Blog The Risks Of Smoking E-Cigarettes

The Risks Of Smoking E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, vape) have come a long way since they first appeared on the market in 2007. From USD$11 billion in 2019, the market is expected to rise to reach USD$23.9 billion in 2023, according to The Business Research Company.

While it’s said to have been created to encourage smoking cessation, it has become a gateway to nicotine addiction instead, especially among the younger generation. Often marketed as a safer way to smoke, e-cigarettes may carry more harm than actual tobacco products.

This article will explore the basics of e-cigarettes and the accompanying risks involved in smoking this vapor-generating device.


What Are E-Cigarettes?

What Are E-Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are electronic devices equipped with a heating mechanism that can vaporize flavor and nicotine (optional) infused liquid, commonly referred to as e-liquid or e-juice. Users can then inhale the vapor produced and ‘smoke’ it.

E-cigs come in various shapes and sizes; older models look like traditional cigarette sticks, while the modern ones look like small boxes and tubes. It has five main parts: body, mouthpiece, cartridge/tank, healing element, and battery.

Vaping And Nicotine Addiction Of Adolescents And Teenagers

Vaping And Nicotine Addiction Of Adolescents And Teenagers

According to CDC, as of 2018, there are an estimated 3.6 million American adolescents who reportedly use e-cigarettes regularly. This translates to about one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school learners.

Currently, some popular e-cigarette manufacturers have been constantly receiving complaints about marketing their products to teenagers and downplaying the risks of smoking e-cigarettes. Most complaints focus on products with candy-sounding names and flavors, which may influence young people to try vaping and get hooked to nicotine.

One of those manufacturers is Juul, and if you believe that the company’s marketing is damaging to society or you believe that you were deceived, you should contact and consult a Juul lawsuit lawyer.

The Dangers of Using E-Cigarettes

The Dangers of Using E-Cigarettes

Because e-cigarettes are fairly a new product and manufacturers use a wide range of chemicals to produce e-liquids, researchers have yet to come up with a definitive study to determine the long-term effects of smoking e-cigs.

The e-juice typically contains nicotine—the main addictive ingredient present in tobacco products. Note that not all e-liquid in the market contains it. However, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 99% of the e-cigarettes liquids they surveyed contained nicotine.

Because nicotine is often present in e-juice, e-cigarette users are at risk of nicotine addiction. Therefore, vaping may result in the following:

1. Lung Diseases

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in 2018 released a consolidated study report reviewing over 800 different studies about the use of e-cigarettes. The report concluded that using the device can cause health risks because of the potentially toxic substances contained in the device and liquid.

Take note that the two main components of e-liquid are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Both ingredients are used as additives in food, cosmetic products, and other day-to-day items that people use and consume. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina identified that these two can damage the cells.

Some studies also found that the two ingredients may produce formaldehyde and acrolein if the device is used improperly. As you might not know, those two byproducts can cause lung and heart diseases. Acrolein, a known herbicide, by itself can introduce acute lung injury and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The same study also discovered that using e-cigarettes could increase one’s risk of developing a cough and wheezing, as well as increase the incidence of asthma attacks. Some e-cigarette users were also found to commonly suffer from the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight reduction.

Aside from those, note that nicotine can also trigger serious adverse effects on your skin.

2. Hampers Brain Development

The CDC also stressed that nicotine poses a critical risk to the neurological development of adolescents who consume them via e-cigarettes. According to the said agency, this addicting compound can negatively impact the sections of the brain responsible for learning, mood, and attention, as well as impulses.

Nicotine found in e-liquids can also modify the ways synapses are formed. Synapses are connections in the brain that transports signals from one neuron to another. When a new memory is formed or a new skill is learned, synapses are built within the brain cells. They play a key role in the brain’s memory functions. In teenagers, synapses work fast, making them retain memory faster.

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3. Physical Injuries From Explosion

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recorded a total of 195 cases of e-cigarette explosions from 2009 to 2016. Below is a quick rundown of what happened to the users during the explosions.

  • Thirty-eight users experienced severe injuries and were admitted to the hospital. Some may have lost a specific body part, suffered 3rd-degree burns, and incurred facial injuries.
  • Eighty users had moderate injuries, described as smoke inhalation, 2nd-degree burns, and wounds requiring stitches. Most of the treatments were done in emergency rooms.
  • Fifteen users suffered minor injuries which include 1st-degree burns, mild lacerations, and smoke inhalation.

On the other hand, below is a run-through of the circumstances during the explosions.

  • Sixty-one of the explosions happened when the device was in the user’s pocket.
  • Sixty of the explosions occurred when the device was being used.
  • Forty-eight of the explosions happened while handling e-cigarette batteries.

4. High Metal Content May Cause Various Health Symptoms

The metal coils and liquid compartments in e-cigarettes are believed to emit toxic metals that include lead, nickel, and aluminum. Tin, hexavalent chromium, and antimony were also found in the samples.

When inhaled by users regularly, heavy toxic metals may cause the following:

  • Problems with the reproductive system: Women can develop menstrual issues, suffer from miscarriage, or have infertility problems with too much heavy metal build-up.
  • Digestive issues: Hazardous metals can disrupt your gut balance and result in problems with digestive problems that could manifest as bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, or
  • Headaches: Toxic metals can cause severe headaches that seem to appear out of nowhere.
  • Persistent discomfort: Pain can be caused by various conditions. The gradual build-up of hazardous chemicals in your body can result in chronic pain.
  • Nervous system malfunctions: Harmful metals that accumulate in your body can cause a tingling, burning, and numbing sensation.

Note that other health conditions may cause these symptoms, so it’s best to seek an appointment with the doctor for proper diagnosis.

Final Thoughts

E-cigarettes are often marketed as a safer way to smoke. However, with no concrete proof to back its safety claims, you should take what you hear with a grain of salt. If a smoker wants to quit, seeking professional help instead of using e-cigarettes may be the best option.

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