We know very well that is is harmful to our health to smoke cigarettes, but these days the health hazards of e-congarettes, also called vape, is being discussed. How can it be health hazadous when there’s no smoke, only steam? What does this liquid, also called, e-juice, e-liquid and vape juice, actually contain, which can be potentially hazardous to our health?
Health hazardous cigarettes
The Norwegian directorate for Health are completely clear about the harmful effects of smoking. Both cardiovascular diseases, lung damage and COPD, cancer and impaired vision are some of the most common serious disorders which smoking causes. Nicotine is addictive and can be difficult to wean. The cigarette smoke is very detrimental to the lungs, but are e-cigarettes any better?
Which health hazards does e-cigarettes cause?
When using e-cigarettes you heat the e-juice which turns into steam which you can inhale. Research shows that the use of vape / e-cigarette reduces the direct damage to the lungs compared to regular cigarettes, but we know very little about the long term effects of smoking e-cigarettes.
The intake of nicotine in e-cigarettes seems to be so great that one would expect the same nicotine-related effects on the cardiovascular system, pulmonary function development in the fetus and later in life, reproductive health (premature birth, stillbirth and preeclampsia) and cognitive effects found by smoking tobacco and by using snus.
Ingredients in e-cigarettes
A report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s looks at, not only the nicotine content, but also the other ingredients in the liquid used in e-cigarettes. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA), propylene glycol, glycerol, aldehydes (carbonyls): formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, acrolein, PAH, metals, flavors and other chemical substances.
Among metals, they have looked at nickel, lead, zinc and cadmium, as well as the health effects of these metals.
Second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes
There’s always someone eager to tell how little hazardous the steam from the e-cigarettes is, but according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health there is reason to believe that the nicotine damage of ordinary smoke and e-cigarettes is equally dangerous.
The nicotine levels in the air of passive exposure to aerosol from e-cigarettes can provide about as high nicotine levels in the blood as in a passive smoker of ordinary cigarettes. This implies that similar harmful nicotine-related effects can be expected from passive exposure to e-cigarettes as with conventional cigarettes.
This means that passive exposure to e-cigarette aerosol can affect the cardiovascular system, have stimulating effects and contribute to addiction.
Additional health damages when smoking e-cigarettes
A study from the Department of Environmental Medicine in New York has found that e-juices, especially when several types of flavorings are mixed together, can give e-cigarette smokers an inflammatory response, which in turn can cause pulmonary toxicity and tissue damage. Furthermore, a Swedish research shows that smoking of e-cigarettes leads to stiffer blood vessels, which are associated with heart attack and stroke.
E-cigarettes are health hazardous
Despite the fact that we don’t have enough knowledge about the long term effects of smoking e-cigarettes, we can without doubt say that with all this research showing different, serious health damages, that it is dangerous to smoke e-cigarettes. How serious it is, when measured against ordinary cigarettes, remains for researches to find out in thefuture.
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Have you experienced health problems associated with e-cigarettes? You are welcome to share your experiences in the comment field below.