Linked to cancer, heart disease, erectile dysfunction and a number of other ailments, tobacco is one of the most dangerous threats to human health. It can also be one of the hardest habits to kick, thanks to its high nicotine content. In recent years, more and more people have turned to electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking. Unfortunately, this increasingly-popular product isn’t without risk, according to recent studies which looked into the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.
Impacting the Lungs
While e-cigarettes deliver nicotine to the body without exposing it to harmful carcinogens, they aren’t neutral when it comes to impacting the lungs. In fact, according to a recent study out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, these popular devices can actual expose the lungs to many of the same dangerous chemicals found in traditional nicotine cigarettes.
To reach their findings, researchers divided mice into a pair of groups, exposing only one to e-cigarette vapor. After two weeks, they found that the members of the exposed group were significantly more likely to develop compromised immune responses, when compared to the other group which hadn’t been exposed to any e-cigarette vapor.
In addition to these findings, the researchers also discovered that e-cigarette vapor contains “free radicals” similar to those found in pollution and cigarette smoke. In fact, they expressed surprise by how high the amounts were, considering that e-cigarettes are non-combustion products.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe?
Although there are considerable differences between mice and humans, this research has raised concern among experts in the medical community, especially since e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with teenagers.
While more research is needed, it’s clear that e-cigarette vapor exposes users to higher amounts of free radicals, which have the potential to damage cells and promote a number of health problems. Likewise, since research has also shown that e-cigarettes are not particularly effective at helping traditional smokers quit their habits, these devices shouldn’t be viewed as cessation aids.
If you’d like to stop smoking, talk to your doctor about potential aids, which can help suppress desire and boost your chances of quitting.