Vaping and Seniors: Can Vaping Help Seniors?
Can Vaping Help Seniors? – The main question for this Article and the reason I am writing this is simple; can vaping actually help seniors? Taking into consideration all of the different aspects as to why that senior person may be vaping; nicotine addiction, stress relief or even reminiscing. I can confidently confirm that the reduction of stress, the feeling you get from feeding the addiction and feeling younger again will probably do more good than bad. Sometimes, a senior person needs something enjoyable to carry on.
Sometimes you have to take into consideration some of the other problems they may be facing and simply compare. If an elderly or senior person is vaping, knowing that in 20 years time It will significantly affect their health; would they rather stop and have to deal with the side effects of not being able to feed and addiction? Or should they just carry on like normal, and do what they enjoy while they can.
Should seniors really be worrying about their health in 10 – 20 years’ time, or should they be worrying about their current health? What’s the most important? Maintaining a happy life and great mental health, or trading some of your mental health for a slightly better, but still horrible physical health.
Social Implications on Vaping as a Senior
It’s safe to say that seniors probably couldn’t care less about what people think about them. Regardless of this, when it comes to vaping, there are quite commonly a lot of opinions thrown around, with assumptions being made about the people just because they’re vaping. It wouldn’t be right to write an article and not cover this subject.
Vaping as a Senior, Have they done it before?
It’s important to understand the two clear types of arguments on this subject; If you’re a Senior and you’ve smoked/vaped all your life, should they quit vaping? If you’re a Senior that wants to start vaping, will it be a serious concern for your health?
When it comes down to it, vaping simply hasn’t been around long enough for many seniors to try the trend. With the majority of seniors not enjoying or actively seeking change, It’s no surprise that it’s impossible to find studies or research on some senior people vaping.
To get some legitimate data and statistics on the subject we need to make some substitutes. We can confidentially assume that any senior person that feels the need to smoke or vape will be doing so due to the nicotine cravings. We can also safely assume that any seniors that would be interested in vaping will more than likely have experience smoking cigarettes. Therefore, we can see a direct correlation between vaping and smoking, and it’s used as a tool or method to feed a nicotine addiction.
Studies and Research of Smoking Amongst Seniors – There are plenty of papers that have been released with statistics and data on some elderly smokers. As mentioned above, this is not the case for vaping. You would be surprised by the amount of seniors that actually smoke, despite research showing how common serious health conditions are amongst them.
A study published by AgeUK found that “Older men and women have the lowest rates of current smoking: only 11% of those aged 65- 74 and 5% of those 75+ are current smokers.” (Later Life In The United Kingdom, 2017). With this being the latest (to date), piece of research available we can confidentially see that 16% of Seniors aged 65+ are daily smokers. But does this mean we can make a connection to vaping through this? I don’t believe so. As mentioned previously, we can assume this 16% of Seniors are smoking to feed their nicotine addiction, when given an alternative to cigarettes, without sufficient evidence of it being better for their health and well-being; they would simply have no intentions of making the transition.
The closest statistics that I could find about vaping as a senior came from a poll created on a vaping forum. The poll has been answered by 67 people. “24 people, 35.8% , aged 56+ use vaporizers” (P, Teresa). Although this data was found on a forum, and the legitimacy of the answers can be questioned; it provides an interesting insight into a rough estimate of how many seniors actually use vapes. A quick read of the comment section would suggest that the majority of vapers used this as a tool for their nicotine addiction, and nobody starts vaping because they thought it was “cool.” Taking into consideration that not many seniors have access or use the internet, it leaves me to think; how many more seniors vape that we simply don’t know about, we’ll have to wait until a new piece of research is released until we get an answer.
Studies Supporting Vaping – There is a lack of research and papers as mentioned previously that supports the claims of vaping being healthier for users. The tool for providing nicotine to the body simply hasn’t been around long enough for any legitimate long-term research to be carried out. Therefore, we must assume that it’s not safe to vape.
Vaping and Seniors – Why? – With both studies listed above, we can assume that seniors are actively using vaporizers as well as smoking cigarettes. It’s a shame there is a lack of studies and research on the number of seniors vaping and if they previously smoked cigarettes.
From what we know, and the research that is available to us, it can be assumed that senior people that use vaporizers; have previously smoked cigarettes and will be doing so to feed a nicotine addiction. As to why they’ve decided to use a vaporizer instead of Cigarettes, will more than likely be down to the control over the amount of nicotine they are smoking, or possibly even the different flavor options that are available to them.
You can confidentially see that seniors without experience are not deciding to start vaping, the same as how they’re not starting smoking.
The Dangers with Vaping and Seniors
The Dangers with Vaping and Seniors – There are many different dangers that Seniors face with vaping and smoking. Many of these will be to their Mental and Physical health. The majority of these dangers will be associated with Nicotine, which is found in both Cigarettes and some Vape Juices.
Seniors and Nicotine – The majority of seniors (56+), will only be vaping/smoking at this age due to an addiction to nicotine that they would’ve developed through the duration of their life. It’s uncommon to find a senior at this age, starting smoking or vaping simply because they want too.
There’s a huge connection to nicotine and health conditions, the majority of issues being Mental. However, there are some physical illnesses that can be developed through having a nicotine addiction. As a senior growing up with a nicotine addiction, if you have to stop smoking because of an illness suddenly this will start causing side effects and issues simply because of the addiction you have. Ultimately, this will lead to more health issues.
When you look at the facts, nicotine is an addiction and it will affect your health. It’s important to understand that the quicker this addiction can be removed from people’s bodies and minds the better, it’s without a doubt extremely dangerous for a senior with other serious health conditions to also have a nicotine addiction.
Seniors and Vaping with Health Conditions – It’s no surprise that some seniors will have quite a long list of health conditions and illnesses. So what happens when they decide to vape alongside some of these medical conditions? Most of the time, if a senior has a condition that will be affected by vaping, they will simply be told to stop vaping; this will remove any additional problems that vaping may bring to their current conditions.
Another issue that may be faced, vaping might negatively react to some of the pills that seniors take. It’s common for senior people to be taking quite a few pills and medicines per week; how likely do you think it is that one of those will interact with vaping negatively? I’m sure it’s quite common.
Another key aspect to take into consideration; around 40% of seniors are currently struggling with a serious health condition. Regardless of how vaping makes them feel and if it helps them, it’s strongly advised that seniors do not smoke or vape with a serious health condition. Due to the lack of research people simply have no idea what the results could be.
Is the damage already done? – This is a great question; it also ties into vaping quite well. As mentioned previously, vaping hasn’t been around long enough for people to make an accurate assumption of what medical conditions it could lead to in the future. A couple of studies have been carried out but can only really make assumptions for the next couple of years; the truth is, everyone using a vape is pretty much a guinea pig right now, testing the devices.
One thing we can see is the significant difference between early damage and late damage, and you’ll not face many problems with vaping to start with, you can probably go years without having any significant damage caused. The only thing you’ll have to worry about are the side effects, and short-term problems that vaping may bring.
As mentioned above, side effects are quite important when it comes to vaping as a senior; typically, someone who is a lot older will have a much harder time managing with some of the side effects of vaping, such as; shortness of breath, light-headedness, coughing and much more. It’s important to understand that if you’re a senior, you must be confident that you can handle these side effects; ultimately, it could make your physical health much worse.
- “Later Life In The United Kingdom”. Ageuk.org.uk. N.p., 2017. Web. 3 June 2017.
- P, Teresa. “How Many Adults And Seniors Actually Vape Now?”. Vaping Underground Forums – An Ecig and Vaping Forum. N.p., 2017. Web. 3 June 2017.