If you’ve been thinking about trying to kick a smoking habit, you’re not alone. Almost 7 out of 10 smokers say they want to quit. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health — smoking harms almost every organ in your body, including your heart. Almost one-third of heart attack deaths are the result of smoking and second-hand smoke. You may be tempted to turn to electronic cigarettes ( e-cigarettes, steam pens, and other vaping devices) as a way to ease the transition from conventional to non-smoking cigarettes. But is it safer for you to smoke e-cigarettes (also called vaping) than using tobacco products? Will e-cigarettes help you stop smoking once and for all?
Vaping is less risky than smoking, but it is still not healthy
E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to produce the aerosol you inhale. Standard tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of them toxic. Although we don’t know precisely what chemicals are in e-cigarettes, there is almost no question that they expose you to less dangerous chemicals than conventional cigarettes.
However, there has also been an epidemic of lung injuries and vaping-related deaths. As of January 21 , 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) reported 60 deaths in patients with e-cigarette or vaping related lung injury (EVALI). These cases tend to have a predominant impact on people who change their vaping products or use modified e-liquids on the black market. This is particularly true for vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC).
The CDC described vitamin E acetate as a chemical of concern among people with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is a thickening agent frequently used in THC vaping products and has been contained in all EVALI lung fluid samples in CDC-tested patients.
The CDC recommends that the following people:
- Avoid using informal outlets, such as friends , family or online sellers, to acquire a steaming unit.
- Do not change or add any substances to the vaping system that are not intended for use by the manufacturer.
- Do not use THC-containing e-cigarette or vaping items.
Electronic cigarettes are just as addictive as conventional cigarettes
Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which evidence indicates may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. What’s worse, says Blaha, is that certain consumers of e-cigarettes get far more nicotine than they might from a tobacco product — you can purchase extra-strong cartridges that have a higher concentration of nicotine, or you can raise the voltage of e-cigarettes to allow a greater effect on the drug.
The New Generation Is Being Hooked On Nicotine
E-cigarettes are more popular among young people than any conventional tobacco product. In 2015 , the U.S. surgeon general announced that the use of e-cigarette by high school students had risen by 900 per cent, and 40 per cent of young e-cigarette users had never smoked conventional tobacco.
There are three reasons why e-cigarettes could be especially appealing to young people. Next, a lot of teenagers claim that vaping is less risky than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have lower per-use prices than conventional cigarettes. Finally, steam cartridges are also designed with flavorings such as apple pie and watermelon that cater to younger consumers.
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