If you are a vaper and you value your voice then you have to quit it as soon as possible. Although some studies show that vaping is not that harmful as smoking, the hard truth is as a singer it will still alter your voice in a negative way, especially if you are doing it for prolonged periods of time.
Vaping does affect your singing voice by dehydrating your throat and irritating your vocal cords which will affect how your singing voice sounds like. In addition to this vaping can cause long-term health issues that are especially harmful for singers like vocal cord nodules, chronic bronchitis, and even throat cancer. Flavored vapes are especially harmful for the singing voice as they contain oils that will end up on the vocal cords.
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There has been a lot of backlash against smoking since the late ’80s, luckily with new laws and regulations the number of people who actually smoke has been in a steady decrease. Although this is not true in third world countries where cigarettes are extremely cheap and you can find them at any corner shop. As we are a technology-focused generation it was inevitable that someone would invent something like e-cigarettes or vaping devices.
As a singer your number one goal is to keep your lungs healthy if you are not able to breathe correctly then you will not be able to sing properly either. If you have read my recent article Causes of shortness of breath while singing ( 11 Most Common Causes ) you will see that one of the causes is because you might be smoking. There are a lot of studies saying that vaping is actually healthier than smoking, although this is like comparing diarrhea to shit and why one of them doesn’t taste as bad as the second one.
There are numerous studies showing that vaping is not harmful, the problem with these studies is that they do not entirely disclose who is paying for them. Generally speaking, most of these studies are sponsored by the tobacco industry and they disguise themselves as scientific studies. The laws in the USA just like in any other country are slow to catch up, vaping is a niche product that isn’t yet regulated properly and the tobacco industry will push it as hard as it can because they know that sooner or later they might even get banned.
Some singers might get fooled by all the positive “scientific” studies, but the hard truth is that anything you inhale which is not air will hinder your performance in several ways. While smoking tobacco is also extremely harmful to not only singers but the harmful effects take a lot of time to develop. On the other hand, vaping will impact your voice in just a matter of months. If you have never smoked in your life do not pick up vaping, don’t be stupid.
If you ask around different forums if vaping does indeed affect your singing voice sooner or later somebody will pull out this article as evidence that it doesn’t harm your vocal cords, https://www.churnmag.com/news/new-study-finds-vaping-doesnt-harm-voice-quality-like-smoking/. One of the problems with this study is that it compares smoking to vaping which isn’t helpful, they should have compared the results to people who do not smoke and do not vape.
Another potential problem with this study is that it has been made by the Health Science University Adana City Hospital which is located in Turkey. Now I do not have any problems with people from Turkey but it seems rather odd that such a study should come from a country where around 30% of the population is actually smoking. According to a study made in 2008 by the World Health Organisation around 17 million people smoke in Turkey this from a population of 55 million.
Vaping can cause vocal cord nodules
One of the ways vaping affects your singing is by irritating your vocal cords, oftentimes chemicals get absorbed through your throat and will irritate it. In addition, while you are vaping you are putting additional strain on your vocal cords, and your body’s first priority will be to clean up your vocal cords from the toxic elements. It isn’t a smart idea if you are a singer to make your body struggle to keep itself healthy, which it will not be able to do in the long run.
While you are singing you will put some strain on your voice, this is fairly normal for beginner singers who do not know their own voice. More advanced singers who know their limits rarely strain their voice, but if you start vaping your body might even develop vocal cord nodules which in the long run will alter your voice to a point that you are no longer able to sing. Generally speaking, you strain your voice even more while you are trying to hit the high notes, the good news is that there are some drinks that will actually protect your vocal cords against straining, for more information check out my article What to drink before singing high notes? ( Top 6 Drinks ).
Vaping will dry out your throat
One of the side effects of vaping or smoking is dehydration of the mouth, this is why most people drink something while they smoke or vape. If you are serious about singing then the last thing you want is to dry out your throat. Usually, this dryness of the throat comes with coughing alongside as the throat is irritated to such a point that there is no mucous covering and protecting your throat. I do not have to tell you how detrimental this can be for a singer.
Vaping doesn’t dry out your mouth as much as you are inhaling mostly water vapor, but this hot vapor can still damage your throat and vocal cords. In addition, there is a current trend of flavored vapes that do contain some kind of oil which in turn could cause some serious damage to your lungs and throat.
Vaping is addictive
The number one reason why people got addicted to smoking and vaping is because of the presence of nicotine. While nicotine naturally occurs in some plants like the tobacco plant, its main goal is to kill bugs that will eat the plant’s leaves. Basically, no matter if you are smoking cigarettes or you are vaping you will be inhaling a naturally occurring pesticide. There are some vaping devices that do not contain any nicotine, but you can bet that there is some substance in it that has the same properties as nicotine with its only goal to get you addicted, otherwise, how will they make money.
If you have ever known a person who is smoking or vaping you probably noticed that when they need their fix they get extremely irritated, now imagine yourself a singer who has to sing for a couple of hours professionally, sooner or later you will have to take a break to smoke. This not only looks extremely unprofessional but as there are no interior spaces in which you can still smoke you will probably have to go outside, now imagine yourself going from a hot indoor environment outside in the freezing cold just to vape.
