The increase in e-cigarette use, especially among young people, is a dangerous trend with real health risks. E-cigarettes should not be promoted as a safe alternative to smoking for many reasons.
While fewer people are smoking or starting to smoke than ever before, many use other forms of tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems. Increased use of e-cigarette (also called vaping) by children and young people in recent years is a serious threat to public health.
Battery-operated devices come in different forms and can look like conventional cigarettes, pens or even sleek tech gadgets. Users will inhale and exhale a vapor-like aerosol. This approach to nicotine poses health risks for both users and non-users.
The biggest distinction between standard cigarettes and e-cigarettes is that they contain no nicotine. Nevertheless, the cause of cancer and other serious diseases is not necessarily the nicotine in cigarettes. Traditional cigarettes contain a list of chemical products that have been shown to be noxious, and e-cigarettes contain some of the same substances.
Smoking can cause lung, breast cancer, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, etc., but typically after decades of smoking, such disease progresses. This was, however, made clear in 2019 that, despite CDC findings of vapor-induced lung injuries in hospitals, a vapor collapse and severe lung damage may be caused in just one year, probably less. Although a decade of alerts have been made about a possible danger of e-cigarette, it has not been predicted to trigger such significant losses in a very short period of time.
The body's response to a large number of chemicals in conventional cigarette smoke is responsible for prolonged inflammation and in turn, bronchitis, emphysema and heart diseases lead to chronic diseases. As the e-cigarettes still contain many of the same toxic chemicals, there is no reason to believe that the risks of such diseases are greatly reduced.
No long-term studies are performed to support the argument that e-cigarette vapor is less toxic than traditional smoke. The production of cancer takes years and e-cigarettes in the United States have just recently been launched. Whether a person's risk of cancer rises or not until the drug is available for a period of 15-20 years is virtually impossible to decide. Wherever regular cigarettes are not permitted, the safety and long-term health effects of e-cigarette users are not understood very well, despite favorable feedback.
There is also a danger that e-cigarettes will explode in the mouth or face of the user. Last year, the British Medical Journal used data from a number of agencies to estimate that there were approximately 2,035 e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries in the U.S. over a three-year period from 2015 to 2017. One of the authors of the study stated that the number was likely to be higher, as such incidents were not well tracked. The report also stated that e-cigarettes, commonly powered by a lithium-ion battery, could overheat to the point of fire or explosion, a phenomenon known as the "thermal runway”.
All studies to date have shown no evidence that vaping and smoking at the same time is no worse for you than smoking tobacco. Yet the main goal must still be to avoid the smoking of synthetic tobacco, where the greatest health benefits are to be found. Most people will quit nicotine when they pick up an e-cigarette, so when you don't need to be harsh on yourself, other people think it's much better to slowly reduce the number of cigarettes a day.
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