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There are many reasons to switch to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vape pen, and various other non-disposable (and disposable) vaping products) as a method to make it easier to transition from traditional cigarettes to non-smoking. But is smoking e-cigarettes (also called vaping) healthier than using tobacco products? Can e-cigarettes be used to cut down on smoking once and all? Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease offers health information about vaping.
1 The use of vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it's not entirely safe.
E-cigarettes produce heat to nicotine (extracted from tobacco) or flavorings along with other chemicals to make an aerosol which you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are poisonous. While we don't know exactly what chemicals are contained in e-cigarettes, Blaha says "There's almost no doubt that vaping exposes you to fewer toxic chemicals than smoking traditional cigarettes."
There has been an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping. In February 2020, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) verified 28007 cases of ecigarettes and vaping use-associated Lung injury (EVALI) and nearly 68 deaths were linked to the condition.
"These instances seem to involve people who have modified the vaping devices they use or illicitly modified e-liquids. This is especially the case with vaping products containing THC," explains Blaha.
The CDC has identified vitamin E acetate as a chemical to be concerned about in patients with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is a common thickening agent employed in THC vaping products, and it was detected in all lung fluid samples taken from patients with EVALI by the CDC.
The CDC recommends that people:
Don't smoke THC-containing e cigarette and vaping devices.
Be wary of using unofficial sources such as family, friends or online sellers to purchase cigarettes.
Do not alter or add substances to a vaping device , which is not permitted by the manufacturer.
A study conducted by The Johns Hopkins University on vape ingredients released in October 2021 discovered thousands of chemicals substances in vape items and many of them have not been identified yet. The ones the team was able discern were several potentially dangerous substances, such as caffeine, three chemical compounds that were not previously discovered in e-cigarettes which include pesticides as well as two flavorings linked with possible poisoning and irritation to the respiratory tract.
2: Research suggests smoking cigarettes is bad for the lungs and heart.
Nicotine is a major ingredient in regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it's highly addictive. You will crave an cigarette and then suffer withdrawal symptoms in the event that you do not satisfy the desire. Nicotine is an extremely toxic drug. It increases your blood pressure and elevates your adrenaline, which raises your heart rate as well as the risk of having a heart attack.
Does vaping harm you? There are a lot of unknowns regarding vaping, like the chemical compounds that compose the vapor and how they impact physical wellbeing over the course of time. "People need to understand that e-cigarettes are potentially dangerous to your health," Blaha says. Blaha. "Emerging evidence suggests that they may be linked to lung diseases that are chronic and asthma, and connection between tobacco and smoking with cardiovascular disease. You're exposed to many different chemicals that aren't understood yet and are therefore probably not completely safe."
Electronic cigarettes can be just exactly as addicting and addictive as the traditional ones.
E-cigarettes, like regular cigarettes, contain nicotine, and research suggests that it might be just as addictive as cocaine and heroin. What's worse, says Blaha the majority of users of e-cigarettes have more nicotine than the combustible tobacco product. You can buy additional strength cartridges that contain a higher amount of nicotine, or increase the e-cigarette's power to get an even higher dose of the substance.
Electronic cigarettes aren't the greatest smoking way to quit.
Though they've been advertised as a solution to help to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes did not receive Food and Drug Administration approval for use as smoking cessation tools. A recent study has found that the majority people who planned that they would use ecigarettes to cut the habit of smoking nicotine ended up using traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
With regard to the EVALI outbreak In light of the EVALI outbreak, the CDC cautions people who use electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, to weigh the risks and benefits and before making a decision, consider alternatives that are approved by the FDA for smoking cessation.
5 A new generation of people is addicted to nicotine.
In the eyes of young people, electronic cigarettes, especially the disposable type, have more popularity than traditional tobacco product. As per the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported using electronic cigarettes in 2021. There was more than eight in 10 teenagers using flavor-infused e-cigarettes.
