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The Health Impacts of Vaping

Mar 1, 2024Library

Electronic cigarettes have been grossly misrepresented as “safe” and the health impacts are undermined and underreported. E-cigarettes are marketed to emphasis the appeal of different flavors and the ease of accessibility. The lack of associated smell further decreases the stigma of traditional cigarette smoking. So what is the real story?

Electronic cigarettes arrived as a tobacco product around 10 years ago, due to the recent arrival long term impacts on lung health is not entirely known. From preliminary evidence, we do know there are significant concerns surrounding lung disease from the usage of e-cigarettes. Why? E-cigarettes contain and emit a number of toxic substances as well as increase risk for coughing, wheezing, and asthma exacerbations. That appealing flavor in e-cigarettes? It is accompanied by a chemical that scars the tiny air sac in the lungs, resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways, a serious lung disease frequently referred to as “popcorn lung”. This scarring makes it harder for you to get enough air. Several studies have shown that e-cigarettes are even more likely than traditional cigarettes to cause cardiovascular plaque which leads to heart attacks and severe cardiovascular problems.

Some e-cigarette manufacturers report their cigarettes do not contain nicotine making them “safer”. Nicotine-laced vapors affect 148 genes in the brain that lead to significant behavioral changes, while the non-nicotine vapors affect a staggering 830 genes in the same area. The toxic substances in e-cigarettes cause lung disease and they are just as addictive, if not more, than traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain chemicals and heavy metals (including lead, nickel, and tin) associated with asthma and cancer, in addition to nervous-system AND chronic respiratory problems. E-cigarettes contain an herbicide used to kill weeds and volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, which is also found in car exhaust.

E-cigarettes are not a safe and effective alternative to smoking and they are do not support smoking cessation. We already know that e-cigarettes cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease; as evidence continues to emerge we are only learning more about the extensive negative health impacts on the body from e-cigarette usage.

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