Vaping vs. Smoking with kidney disease?

From what I could find, PG is converted to ethanol and a precursor to glucose. This is based on intravenous or oral administration. There is a limited amount of information on inhalation, other than the few who get asthma symptoms. Which I find funny, as most inhalers for asthma have PG (I digress). Anyway, both ethanol metabolization and glucogenesis are the done by the liver. I could not find any instance of PG being metabolized by the kidneys. The people who are reporting kidney stones because of Vaping are not basing their facts in pathophysiology. I hope this helps.


That is excellent information! Thank you sooo much for this!! Something scientific was what I really hoped for to calm my fears!! I can’t thank you enough!

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I am not a doctor but I am a health care provider. His history is bad for smoking and Vaping would be a 95% safer option. Plus, since you mix, you can lower his nicotine a little over time. My kids vape and use my e liquid, lol, every label says 3% and every bottle now has zero nicotine. They complain about harshness when they buy commercial liquid now. I’m going to tell them at Christmas, the one year nicotine free anniversary. I justify this bad behavior by thinking it’s no worse than lying about getting vaccinated when they were little.


I want to love this post 100 times! Your children are incredibly lucky to have a mom that would do this for them! I don’t think that you have to “justify your behavior” at all, it’s an amazing thing to do! I would love it if that was being done for me without knowing, BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER! I appreciate the information. I have not found much input on this specific issue from someone who works in healthcare. And I find it invaluable! Thank you so much! Have a beautiful day!!


The tobacco flavors I had mixed up for my Dad were almost steeped long enough, plus I bought 3 bottles of commercial juice to get him started while any final steeping needed to happen. I decided it was time to approach him about this.

First, I called his family doctor and established that he is in between Stage 2 and 3 kidney failure. I needed to speak to his Nephrologist for further information. But this was enough to get started. In addition to Kidney disease, he currently has an aneurysm in his stomach. He had bladder cancer which has been completely gone since his bladder was removed and a neo bladder was created. He had a stroke, he still has issues using his hands in some ways, some memory problems and emotional outbursts. But he was really lucky considering how many people are after a stroke. And he had a heart attack for which they put in stents and a pacemaker. This has all happened since January, 2010! Basically, he has had many of the heavy hitters caused by smoking. My biggest concern right now is his kidneys. Everything else seems stable currently. He is going to need dialysis. When I brought up dialysis once, He said to me that he didn’t have kidney failure yet, that’s how little he understands his health situation. So, I knew he had no clue of how close that dialysis machine is getting.

I went prepared with my research. I told him that I never said anything before about his smoking habit because I smoked, and I know he cannot quit unless he decides on his own to do it. I also told him what stage of kidney failure he is in, and that despite all the blood pressure medications he takes, he is still living in a state on constant high blood pressure. I explained that while we all know cigarettes are so unhealthy, smoking is particularly bad for him.

I read this quote from the National Kidney Foundation “Smoking can affect medicines used to treat high blood pressure. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled high blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease. Smoking slows the blood flow to important organs like the kidneys and can make kidney disease worse.” I said that basically he is making his blood pressure pills ineffective, or less effective by smoking. I also explained that the only real chance he has of pushing back Dialysis is to quit smoking.

He said that this was all very scary to hear and really opened his eyes. He didn’t understand how bad he was and how soon he could be on dialysis.

I asked him to keep an open mind and hear me out. I know he enjoys smoking, and quitting has been unsuccessful in the past. But vaping would be much better for him. It is similar to smoking and much healthier.

(I got him the Eleif iCare starter kit. My dad is not good with complicated and I researched the easiest kits to use. I ordered it, set it up and found that it was very much like drawing a puff off a cigarette. No fire button or adjustments except for air vents, just put it in your mouth and inhale.)