According to Blaha There are three reasons e-cigarettes may be especially appealing to teens. Most teens believe vaping is less harmful than smoking. The second reason is that e-cigarettes have a lower cost per-use than traditional cigarettes. Then, the younger and older generations feel that the absence of smoke appealing. Because they are not scented, e-cigarettes alleviate some of the stigma associated with smoking.
"What I find most concerning about the rise of vaping is that people who would've never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit," Blaha adds. Blaha. "It's the same thing when you change from smoking cigarettes to vaping. It's quite another thing to start your nicotine addiction with vaping. And, getting hooked on nicotine often leads to using traditional tobacco products in the future."
Research from the CDC indicates that the use of vapes among teens has declined slightly since 2020. Being at home under the supervision of their parents during the COVID-19 epidemic could have a role in that.
The young generation changes their preferences often and, when surveyed, may not consider the use of disposable products, such as "puff bars" as vaping. The same CDC report indicates that disposable e-cigarette usage has increased by 1,000 percent among high schoolers and 400 percent among middle school students in the past year.
Vaping and the COVID-19 Pandemic
When the coronavirus-related pandemic began, Blaha states that data shows that the sales of electronic cigarettes dropped which could be due to people spending more time at home at night and avoiding stores as well as public areas.
But Blaha finds a trend which is troubling him: the rising rate of daily use of e-cigarettes among all vape consumers. "The quantity of people are using vape every day was once 1 in five, but in recent times it's up quite a bit, which is concerning because it suggests a rise in nicotine dependence. I'm keeping a close watch on that."
What Is Vaping? Everything You Need To Know
How Does Vape Work?
Vaping gadgets can vary in shape, size , and color. Vaping devices release aerosols when they heat up a liquid, that is often made up of flavorings and other chemicals that make vaping seem less harsh (initially at the very least) unlike smoking. This liquid delivers nicotine, marijuana or other drugs to the user via an inhaler that is inserted through the lungs and then expelled through the mouth, or nose.
Vaping Health and Safety Risks
However, these products typically feature a liquid containing just one-third-to-half of the nicotine present in cigarettes. For instance, one JUULpod strength of 5% is created to replace an entire pack of cigarettes with nicotine strength. However, users of vaping still face various health and safety issues.
Nicotine is a stimulant that could cause harm to the growing adolescent brain (which will continue to grow until about 25 years of age) is present in a large number of electronic cigarettes. It's not always mentioned on the packaging in a recent CDC study.
The use of nicotine in developing adolescent brains could harm the parts which control:
Nicotine use affects how the synapses--connections between brain cells--are formed. An ongoing use in adolescence will raise the risk of the development of addiction to cigarettes and other drugs.
vape uae than nicotine vaping liquid, vaping and later vapor could also contain harmful substance, for example:
Metals heavy like nickel, tin and lead
Flavorings, such as diacetyl one of the chemicals linked to lung disease
Volatile organic compounds
Ultra-fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
Scientists are still actively studying the impacts that vaping can have, particularly in relation to Vitamin E Acetate, which is which is a chemical that is added to certain liquids for vaping to help dilute. There were more than 2500 cases of patients hospitalized due to vaping-related injuries on the 17th of November in 2019. Vaping has also led to 54 deaths in 27 states and within the District of Columbia.
Who is Vaping?
According to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) information, 3.6 million children in middle and high school smoke electronic cigarettes. Smoking, defined as minimum of once per of the past 30 days, increased to 78 percent, from 11.7 to 20.8 percent in the year 2018.
The growth of e-cigarettes during middle school and in high school students has resulted in an increase in overall tobacco use of 38 percent for high schoolers and 29 percent for middle school students.
The use of electronic cigarettes isn't just for adolescents: nine percent of U.S. adults say they "regularly or occasionally" vape.
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E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers not pregnant if used as the sole substitute for regular cigarettes as well as other tobacco products.
E-cigarettes aren't safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women and adult smokers who do not utilize tobacco products.
While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and cause harm to others, researchers have a lot of information to gather about whether e-cigarettes are effective in helping people quit smoking.
If you've not ever otherwise used tobacco products other than e-cigarettes, don't start.
Further research could help in understanding long-term health effects.
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