What are the known risks of vaping?

Vapes are often seen to be the lesser of two evils when compared with tobacco cigarettes. This has partly driven their popularity and uptake as most people are unaware of the dangers associated with vaping, and while the long-term effects remain largely unknown.

So what are the risks?

  • Addiction. Nicotine is considered one of the most addictive substances. Unregulated vapes contain unknown amounts of nicotine and there is strong evidence that use of vapes results in dependence. [1]
  • Throat irritation, cough, dizziness, headache, nausea, [1]
  • Nicotine overdose including seizures [1]
  • Nicotine poisoning [1]
  • Burns and injuries [1]
  • Respiratory illness, including risk of lung disease [1]
  • Single use waste and impact on the environment [1]Exposure to potentially harmful chemicals . Some of the more worrying substances include metals such as nickel, chromium, lead as well as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, crolein, arsenic, and thousands of flavouring chemicals and particulates. Some of these are known carcinogens and found in paint stripper or weed killer. [2] Some of the components of e-cigarettes have been deemed safe to eat or drink they have not proven safe for inhalation.
  • Risk of developing chronic disease such as lung cancer or cardiovascular disease [1]
  • Potential negative effect on brain function and development [1]
  • Potential negative effect on mental health and links with depression and anxiety [1]


[1] NHMRC Electronic Cigarettes and Health Outcomes – Systematic Review of Evidence

[2] Vichealth

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