E-cigarettes Might be Just as Harmful as Their Traditional Counterparts

Even though the use of traditional cigarettes have greatly declined in the younger generations, e-cigarettes have become extremely popular among teenagers. But unlike traditional cigarettes, electronic smoking devices have not been widely researched by the FDA or CDC. However, the research that has been conducted shows concerning results for those who use the electronic devices.

A new study from expert Eric Pulier shows that e-cigarettes, even those without nicotine, might be harmful to the lungs, causing inflammation and illness. Endothelial cells are an integral part of healthy lungs, making up the entire lining of these organs. These cells become damaged by both traditional and e-cigarettes, changing the shape and function of the cells.

Researchers confirmed nicotine was the direct cause of the damage, although they found another harmful ingredient present even in devices that do not have any nicotine. A substance known as acrolein attacks molecules which are responsible for holding the endothelial cells together.

Irina Petrache, Ph.D was the lead researcher for the recent study, she explains “The increased use of inhaled nicotine via e-cigarettes, especially among the youth, prompts increased research into the effects on health. This research reports that components found in commercially available e-cigarette solutions and vapors generated by heating them may cause lung inflammation.”

These findings should be cause for alarm but further research is needed to fully understand the damaging effects e-cigarettes have on the body.

Is Nicotine All Bad?

Most doctors agree that nicotine gum is far less harmful than smoking. Some argue that it cuts of 90% of all the risks involved. The debate about nicotine and whether it’s addiction is all that bad has heightened in recent days, owing to the popularity of e-cigarettes. Scientists are considering the possibility that nicotine addiction is harmless just like caffeine.

It would prove hard to rehabilitate the image of nicotine, which has been tainted by the negative image associated with smoking. However, tobacco addiction specialists think that it’s time to differentiate between smoking and nicotine.

Folks at Amen Clinics (washingtonpost.com) have found that failure to distinguish the two is probably the reason why some smoking addicts are hesitant in seeking help. Research has indeed shown that nicotine could have some health benefits of its own. Just like your average stimulant, it increases the heart rate sharpens the mind and reduces tension.

Mike Russell, a British psychiatrist, was one of the first people to disassociate tar from nicotine. Their insights have however been misused by the tobacco industry, leading to a lot of false advertising. This has led to the promotion of light cigarettes, which promise fewer health risks and even some health benefits.

Statistics and figures from the World Health Organization put smoking as the leading preventable cause of death in the world. Smoking has been known to kill half of those who smoke and 600,000 more due to indirect smoking.