I showed him everything I had for him. Bottles of juices in all types of nicotine flavors, 8 of them, the starter kit and a pack of coils. I had it filled with Western just so I could get a taste of what it would be like for him to take his first puff. He didn’t like that one at all. I dumped that juice out and poured in a commercial one that was the highest rated as closest to a red cigarette. I told him to try again. This time it was “ok”. And while he wasn’t fully convinced, I felt like he was keeping an open mind.

For how simple this kit is to use, it is certainly not very easy to fill! I started showing him how it comes apart and unscrews to fill. Where the fill line is, etc… I also explained that he would need to stay very hydrated. With that mention of hydration and the filling complications, his mind closed about it!

He was not interested in vaping in any way shape or form now. He said that he couldn’t get it apart to fill it, it was too hard for his hands because they still don’t work well from the stroke. To which I replied “For now, I will fill it for you whenever you need it. There are thousands of different types of these and we can find one that is much easier to fill and that you like better. I will buy them until we get the right one”!!

He said that he doesn’t inhale when he smokes. I said that it doesn’t matter! He is breathing in the smoke all the time whether he inhales it or not! Especially when his sealed up apartment is filled with smoke!

Then he started in on the dehydration and his neo bladder. The more he drinks, the quicker it gets full and it makes it difficult for him. I don’t fully understand what the issue is there, because he has been refusing to elaborate. I believe that when it fills, he starts “leaking” and he can’t do anything to stop it but get to the bathroom fast. I said that he should be keeping hydrated anyway, he isn’t getting enough hydration, it’s obvious to see. And that he needs to learn to know when he needs to empty the neo bladder on a schedule based on when he drinks water or any other beverages. He is basically just drinking a few cups of coffee a day, I am pretty sure. He only drinks a few tiny glasses of water, probably only when one of us is there. So this is an issue,even without vaping!

If he just paid attention and tried, he could make his life easier!!! I didn’t tell him that but, I was really frustrated that he was using this as an excuse 5 years after he has had the neo bladder! He should know based on fluid intake when it is about to be full. He just doesn’t pay attention to it, or his doctors telling him what he is dealing with, or his children’s concerns about him, nothing! He is totally unconcerned about any of it. But despite my frustration I remained calm with him, because it is the only way to get anywhere without him getting very angry (another remaining affect of the stroke).

I told him that this is the most satisfying alternative to smoking. Or he has to quit if he wants to avoid dialysis very soon or maybe completely. He said “if all of this complicated stuff is the alternative, I would prefer to quit, starting tomorrow!”.

I had a feeling he was just saying that to appease me. I asked if he was going to go cold turkey, he said yes. I said of course I would prefer he quits completely instead of smoking or vaping, it is the best choice for him. But that he could get free patches or gum from the Quit Now program for 8 weeks, saving a ton of money, or a prescription from his doctor for medication that would make him not want to smoke. I said before he is stubborn, and here is a perfect example. He has free options to help him quit, yet he won’t use them. I pretty much was losing his attention at this point. (Another affect of the stroke and worsening kidney failure).

I tried to explain that only he can make the choice to quit. I am not trying to force him into it, just telling him the realities of his health. And if he is really going to quit, I am so happy for him. But, don’t feel like he needs to lie about it to me. I won’t be mad if it doesn’t work out. He has a repeated history of pretending to quit smoking and hiding it. He said he would be honest with me and that for him, cold turkey is the best way he knows how to do it.

He seemed more serious about it then. But I still haven’t brought up the subject again. I don’t know if he quit. I told him that I wouldn’t nag him because I know that doesn’t help. I think if he had quit already, he would be calling to tell me if he hadn’t smoked in x amount of days. But he has not brought it up at all, to anyone in the family.

As I left I thanked him for hearing me out. He said “you have certainly opened my eyes about it”. I said that I can’t return used equipment and if he is having trouble with quitting, I would rather see him vape than reach for a cigarette. He said that he didn’t think that would happen, he is not interested in it, but he appreciated the thought. So, for now I am holding on to everything in case he changes his mind, quits, has a bad craving and decides to try vaping in that situation.

