While most professional athletes abstain from vices, there are many that enjoy smoking. While many athletes claim that smoking offers more benefits for them than drawbacks, an increasingly large number of athletes, including NBA players, are moving to vaping as a safer alternative.
While many are familiar with vaping, most don’t fully understand how vaping could be safer for athletes than smoking. While some of the reasons aren’t obvious, there are several important factors that have led many NBA players to abandon smoking and choose vaping as an alternative.
1. Vaping Avoids the Smoke, the Primary Vector of Inhaling Toxins
When an NBA athlete uses a box mod vape, they are inhaling vapor infused with nicotine (and sometimes only water vapor). While nicotine presents some health challenges on its own, we will explain that vaping completely avoids inhaling smoke to get the nicotine high.
For NBA players, this is a huge advantage. The smoke and tar in a traditional cigarette cause documented damage to the lungs. Over time, lung damage caused by smoking can negatively impact the performance of an NBA athlete. While there are some risks associated with vaping, which we review below, those risks still pale in comparison to what we know smoking does to healthy lungs.
Health Risks of Vaping
While the health risks associated with vaping are much less severe than smoking, there are still risks. Some research shows that vaping may also harm the lungs, though not nearly to the extent of smoking. Vaping black-market cartridges can also pose health risks, such as the vaping illness that recently caught the attention of the media.
The most severe effects of vaping occur in adolescents and teens, which would not include NBA players.
2. Smoking Is Lethal
Not only does smoking damage the lungs, but it also can impact all parts of your party. Smoking is associated with increased cancer of all kinds, not just lung cancer, and studies show that smoking kills half its users. Not only is it lethal, but second-hand smoking can also cause health problems in non-smokers too.
While research into the exact effects of vaping is still new, it still remains clear that vaping is far less lethal than smoking. While there may be a danger with “second-hand vaping,” vapor dissipates extremely quickly. Unless you’re ripping huge clouds, vapor from a vape pen will dissipate before most around you inhale it.
Smoking is much more deadly than vaping, which provides an added benefit for NBA players who decide to vape instead of smoke.
2. Vaping Allows Nicotine Intake to be Regulated
When you smoke a cigarette, you get an enormous spike in nicotine, which creates an addictive high. Aside from being addicted, many professional athletes choose to smoke because the nicotine helps them focus and make precision movements more refined. While the science behind that is debatable, it doesn’t stop many NBA athletes from using nicotine as a performance tool.
Vaping offers athletes the ability to take advantage of performance benefits that nicotine may offer in a more regulated fashion. Vape oils infused with nicotine have the amount of nicotine they carry clearly labeled on the packaging. While it may be difficult to know how much nicotine there is per puff, athletes can deduce how much nicotine they consume by keeping track of how much vape oil they’ve consumed.
This can allow athletes to have a precision regimen of nicotine intake for athletic purposes. It can also help athletes avoiding taking more nicotine than they want, and they can use clear labeling to ween themselves off nicotine should they decide they want to quit.
Health Risks Associated with Nicotine
An athlete would want to strictly regulate the amount of nicotine they take in because nicotine is an inherently dangerous chemical. Not only is it addictive, but too much can spike blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks.
NBA athletes already put their bodies through a tremendous amount of strain. Adding a component that spikes their blood pressure can strain their cardiovascular system, which can cause permanent, career-ending heart damage.
The ability to regulate the amount of nicotine they take in (or to ween themselves off of nicotine altogether) is a factor that makes vaping much safer than smoking for NBA athletes.
3. Lack of Burn Risk With Vaping
Vape pens don’t use an exposed flame to produce vapor. Instead, a built-in heating element heats the oil to produce vapor, all of which occurs in an enclosed device. Vape pens also don’t heat the oil enough to cause it to combust, which is when something catches fire.
Traditional smoking requires an exposed flame and a cigarette with an exposed burning end. Accidents with smoking are common, and while small burns may be an inconvenience to most of us, they can cause significant performance problems for professional athletes.
Vaping Is Safer, But Not Danger-Free
Vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking, which is why it continues to draw in fans from all walks of life, not just professional athletes. It’s important to consider the potential risks of vaping before vaping yourself!