces of carcinogens typical of classical tobacco have been found, such as nitrosamines, metals, volatile phenolic and organic compounds. It has even been found that the levels of nickel found are higher than those found in classic tobacco.

The highest toxicity comes from the flavoring compounds, like vanilla and cinmaldehyde. Therefore, the more flavor the vapors have, the more toxic they are.

Discover: What is the health risk of filter cigarettes?

How do vapers affect health?

One of the disadvantages of vapers is that its long-term effects are unknown. However, the long-term effects of conventional tobacco are known. These include:

  • Cancer.
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive disease or COPD.
  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Emphysema.

Vapers produce alterations in lung function, although some of its effects, such as bronchoconstrction, are less than those produced by the classic cigarette.

Propylene Glycol and Glycerol

The propylene glycol present in vaping liquids decomposes at high temperatures. Thus, potentially carcinogenic substances such as propylene oxide are produced.

On the other hand, glycerol produces acrolein, although to a lesser extent than conventional cigarettes. Both propylene glycol and glycerol give rise to carcinogenic substances, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.


In addition to being very addictive, Nicotine can affect:

  • Brain development in teenagers.
  • Memory.
  • Concentration.
  • Learning.
  • Self Control
  • Mood

Nicotine also produces an increase in heart rate and blood cotinine levels.

Are they addictive?

Vapers that do not have nicotine do not produce physical addiction. However, the addiction has a physical component, of short duration, and a psychological one, more lasting in time.

The risk of getting hooked to vapers is a function of the use made. It can be used to replace tobacco, to reduce its consumption or, simply, playfully by people who are not smokers.

In relation to tobacco substitution, they can maintain psychological addiction. This is because it does not favor the change of behavior with respect to the conventional cigarette due to its similarity.

Therefore, the vapers, although they help reduce physical withdrawal, they do not favor smoking cessation. Therefore, many consumers chronicle its use or combine it with the traditional cigar, making access to conventional pharmacological help difficult.

The use of vapers not a good influence on future smokers, since it could increase the consumption of tobacco in young people and normalize, in general, the smoking habit.

Read also: Nicotine use disorders


Currently, studies suggest that vapers could be less harmful than conventional cigarettes. But nevertheless, Nicotine, in any form, is very addictive and vapor substances are carcinogenic..

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