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Everything you need to know about vaping, related illness outbreak

The recent increase in vaping illnesses has sparked a national conversation on vaping and the side effects that come with it.

Tuesday, it was confirmed that the sixth person in the United States to die from a vaping related illness was from Kansas.

Because of this, KSNT News is breaking down all you need to know about vaping, the illnesses associated, and what officials are saying.

What is vaping?

The Center on Addiction describes vaping as the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by e-cigarettes.

What are the health effects?

Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease reported, “Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.”

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, inhaling the chemicals found in most flavored e-cigarettes is associated with respiratory disease.

Is it safer than smoking?

The CDC reported that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes, as they contain fewer toxic chemicals regular cigarette smoke. The e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless though; it contains harmful substances including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, organic compounds and cancer-causing substances. So while they are reported to be less harmful, they are not safe.

NBC News reported that currently, no vaping product has been reviewed federally to be determined to be safer than smoking. They also noted that while most experts agree that the aerosol from e-cigarettes is less harmful than cigarette smoke, there has been no research on the long-term effects of vaping.

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