I am surprised that he would go for quitting over vaping. I am surprised at how much he did not like the vape. I am not surprised that he probably hasn’t quit yet!

So, Basically my efforts to switch him to vaping were disastrous. He now knows his health situation and how smoking affects it, yet I believe he is still smoking.

I appreciate everyone’s help and input so much! I hope to come back and say he quit smoking! :crossed_fingers:t2:


May be ask him to read this thread…or the I quit smoke smoking story thread. Maybe him seeing you poor out your heart hear or other people’s statements may trigger him in some way.

I come from an old polish family. We are stubborn as all shit. My sister congratulated me when I called to say I was in a car acciedent and I was ok. My family tradition is to get checked in for a “minor” surgery and then 3-4 days later let everyone know how things are going.


Thank you for the recommendation! I do appreciate it your thoughts and concerns very much! If I thought it would help, I would. But he already made up his mind that vaping isnt for him, based on very little effort or trying.

He didn’t care how much work I put into it or the money I spent or how badly he is hurting his kidneys. Of course, he also has no idea how much everything cost, or the amount of research I did. But, I didn’t care how much it cost because I thought he would give it a realistic chance. I asked him to try it for one day, just one. But he wouldn’t! I didn’t expect him to give up after a puff of one juice he hated, and one that was ok, out of the 8 I had there. And barely tried to get the tank open to fill. Or let me bring him my old eGo type ones to try! He didn’t want to try! :cry:

Is it wrong that I am so frustrated that he barely gave it a chance? Or that he used such flimsy excuses as he doesn’t inhale when he smokes and that he is “unable” to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated? The more I write the more I realize that I am not frustrated, I am mad! :angry:

Also, He would be really mad if he read this thread because he refuses to believe that his personality has changed since the stroke and doesn’t really believe that he had a long period of time when he lost his memory, because he doesn’t remember it!! Also, he would be upset that I mentioned any of that or his bladder issues!

The I quit smoking threat is good, but I will have a hard time getting him to read it. He won’t pay attention for very long. If he already made up hismind he refuses to listen or pay attention.

He is basically like having a toddler at this point. I know that it is normal to feel like that with elderly parents. But I don’t even feel like 70 is elderly! He just doesn’t take care of himself. And he could do more if he tried! He just doesn’t care about his health it seems!

@Jenny1978 I know it is frustrating I have gone through the same thing with a buddy of mine (not the medical side of it just the one puff not for me) you cannot force the issue if you do heels will be dug in and you will never ever get anywhere. You have to find a different approach (not sure what it is) even if it means a few drops of say caramel nic juice in a cup of coffee/tea/water to reduce his cravings. Keep trying anything and everything just try to remember the harder you push the harder he will push back.

Good luck I hope you find a solution

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Thank you! I know, I just needed to get that out of my system. I have not brought it up to him again since last week when I went over there and I am just going to have to try another way. I don’t know how yet. I am thinking of filling up an eGo and taking that over and pretending it’s mine and having him try it. I have had him try different flavors before when I was with him.

I was at his apartment that night that I talked to him and gave him the vaping stuff because he needed my help. Long story short, one of his medications ran out and he had to get it refilled and I was only able to put it in for 3 days of his weekly pill box. He got it refilled but said he was ok to put them in himself for the rest of the week. I guess he never did, and was just taking them from the bottle every day.

That night, he couldn’t find those pills. These are giant pills in a giant bottle, Really hard to miss. He said he looked everywhere and they were gone. I said I would come right over and look, but he didn’t want me to because he said he already looked everywhere, they are gone. I told him that he can’t miss a dose, so please let me see if I could find them. He finally agreed. I walked in and the pills were on his kitchen counter right next to his weekly pill box! Not buried or hidden, right out in the open. I played it off like it wasn’t a big deal. I said that my husband will be looking for something for 15 minutes and it’s usually right in front of him. Sometimes you just need a second set of eyes. I mean that happens to all of us at some point, so I hope that was all it was!

