Vaping — What are Their Effects on Your Mental Health
Can Vapes and E-Cigarettes Improve One’s Mental Health?
As most of you probably already know, people consider e-cigarettes and vaping the two most practical quitting methods for smokers. Since their introduction in 2003, the e-cigarette has become very popular all over the world. It was like a breath of fresh air. It’s an invention that seems too good to be true for those who have been struggling to quit smoking.
However, believe it or not, vaping and e-cigarettes also contribute a great deal to one’s mental health. E-cigarettes and vaping have an amazingly positive effect on one’s mental well-being. That is besides weaning one off of cigarettes. The secret lies in Nicotine. It’s one of the main active ingredients, which you can find in cigarettes and e-cigarettes alike. Due to its mood elevating properties, nicotine became a highly sought-after substance. It helps people alleviate symptoms of depression.
E-cig users who suffer from mental illness can get all the benefits of nicotine without inhaling tobacco smoke. They mainly used cotinine, a nicotine derivative, as a mood elevator. It also helps us better understand how vaping can help people with mental health problems.
E-cigs a.k.a. vapor cigarettes are not a part of the nicotine addiction treatment. They are potentially less harmful than regular cigarettes. “They are by design definitely less dangerous than cigarettes. However, they are not a healthy alternative to smoking. As a result, quitting is the healthiest alternative,” said Constantine Vardavas. He was a research scientist in the School’s Center for Global Tobacco Control. Unlike cigarettes, vapors do not contain more than 7,000 dangerous chemicals that are generally in tobacco smoke. Furthermore, there are much more pros than cons, such as a sense of calmness and reduced anxiety levels. This is when it comes to mental health and vaping.
People who struggle with mental health issues are more likely to vape than the healthy ones. Among 10,041 Americans, almost 15% of those who have mental health problems are e-cig users. In addition, 90% of all people with schizophrenia are smokers. In general, people who have any kind of mental health problems are smokers.
People with mental health problems consume 31% of all cigarettes in the U.S. This is from a report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). There is a good reason for this. People used cigarettes to treat a number of health issues. They are frequent anxiety attacks and the masking of other drug side effects. They chose this option mainly due to nicotine’s ability to trigger the production of serotonin and dopamine. These are the two chemicals that induce feelings of calmness and joy.
Why do People with Mental Health Problems Smoke
People with anxiety claim that vaping helps them get through their day. Also, nicotine withdrawal symptoms can intensify anxiety symptoms. This might be the main reason why people with mental health problems choose vaping over quitting cigarettes.
Another important issue related to mental health and smoking is that stress is a trigger for addictive behavior. People with mental health problems are under a lot of stress. As a result, vaping helps them keep levels of serotonin and dopamine high. In people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, these neurotransmitters are normally at very low levels. In these cases, they use vaping as a form of self-medication. Interestingly, this is also the reason why patients can smoke and vape in psychiatric wards.
Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven that nicotine helps improve cognitive functions. They are memory and attention in schizophrenic patients. Vaping also helps with antipsychotic side effects which can be very helpful. This is especially for patients who managed to keep their jobs.
What are the Downside of Vaping
It’s true that vaping can be beneficial on so many levels. However, studies on mice have shown that vapors can damage certain genes. This can be in a manner that can even trigger mental illness. Also, studies revealed that mice, where they exposed vapors to prenatally, were more hyperactive later in life.
There is not enough evidence to support claims about the potential harm of vaping on one’s mental health. This is from clinical studies on humans. However, scientists and researchers continue to look for new answers.