We have detected Lahore as your city

The Rise Of Vaping In Pakistan And Its Side Effects

5 min read

Find & Book the best "Pulmonologists" near you

A vape, short for vaporizer or electronic cigarette, is a device that heats a liquid, often containing nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals, into a vapor that can be inhaled. Vapes are considered an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes while reducing the harmful effects associated with tobacco combustion. The liquid, known as e-liquid or vape juice, is stored in a cartridge or tank and is heated by a battery-powered heating element.

When the liquid is heated, it turns into a vapor that the user inhales into their lungs. Vaping has gained popularity as an alternative to smoking, with proponents suggesting it is less harmful and can aid in smoking cessation. Concerns exist about the potential health risks and the appeal of vaping to young individuals who may never have smoked otherwise. If you vape, it is best to consult a Pulmonologist in Lahore if you face any issues.

How And When Did Vaping Start?

Vaping has its roots in the mid-twentieth century when an individual known as Herbert A. Gilbert proposed the concept of a non-tobacco, smokeless cigarette. However, it was not until the mid-2000s that vaping began to take shape as we know it today. In 2003, a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lin, intrigued by his father’s struggle with smoking-related illnesses, developed the modern e-cigarette. His device used a battery-powered heating element to vaporize a nicotine solution, creating an inhalable vapor.

The first commercially successful e-cigarette was introduced to the Chinese market in 2004. By the mid-2000s, these devices began spreading to international markets. Many early adopters were impressed by the idea of a potentially safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Since then, vaping has evolved with various technology advancements, flavours, and designs. Its rapid growth has sparked debates about its safety, regulation, and appeal, especially among youth.

Is Vape Is Better Than Smoking?

Vapes are often considered better than traditional smoking due to several potential advantages, although both options have their own set of risks. One of the main reasons people see vaping as a potentially better option is that they do not involve the combustion of tobacco, which releases thousands of harmful chemicals, including carcinogens. Instead, vapes heat a liquid (e-liquid) to create vapor, which many believe to be less damaging than the toxic smoke produced by burning tobacco. 

Vape allows users to control their nicotine intake, offering options with varying nicotine concentrations or even nicotine-free e-liquids. It can help people gradually reduce their nicotine consumption, aiding in smoking cessation. Furthermore, the lack of second-hand smoke from vape reduces exposure to harmful toxins for bystanders. The absence of tar, a byproduct of tobacco combustion, is another potential advantage, as tar is a top contributor to lung and respiratory issues. 

It is essential to recognize that the long-term health effects of vapes are not fully understood, and there are concerns about potential risks related to inhaling certain chemicals in e-liquids. Additionally, the rise in vaping among youth is a significant concern, as it can lead to nicotine addiction and may serve as a gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes. As research continues, the relative benefits and risks of vaping compared to smoking will become clear.

Vaping Side Effects

Vapes may have fewer repercussions than traditional smoking, but they are still not good for your health. They have risk factors that one should know. If you are not a regular smoker, vaping may lead you to it. Here are some potential side effects of vaping:

1. Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues are a significant concern associated with vaping. While marketed as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, emerging evidence suggests that vaping can still adversely affect the respiratory system. Users have reported symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, which can indicate irritation or inflammation in the airways. One of the major contributors to respiratory issues in vaping is the inhalation of aerosols produced by heating e-liquids.

These aerosols can contain harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, known to cause irritation and damage to the respiratory tract. Some e-liquids contain flavouring chemicals like diacetyl, which, when inhaled, have been linked to lung conditions. Due to the respiratory issues associated with e-cigarettes, you should exercise caution while using them. Even though many perceive vapes as less harmful than conventional cigarettes, they may still potentially cause harm to the respiratory system, which you should not ignore.

2. Lung Injuries

Lung injuries related to vape use have garnered significant attention due to their severity and relatively rapid emergence of cases. Vaping-associated lung injuries (VALI) and (EVALI) have been reported most often. These lung injuries can manifest as chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing, and in severe cases, may cause respiratory failure requiring hospitalization and even mechanical ventilation. While the exact cause of these injuries is not fully known, some research suggests that certain additives, contaminants, or chemicals present in some vaping products could contribute to lung damage. 

