It’s well accepted that vaping can be a pretty good way to kick a cigarette habit.
By Ashitha Nagesh – April 13th, 2016
Around 2.6million people in the UK vape regularly. However, with new technology comes a whole new set of problems that users may not be aware of.
Whether you smoke or vape, it’s fairly common to exhale out of your nostrils. Some people just prefer the taste of flavoured e-cigarettes that way.
But exhaling the vapour out of your nose can actually cause damage to the inside of your nostrils.
Wait, so what happens to your nostrils?
Many vapers have claimed that e-cigs have badly dried out the skin in their noses, in many cases causing random nosebleeds.
The main chemical that’s causing this is propylene glycol (PG), a dehydrating chemical that can suck the moisture out the sensitive skin inside your nostrils. What is CBD – A Beginner’s Guide to CBD
Oh my God, is it permanent?
E-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to know for certain whether or not they cause permanent damage.
Prof Nirmal Kumar, a Consultant Otolaryngologist and the honorary secretary of ENT UK, told Metro.co.uk: ‘The risks of vaping are not yet fully defined, but there’s a growing body of evidence that it is not as harmless as we first thought.
‘There are lots of chemicals in it that can harm the nose. But whether it will cause long-term damage is not yet proven.’
However, this seems to be a problem that mostly goes away after a few weeks.
How do you heal it?
Prof John Britton, professor of epidemiology and director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Related Studies, had some pretty simple advice.
‘Exhale through your mouth,’ he told Metro.co.uk. ‘Propylene glycol does cause some drying as well as mild irritation of the airways.’
If you can, it’s probably best to give vaping a rest completely for this time, as the PG can also dry out your throat. Try also regularly dabbing small amounts of Vaseline onto the lining inside your nose, to soothe the dryness and add a bit of moisture.
What if it doesn’t get better?
Then the best thing to do is visit your GP.
They will examine your nose and, if necessary, refer you to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist for further examination.
Should I give up vaping for good?
If you’re using e-cigs to quit smoking – and it’s helping – then there’s probably no need.
We don’t know much about the long-term effects of vaping, but most of the evidence so far suggests that it’s less harmful than cigarettes (although it is more harmful than not smoking anything).
‘Almost all vapers in Britain are current smokers who are using e-cigarettes to help them quit or cut down, or ex-smokers who have switched to vaping,’ Rosanna O’Connor, director of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco at Public Health England, told Metro.co.uk.
‘The evidence is clear that vaping is much less harmful to health than smoking and the best thing a smoker can do for themselves and those around them is to quit completely, now and forever.’
And Prof Simon Capewell, vice president for policy at the Faculty for Public Health, told Metro.co.uk that vaping was ‘the second best thing’ someone trying to quit can do (after using NHS services), although he warns that it’s ‘not risk-free’.