DEAR DR. ROACH: I quit smoking about six months ago and was able to resist the temptation to smoke again because I took up vaping immediately afterward. Thanks to vaping, I think this time I will be able to stay off of cigarette smoking permanently after unsuccessfully quitting a half dozen times over the years. I recently read some very alarming news reports about lung disease among vapers, which has me very worried. I do not want to stop vaping, for obvious reasons. Can you please advise on whether vaping is safe for me to continue? J.B.
ANSWER: Vaping uses a device with a battery and heating element to vaporize a liquid, usually containing nicotine, flavoring and chemicals to make the aerosol. Vaping is highly prevalent among younger adults, with over 20% of high school students reporting use in the previous 30 days.
Some people use vaping to quit smoking, and it is as effective or more so than nicotine replacement, such as patches or gum. However, 80% of people who quit smoking continued to vape at one year. Unfortunately, many of the young people who start vaping are doing so without ever having been a smoker.