Battery-powered e-cigarettes were initially revered as a healthier alternative and method of therapy to help the addicted quit smoking| but according to research presented at this year’s American Thoracic Society International Conference| there is little evidence these devices are effective in helping people quit nicotine for good. Even worse| many young people who were educated about the deadliness of a cigarette habit have started vaping since it’s been deemed a “healthier” option| and the numbers of new users are staggering. According to the CDC| e-cigarette use among middle school students tripled between 2013 and 2014.
It’s true: certain levels of toxic chemicals are lower in e-cigarette vapor than tobacco smoke and one study found them to be less addictive than regular cigarettes| but powering up an e-cigarette doesn’t come without any risk. In 2009| the FDA found a number of cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarette solution| including one ingredient used in antifreeze| and more recently| one 2015 study found that in some cases| when heated at a high-temperature setting| electronic cigarettes can produce significantly higher levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde than traditional tobacco smoke. Some think that opting for a nicotine-free solution in an e-cigarette cartridge removes any risk to your lungs| but new research has found that both the nicotine and nonnicotine solutions damage the lungs| affecting the lining on a cellular level. So far| there is evidence that this change in the lining leads to lung injury and inflammation.
E-cigarettes were introduced to the public less than 10 years ago| and until research has taken place over an extended period of time| we won’t know just how harmful they are to our health. With more and more studies being released about the harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes| why take the risk?
Image Source: Shutterstock