SMOKING KILLS… DOES "VAPING" DO THE SAME?
The addictive stimulant constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure and restricts blood flow to your heart. It may cause airway problems and has been linked to disturbed sleep rhythms, depression, diabetes and even some types of cancer. It can also make you dizzy and irritable. Perhaps most worrying is that no one can know for certain how much nicotine is in any one e-cig, especially since taking in too much nicotine can be fatal. Since it is unregulated, an e-cig cartridge could contain anywhere from 1 to 100 milligrams of nicotine (there's about one milligram in a traditional cig). An FDA analysis recorded nicotine doses of between 26.8 and 43.2 micrograms per puff and even detected nicotine in products labeled as nicotine free.
Researchers remain divided over e-cigarettes' other ingredients, usually a mix of water, flavoring, and propylene glycol. The latter is the chemical that creates the vapor and is "generally recognized as safe" by the CDC when used as a preservative in foods like salad dressing and ice cream. It's also, however, an ingredient in antifreeze and condoms and the WHO officially reports that it is an irritant when inhaled. Now, with the expansion of the market and questions being raised about propylene glycol, the e-cig industry has developed the vegetable glycerin based e-cig or vaping liquid. Don't let the name vegetable deceive you. It still contains the addictive chemical nicotine.
And then there is the possibility of unclear and unnamed chemicals lurking in e-cigs. A series of 2009 FDA lab test found that some e-cigs contain carcinogens such as formaldehyde. The concentrations appear to be very low when compared with cigarettes, but we don't really know the clearcut, long-term health risks of decades of e-cig use.
- Dangerous trail of the market
Aside from ingredient concerns, e-cig firms are catching flak for marketing to nonsmokers, especially teenagers. Since it is currently the tobacco in cigarettes that is regulated, presently there is no governmental law regulating the sale of e-cigs to people 18 and over. This marketing approach can add up to big bucks for manufactures, many of whom are members of the big tobacco lobby. Since nicotine can be as addictive as cocaine, many doctors actually worry that ecigs will act as a gateway to actual smoking. In other words, as people get habituated to and hooked on e-smoking, they might proceed to experimenting with more powerful and poisonous real cigs.
Researchers estimate that to date more than 1 million nonsmokers have tried vaping.
The majority of users, however, were already smokers, including those desperate to kick the habit. E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved as quitting tools, though that hasn't discouraged some makers from dropping hints. One company sponsored its own study that found 70 percent of people who switched to e-cigs quit tobacco after 90 days. A study in the medical journal "The Lancet" offers a more sobering perspective: After six months, only 7 percent of e-cig users quit tobacco cigarettes! E-cigarettes aren't exactly awesome but if you are a smoker and there is an alternative that's equally addictive but much less likely to kill you, that's still somewhat of a win. There is that 7 percent chance they could help you quite entirely and you will be sparing yourself thousands of toxins. But the most important rule is that if you aren't already a smoker, don't pick up an e-cig for fun!
- Social Smoking is Still Bad!
In addition to beating up your lungs, real cigarettes - even just one - can mess with your body on a cellular level, leading to:
Inhaled cigarette smoke ages your ovaries, impairs estrogen production and damages egg DNA.
It can also lead to infertility and early menopause.
In men, it will decrease the amount and quality of sperm, cause veno-vascular damage resulting in varicocele and thus reduce the fertility index.
A woman's risk for colon cancer shoots up 10 percent if she is a smoker, while in men it goes up by about 8 percent.
Dirty chemicals in cigarettes may push breast cells toward cancer. A new analysis revealed that women who smoked had 24 percent higher chance of developing the disease, per a study in the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute."
Researchers in the journal "Stem Cell" found pre-cancerous changes in smokers' lung cells even when chest X-rays were normal.
Translation: Smokers might appear healthy but their cells can tell a more morbid story.