Researchers Study What Vaping Does to the Human Body

Agencies don’t study every ingredient in vape products


Photo by Emily Lau on Unsplash

Catherine Hardison, Staff Writer

Inhaling vapor through a battery-powered device, otherwise known as vaping, is a common trend for young Americans. Vaping has been around for quite some time, however, it gained great popularity in 2017.

What causes people to vape?

The reasons people vape differ greatly. Two main reasons people vape are to feel a nicotine high and the flavor of the e-cigarette. 

Feeling a nicotine high is one of the reasons people vape; however, what does it do to the human body? Vaping with nicotine gives people a sedative effect, a feeling of calmness. When nicotine is inhaled, it goes directly into the lungs, where it is absorbed by the blood, carried to the heart, and later pumped to the brain (Harvard). This causes people to feel that sense of relaxation and feel a nicotine buzz.

Even though nicotine comes with pleasurable effects, the long-term effects are more harmful. The constant need to hit a vape lingers in vapers’ minds because they lost their nicotine high. Withdrawal from nicotine is inevitable and it is not worth feeling a high that doesn’t last very long with vaping. It is unsafe and damages the brain. 

People vape because the flavors are better than traditional cigarettes. On the market are various fruity flavors, as well as a collection of dessert flavors, and many other flavors in between. This appeals to those who are trying to get out of a bad smoking habit. Also, the FDA has a list of ingredients called the “FDA’s Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list,” which lists the safe ingredients for food. Many items on this list contain aroma-type ingredients that are used for flavoring food. Because of this categorization, the flavor is not completely safety tested to be smoked or vaped.

Some studies have shown because of certain ingredients in vape flavorings, formaldehyde can build up in the lungs and cause inflammation (Mammoser). Unknown byproducts can form because of the uncertainties of what happens when people inhale certain chemicals. 

Overall, people vape for many reasons, but there are many effects on the human body. It is uncertain what is genuinely in these vape cartridges and flavors, it can lead to serious health concerns in the future. 

For further information, see

FDA. “FDA Finalizes Enforcement Policy on Unauthorized Flavored Cartridge-Based 

e-Cigarettes That Appeal to Children, Including Fruit and Mint.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA

Harvard Health. “Nicotine: It May Have a Good Side.” Harvard Health

Mammoser, Gigen. “E-Cig Flavors Toxic.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 Nov. 2018,