Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes have started a new trend for smokers, especially those who are constantly regretting to have started in the first place. The marketers claim that it is a safer alternative to a conventional cigarette and can even be helpful in quitting smoking. But are all these claims based on facts, or is this super lit device only there to make you feel better about not quitting? Let’s read ahead to find out!
ABC of E-Cigarettes
An electronic cigarette is a battery operated device that looks exactly like a cigarette and works by heating a liquid cartridge containing nicotine, flavors, and other chemicals into a vapor. Because e-cigarettes heat a liquid instead of tobacco, what is released is considered smokeless. They now come in a variety of forms and include vape mods, juuls and vape pens.
Killing the Misconception
The key difference between conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes and other such products is that the latter does not contain tobacco. But, it isn’t the only harmful component present in cigarettes. And it most certainly isn’t the only carcinogenic either.
A research was conducted in which 42 liquid cartridges were studied, and it was determined that all of them contained formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer in humans. In another study, the saliva of 5 adults before and after a vaping session was studied, and there was a considerable amount of harmful chemicals found, including acrolein which is known to mutate the DNA, eventually leading to cancer. Apart from that, nicotine itself is highly addictive and has shown many systemic side effects, which makes it just as bad.
Now comes the question that does vaping really help to cut down on regular cigarettes? And, in all honesty, there are no long-term, high quality studies looking at whether e-cigarettes can be used to quit smoking in the long run. Most of them are of a very short period of time and only based on self-reported use of e-cigarettes. And most importantly, if a product has not been approved by FDA for what it claims to do, these claims are of zero value, which goes exactly in the case of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have not been in the market for long enough to determine the potential harm they can cause. Yet, the few studies carried out by FDA suggest that they are just as bad as regular cigarettes. So, stop looking out for excuses by trying to find out the advantages to a harmful thing when there are none. Instead bid farewell to all kinds of cigarettes, and when you are craving for some then eat a chewing gum. Remember, these e-cigarette marketers aren’t going to be there when your health fails, so start taking care of yourself, save up some money and be a healthy you.
Guest Post Credits: Dr. Maleeha Syed