Vaping kills the singing voice
No matter how hard you try to find evidence that vaping will not hurt your singing voice the best you will find is that vaping generally speaking is not as harmful as smoking, which honestly speaking isn’t saying too much. While there are some singers who are also vaping regularly, but they usually struggle to sing when compared to healthy non-vaping and non-smoking singers. The problem arises later down in life when vaping has caused so much damage to their lungs and their throats that they can no longer able to sing.
If you have recently started to notice that you are not progressing as a singer and instead you are starting to lose your ability to sing than other than vaping there could be several more causes, if you want to find out what could cause you to not to sing as good as before then check out my article Why can’t I sing anymore ( Quick and Easy Fix ).
Vaping causes cancer
Although vaping is far to new to have conclusive evidence that vaping causes cancer but it isn’t that different from smoking which actually does cause not only lung cancer but also several other types of cancers. If you are a singer and you have developed cancer of the throat, for example, you can say goodbye to your singing career as you will find it difficult to even speak. There are a lot of cancer-causing chemicals in both cigarettes and vaping devices.
There are currently several studies in progress that analyze the contents of the flavoring liquid found in vaping devices. Some states have even banned flavored vaping devices either to prevent children from vaping or because it has become a health hazard.
Vaping causes bad breathe
Now you might think that having bad breath isn’t that big of a problem, however, if you are a singer who has to sing in a choir or sing along with somebody you are making the other person extremely uncomfortable if you have a smoker’s breath. In some cases, you might even find that some people will outright reject the idea of singing a singalong song with you due to your bad breath.
Generally speaking the bad breath from vaping has two causes, the first one is that you inhale hot steam which will alter the microbiological fauna of your mouth and throat which in turn might end up favoring bacteria that produce some sort of foul-smelling gas as they are reproducing and feeding. On the other side vaping will dehydrate you and this, in turn, will cause a bad-smelling breath.
Vaping without nicotine will also affect your voice
If you think that your voice is safe because you don’t use nicotine in your vaping device then you are wrong. Nicotine doesn’t really have any effects on your voice as it is absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, what will alter your singing voice is the added chemicals and the dehydration factor which often comes with smoking and vaping. There are a lot of people who pick up vaping occasionally and not using any liquids with nicotine in order to not get addicted, the truth is that even vaping liquids without any nicotine could still have some chemicals which cause addiction and they most certainly have all the chemicals which will impact your singing voice sooner or later.
Vaping irritates your vocal cords
Smoking and vaping will irritate your vocal cords, the longer you do it the more serious this irritation can be. Vaping devices will dehydrate your throat to a point where the body can no longer coat your throat with a protective layer of mucus. When this happens your throat might get inflamed and you expose yourself to a throat infection. If you thought it will be difficult to sing with an irritated throat imagine yourself how difficult it will be to sing with a throat inflated to a point where you can no longer eat due to the pain.
Vaping causes allergies
Do not quote me on this as I am not a doctor, but I have a slight suspicion that vaping devices will actually cause allergies. The problem is that most vaping devices contain a lot of contaminants and propylene glycol which isn’t beneficial to your body. People who vape for the first time will probably cough as the body has identified that this is harmful to your body and will try to eliminate it as fast as possible.
However, if you keep on vaping sooner or later your body will be fooled by the nicotine and it will outright ignore all the harmful side effects that vaping has. Now imagine yourself being a serious singer with a possible future in the music industry and you develop an allergic reaction to something very common like dust or pollen. Once you come in contact with dust and pollen your body will go into overdrive and try to eliminate them as fast as possible this will result in sneezing a lot.
Vaping causes laryngitis
As a singer, your worst nightmare is to develop laryngitis one day. Laryngitis can develop due to the irritation of the throat which is caused by smoking and by vaping also. Luckily most singers who vape once they notice that their throat becomes irritated then they will probably stop vaping if they value their voice. Unfortunately, this is not true for people who do not use their voice for a living. The main problem with vaping is that it directly irritates not only your throat but your vocal cords also which makes you much more likely to develop laryngitis.
Vaping causes chronic bronchitis
As vaping and smoking irritates the throat it also prevents the body from making a protective layer of mucus in your throat and vocal cords. The body will respond to this lack of mucus by producing more mucus, this is why some vapers and smokers have an excess of mucus especially during the morning. This constant battle with your body of producing mucus and still not being able to make a protective cover on your vocal cords no matter how much mucus it produces will eventually lead to chronic bronchitis. If you are a singer the simple fact of hearing that somebody got chronic bronchitis should send shivers along your spine.
Vaping does affect your singing voice in different ways, and all of them in a negative way. The problem is that the vaping trend is fairly new and there are not enough studies made on how harmful they might actually be. While some might say that it is healthier than smoking cigarettes, others might even claim that they are even more harmful than cigarettes. No matter what the actual truth is, if you are a singer do not pick up vaping, no matter how cool you might think you are or no matter how much pressure your peers are putting on you to join the crowd of vapers.