His memory and his temper get temporarily worse when he has been smoking a lot. His blood pressure gets really high, the kidneys don’t work like they should and as a result, his mind is afffected more and more. So there is an obvious direct correlation between how much he is smoking and how well he can function on his own. There are days when I worry he should be in assisted living and there are days when you wouldn’t think anything is wrong with him!

Because of his current state, forcing an issue with him is a bad idea. It always turns into him yelling “who’s the parent and who’s the child? I’ve lived as an adult since I was 19 and I’ve done ok. So there is no need to treat me like a baby!” Even though he has started to behave more and more like one at every turn.

I hate to give such a bad impression of him. My Dad was always the kindest most friendly and funny person that you could meet. Everyone loved him. But between the stroke and the kidney failure both affecting his mind, he isn’t himself anymore, and he can’t help that. If he quit smoking, some of his true personality might come back if his kidney function improved. Because after his stroke he was not this bad. If he quit, His blood pressure would go down, he wouldn’t fly off the handle at every tiny thing. And he would live a healthier, happier life.

So, he may end up not even remembering our conversation that night if he was smoking a lot that day! That has also happened before. He forgets entire days. Or something really important that we did or talked about. Something about the way he was talking made me not believe that he was serious about quitting. And I haven’t brought it up again because I don’t know if he will remember and get mad. Or if he will have no recollection of what I am talking about!

I’m sorry for all you and your father are going through. His situation is dire. At this point, I would consider the quality of life he has left. If smoking and drinking coffee make him happy, let him enjoy. Doctors are trained to think of a patient’s death as a failure. They will continue to whip him until there is nothing of him left, sadly. You and your family should meet with a social worker and get an end of life plan. There is a time when enough is enough. It is a hard decision to make but it is better to decide in advance where the line is. I’m sorry, it is heartbreaking to deal with. Big hugs


Thank you @Jazzy1 ! I appreciate your input!

:cry: Never an easy thing to hear!

At this point do you think that quitting smoking isn’t going to do anything to improve his kidney function? And basically what is Dialysis going to do, make him miserable and tired and prolong the inevitable? And He will most likely be on it the rest of his life?

I know doctors will keep trying to keep a person of alive no matter how hard it is on the patient. I saw it with my mom. The doctors are viewing quantity of life over quality of life. And there are many cancer patients who I’ve knownwho would have been better off skipping chemo and living more enjoyable times at the end of their lives!

He has a living will. Thankfully, my mom and he both got them done when my mom was sick. We didn’t have to decide anything, and we couldn’t have made the decisions she wanted! It made it all much easier!

I would definitely rather see him enjoying what is left of his life as much as possible. And if it sounds to you like smoking is not going to make a difference in his health either way, then I understand what you are saying. I just had hope that quitting smoking would help him so much! :pensive: It’s all part of starting to grieve. Hoping for big results and changes by making lifestyle changes.

Big hugs back!!

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At this point, quitting smoking will probably make him more anxious. Maybe a Juke or other prefilled cartridge type vape would be easier and safer than cigarettes. I do think not smoking could be helpful, but doubt it would make a substantial change overall. Certainly, dialysis will help clear up his thinking and make him feel better. Dialysis is hard, special diet, fluid intake restrictions, hooked to a machine 4-6 hours 3-4 times a week, fistula placement, bleeding problems and infections. If dialysis is supportive to allow the kidneys time to heal, certainly worth a try. Long term dialysis, with the other medical problems is going to be very difficult and risky.

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Thank you for the information and your opinion! I really appreciate it. I knew dialysis would be pretty awful! But like I said, some days he is still totally normal. He has been better lately, but we are keeping a close eye on him and his behavior. If it gets bad for a longer period of time, I have to let his doctor know.

The doctor said that there are several types of dialysis he can choose. And that he should make that decision ahead of time. When we learn about them, do you mind if I ask you questions?

Thank you!!

Certainly. I wish you all the best.

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