The main argument behind the marketing of e-cigarettes is that they are a much safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and a way for smokers to get their nicotine fix without having to inhale the smoke of cigarettes that has already been directly linked to many types of cancer as well as heart disease.
However, as time goes by and information pours in, it is revealed that e-cigarette vapors may not be all that innocent, since they are alleged of being full of lung irritants and chemicals with addictive properties that could adversely affect one’s health, including causing heart troubles in the long term.
Electronic cigarettes are extremely popular with and appealing to younger people, who were not smokers of traditional cigarettes in the past, who may be seeking a nicotine dose for a multitude of reasons, such as the reduction in appetite, boosting one’s mood or increasing the heart rate and alertness, since nicotine is a known stimulant that could positively affect one’s endurance and even enhance a person’s performance. However, prolonged use renders a person a nicotine addict and may then lead them to become a regular smoker of normal cigarettes.
Besides the obvious danger of directly leading a user to a nicotine addiction, the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is said to be potentially culpable for an array of other negative effects on one’s health, mostly because, due to the fact that e-cigarettes are still largely unregulated, their manufacturers are not obliged and do not provide a detailed list of the ingredients contained in the e-liquids and the vapors they produce, which are then inhaled by the e-cigarette users.
According to various health professionals however, although e-cigs do not contain real smoke, they can still be harmful to the lungs, since they may cause an inflammation, give someone a chronic cough or create mucus, while they can also impair one’s overall lung capacity and decrease lung function, impairing a person’s ability to exercise, especially for intense gym-goers.
Moreover, according to the views of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) e-cigarette usage could be a potential cause of asthma attacks and allergies, because they may contain impurities or contaminates, while additives such as flavors, could be a source of allergic reactions.
Furthermore, early scientific research on human cells has indicated that e-cigarette vapor may act on lung cells in a way similar to cigarette smoke, pointing to a potential link between vaping and an increased risk for lung cancer.
Although voices calling for this to be addressed as soon as possible are abundant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not yet regulate e-cigarettes, and this is why some e-liquid brands are currently suspected of containing nicotine levels which are significantly higher than what is found in a typical pack of traditional cigarettes. Therefore, health practitioners arguing against the use of e-cigarettes point to the fact that nicotine is a poison and smoking or even inhaling it could lead to nicotine poisoning. Moreover, the highlight nicotine’s effects on the circulatory system, since it causes blood vessels to constrict.
In additional, a recent study has proven that prolonged exposure to nicotine may be linked to an increased risk for atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the arteries that can cause heart attacks, while another study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research has revealed that while secondhand exposure to e-cigarettes is likely less harmful than tobacco smoke, it still exposes bystanders to some levels of nicotine.
In a nutshell, although perhaps less profound than the effect of real, traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are also linked to some potentially dangerous health problems and these factors should be made clear to all those deciding to switch to the use of an electronic cigarette.