“Yes- but that doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are safe”. This quote is from the CDC and is a great short answer to a very controversial question. Are e-cigarettes less harmful than cigarettes?
If you ask a young adult this question their answer will probably be along the lines of “Yes, of course they are! There is nothing bad in them.” Well, that is not the truth and it is unfortunate that the marketing world today markets them as such. E-cigarettes are marketed and viewed as a normal thing that has no residual effect on a person’s body. The truth is just the opposite.
Though e-cigarettes are still new and need more research on the health effects, the CDC has made a list of ingredients inside of them that could be harmful to the body:
- Particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavoring chemicals that are linked to lung disease
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Volatile organic compounds
- Heavy metals- like nickel, tin and lead
Not all e-cigarettes contain these and it is difficult to know which ones do or do not. However, it is possible they do and e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are still addictive.
The next important question people are asking might be… Well, e-cigarettes are less harmful so can I use them to quit smoking? Once again, this is a question that needs more research conducted before a solid answer can be given. However, the CDC states that the FDA as NOT approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking and evidence to recommend this is insufficient. On the other hand, some studies have shown that nicotine e-cigarettes may help adult smokers stop smoking in the long term compared with non-nicotine e-cigarettes. Though this may have helped some, these studies have big limitations and have large margins of error.
Even with all the potential harm e-cigarettes can cause and the insufficient evidence proving they can help smokers stop smoking, these products are still advertised to the general public. This population includes middle school and high school students who do not and are not given the knowledge of the hazards of e-cigarettes. The CDC states that in “2016 more than 4.3% of middle school and 11.3% of high school students reporting using e-cigarettes within the last 30 days.” This is larger than the adult percentage at 3.2%.
In conclusion, e-cigarettes are not FDA approved as an aid to quit smoking and are advertised to the wrong population. E-cigarettes are more dangerous to the younger population, yet they are the ones using them the most.
Help spread the word of the dangers of e-cigarettes by sharing this blog with loved ones that may be using these products, and visiting https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/index.htm for more information regarding the small benefits of smokers switching to e-cigarettes, but most importantly the harmful effects it has on the body of non-smokers.
Let’s all support a smoke free environment!