Electronic Cigarettes: Human Health Effects

 

In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the e-cigarettes. Annually, we have numerous studies proving the good sides of e-cigarettes, but also the health risks they carry. The need for an in-depth analysis of electronic cigarettes is evident. However, they appeared recently on the market and scientist need more time to determine possible health effects.

The concerning fact is that e-cigarettes are more prevalent among the younger population, between 18 and 24. Despite their widespread use, the health effects of them are still unclear. So, let’s look at the evidence so far and draw some conclusions.

E-cigarettes, nicotine, and cancer

Many reports found conclusive evidence that the vast majority of electronic cigarettes contain various potentially toxic substances. However, when compared to regular cigarettes, they still have fewer toxicants and carcinogens present.

There is also specific evidence that heart rate increases after nicotine intake from an e-cigarette. Some chemicals that are present in e-cigarettes are capable of causing DNA damage and mutations. This is an essential fact to consider because the long-term use could increase the risk of cancer. Scientists used intermediate biomarkers on animals, and those results support this claim.

On the other hand, the authors of this study also emphasize that evidence are limited and require more research and whether the long-term exposure to e-cigarettes will provide the same results.

So far, there is no available evidence whether or not e-cigarettes are associated with cancer with humans.

Respiratory and developmental effects

Based on numerous studies, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes cause respiratory diseases in humans. But, the in-depth analysis found the moderate proof that electronic cigarettes may lead to increased coughing and wheezing in teenagers, as well as increased asthma.

When we are talking about pregnancy and developmental effects, the study hasn’t found available evidence whether or not e-cigarettes affect pregnancy outcomes. With that said, we don’t have enough proof to claim that electronic cigarettes use affects fetal development.

Various reports also mention that we need more research to understand the health risks of e-cigarettes fully and whether they have the power to help people quit smoking.

Harm reduction

Based on the research so far, we have already established that tobacco and traditional cigarettes carry many harmful and carcinogen substances. However, that’s not the case with e-cigarettes. They still have some dangerous chemicals, mostly nicotine, but the number of other damaging substances is significantly reduced.

It is true that e-cigarettes increase the risk of using tobacco products among youths and young adults, but they can also lead to cessation in long-term smokers and help you quit smoking.

Besides previously mentioned health risks, we still need some time to determine whether e-cigarettes can damage our health and body and whether the prolonged use can cause cancer. Scientists agree on one thing; they aren’t harmful, but, they aren’t safe as we want to believe, mostly because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause specific health problems with the prolonged use.

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