E-cigarettes are being promoted as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Reports of 68 deaths from vaping and over 2,800 hospitalizations for vaping-related lung diseases by February 2020 have shown that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking.
The CDC reported that Vitamin E acetate was a possible cause of the outbreak. However, it is not the only potential cause. Some patients vape marijuana products or nicotine products while others vape nicotine products. We won’t be able to determine which types of vaping are the most dangerous or under what conditions until we have more detailed information from both teens and adults who were hospitalized.
There are many types of e-cigarettes. They include NEO Demi, vape mods, and vape pens. There are both brand-name products and homemade versions. Some have high nicotine levels, others are flavored with marijuana or contain only flavoring. This article will be primarily focused on e-cigarettes, as most of the research has been done on them. However, much of the information below can also be applied to other products.
They are safe or not? They can reverse the decline of smoking, give new life to an old habit, or help people quit smoking. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is An E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices. They were originally shaped like cigarettes but now include vape mods. They look similar to highlighter pens or flash drives, which makes it easy for teens to hide them from view. Brand-name products contain nicotine. This addictive drug is naturally found in tobacco. It stimulates, causes withdrawal stress, and then relaxes as the continued exposure to nicotine continues. The nicotine in cigarettes is what makes smoking addictive. Electronic products allow nicotine to inhale. They heat a liquid cartridge with nicotine, flavors, and other chemicals and create a vapor.
Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking Traditional Cigarettes?
The main difference between traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and similar products is the fact that the former doesn’t contain tobacco. It’s not just smoking that can cause cancer or other serious diseases. E-cigarettes contain some of the same chemicals as traditional cigarettes, but they also have a long list of chemicals that have been proven to be harmful.
Although smoking can lead to lung cancer, breast cancer, and emphysema as well as other serious diseases, these diseases are usually caused by years of regular smoking. However, vaping has been shown to cause serious lung damage and seizures in just one year. This is based on CDC reports.
E-cigarette smokers may also use marijuana or conventional cigarettes. It is important to understand if e-cigarettes alone can cause breathing problems. An almost 3,000-person survey of teens and young adults revealed that those who had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days were statistically significantly more likely to experience wheezing or shortness of breath than those who did not use e-cigarettes.
The body’s reaction is to many chemicals in traditional cigarettes, which causes long-term inflammation. This can lead to chronic diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema. E-cigarettes do not contain the same toxic chemicals.
The National Institutes of Health-funded a study of mice that found that smoking e-cigarettes could lead to DNA mutations that could increase cancer risk. In mice exposed to electronic cigarettes, these mutations could lead to bladder and lung cancer. Many of the harmed people had used vaping marijuana.
E-cigarettes can be smoked, so many people mistakenly believe they are safer than traditional cigarettes. A study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health revealed that e-cigarettes have higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and more airborne particles. This can be harmful to the environment and non-smokers.
Long-term studies have not supported claims that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional smoke. E-cigarettes are only recently available in the United States. Cancer can take years to develop. It is difficult to tell if an e-cigarette increases the risk of getting cancer unless it has been around for at least 15-20 years. Although e-cigarette smokers love being able to use them in places where regular cigarettes are not allowed, there is little information about their safety or long-term health effects.