Many of the reported cases of lung injuries have been linked to the use of products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis, and vitamin E acetate, an oil-based additive. Inhaling oil-based substances can lead to lipid pneumonia, a condition where the lungs become inflamed due to the presence of foreign substances.

The outbreak of lung injuries prompted increased regulatory scrutiny and public health advisories regarding e-cigarettes and vaping products. It serves as a reminder that even though vaping is often considered an alternative to smoking, there are potential risks that need to be thoroughly understood and addressed to ensure the safety of users’ respiratory health.

3. Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine addiction is a high concern related to vape use. Vapes deliver nicotine, a highly addictive substance found in tobacco, through inhalation of aerosolized e-liquids. Because nicotine can act as both a stimulant and a relaxant, it can create a cycle of cravings and withdrawals, leading to dependence. E-cigarette devices often allow users to control the nicotine concentration in e-liquids, but this customization can inadvertently contribute to addiction. Some users may unknowingly consume high levels of nicotine, which increases the risk of addiction, especially among individuals who previously did not smoke.

Of particular concern is the appeal of vapes or e-cigarettes to young people, who are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction due to their developing brains. The availability of appealing flavours and sleek designs has contributed to the popularity of vapes and e-cigarettes among youth. Unfortunately, early nicotine exposure can have lasting and disastrous effects on cognitive development, memory, attention, and impulse control.

While some individuals may use vapes as a tool to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, there’s a risk of simply trading one addiction for another. Nicotine addiction can have severe health implications and may lead to a potential progression to smoking traditional cigarettes. Addressing the issue of nicotine addiction associated with vapes requires comprehensive efforts, including regulations to limit youth access, educational campaigns, and support for individuals seeking to quit vaping.

4. Cardiovascular Issues

Cardiovascular issues are a concerning side effect associated with vaping. While e-cigarettes may seem a better replacement for traditional smoking, emerging evidence suggests they can still pose risks to cardiovascular health. Nicotine, a common component of e-liquids, is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Elevated heart rate and blood pressure can strain the cardiovascular system, potentially increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and coronary artery disease. Chronic nicotine exposure through vaping can contribute to the narrowing and hardening of blood vessels, which can impede blood flow and lead to arterial damage.

Moreover, the cardiovascular effects of vaping can be particularly concerning for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. People with heart disease may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of nicotine on the heart and blood vessels, exacerbating their condition. Moreover, studies suggest that vaping may also increase the risk of heart disease.

While vaping may produce fewer harmful chemicals than traditional smoking, the cardiovascular risks associated with nicotine exposure are not. As the popularity of vaping continues to grow, it’s crucial for individuals, especially those with cardiovascular concerns, to be aware of the potential risks and to make informed decisions about their health choices. Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance and help mitigate these risks.

5. Chemical Risks

Flavouring chemical risks are a notable concern associated with vaping. E-liquids used in vaping devices often contain a wide variety of flavourings to enhance the vaping experience. Some of these flavouring chemicals can break down into harmful compounds when heated and inhaled. When e-liquids are vaporized, the chemical composition of the flavourings can change, producing volatile organic compounds and potentially toxic substances.

These substances can lead to a damaged respiratory system. The particular concern is the presence of diacetyl and its related compounds in certain e-liquids. Diacetyl is a flavouring chemical known to cause popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans), a severe lung condition characterized by scarring and inflammation of the airways. Even though the levels of diacetyl in e-cigarettes are generally lower than in traditional cigarettes, inhaling this chemical and its derivatives can still pose risks to respiratory health.

Given the potential risks associated with flavouring chemicals, especially when heated and inhaled, users should be cautious when selecting e-liquids and consider opting for those with transparent ingredient lists. As research continues to uncover the effects of these chemicals on lung health, individuals concerned about their respiratory well-being should weigh the potential risks before using flavoured e-cigarettes.


Vaping has ongoing side effects, and the long-term impact of vaping on the body is still unclear due to a lack of research. While some individuals have found e-cigarettes helpful for quitting smoking, the risks associated with their use, especially for non-smokers and youth, have led to public health concerns and regulatory efforts to address these issues. If you are considering using e-cigarettes or experiencing any adverse effects due to their use, you should consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Book Appointment with the best "Pulmonologists"