What is an E-Cigarette?
An e-cigarette is operated by battery and emits vapors for the user to inhale nicotine. It is very similar to the cigarette smoking containing tobacco. The e-cigarettes have been marketed to encourage users give up on smoking. These are also known as e-cigs, vape pens, and vaporized cigarettes.
Vaping is thought of as harmless alternative to the tobacco cigarette smoking whereas it does cause damage to the body in a different way.
How do E-Cigarettes Work?
These are devices used to heat up a liquid to convert into an aerosol for inhalation. The device includes a cartridge, heating element, battery, and electronic circuit.
The user sucks the e-cigarette to activate the heating element and produce vapor for inhalation. The liquid used for cigarettes is usually nicotine which is addictive in nature and contains additional flavors also.
Other harmful ingredients can be a part of such cigarettes including volatile organic compounds, flavourants, heavy metals, and ultra fine particles. All these particles are deeply inhaled into the lungs to cause further damage for the overall body.
Dangers of E-Cigarettes
E-Cigarettes are dangerous for adults and young people as nicotine is never good for use in any form. However adolescents are prone to more damage as their brains are developing rapidly and can get affected adversely. A user who has been taking nicotine continuously will find other drugs such as cocaine more pleasurable.
The common damages cigarettes make to the body are in the form of brain risks, addiction, behaviour risks, aerosol, tobacco and other risks. Nations have been looking for ways to discourage vaping and all the alternatives.
Adolescents are more likely to suffer from damage as their brain is still in the developing phase and nicotine is known to cause harm the brain parts that control focus and concentration. Moreover, learning ability has a negative impact along with mood changes and impulse control.
Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed in the brain. New memories and skills cannot be connected strongly with the brain cells if younger people consume nicotine.
Cigarettes aerosoles also contain other ingredients which may be safe to eat but are extremely harmful when inhaled. Inhalation exposes the lungs to more chemicals than it can process and therefore flavorings can damage the lungs.
Damages Immune Cells in Lungs
E-Cigarettes are just slightly less harmfull than the old fashioned tobacco smoke as these are also known for damage they cause to your lungs. Vaping is direct inhalation of the nicotine vapors which is known to harm the immune cells of your lungs.
As a result of vaping, lungs become inefficient in fighting off infections ans there may also be chronic inhalation of the heavy metals to cause damage to the lungs, liver, brain, cardiovascular function, and immune system.
E-Cigarette Batteries Can Catch Fire
Explosions can occur as a result of defective batteries used for e-cigarettes which may also cause serious injuries to the users. Although the battery powered system for system reduces the exposure to chemicals release by burning, there are other damaging health risks.
Heavy Metals Exposure
The heating coils of the device used for your e-cigaratte leaks toxic heavy metal fumes which are directly inhaled or come in contact with the skin to cause more damage.
What Does Research Say About Vaping?
Researchers studied the effects of vaping to determine how it affects lungs. The study was carried out on the lung tissue extract of 8 people who did not smoke. The tissue was then exposed to vapors released from e-cigarettes and some of the tissues were left unexposed.
The results were observed after 24 hours of exposure to see what effects they have. The sample tissue exposed to the nicotine vapor had decreased viable cells as compared to other tissue cells that were left untreated.
The treated cells showed impaired functioning of the immune system which keeps the harmful particles away from the lungs. The decreased immunity gave a pathway to the allergens, bacteria, and dust particles to enter the lungs. Moreover, there was an increase in free radical production which is known to cause alterations in DNA and causes cancer.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
The vapor condensate is a trigger for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the effects caused. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a term used for a range of diseases related to lungs. Bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema are the diseases which may even worsen by use of e-cigarettes.
Overall, the lung tissue had changes very similar to the ones seen in regular tobacco smokers. Also, there were higher levels of heavy metals such as chromium, nickel, and lead in the e-cigarette liquid used which are clearly unsafe for health. The aerosol users are also exposed to same chemicals which are extremely dangerous.
What are the Study Findings?
Another Study was carried out on the e-cigarette devices of 56 users. The examination showed that there were 15 metals present which were inspected to be coming from the liquid of heating coil. Also, traces were found from the liquid kept in dispensaries.
The devices also produced aerosols which contained 25 times higher the concentration levels as compared to what dispensaries had. Aerosols had over the safe limits of nickel, chromium, and manganese and the concentrations were studied to be higher in the devices with frequently changed coils. This concludes that new coils leach more metals than the ones used over a long time.
Arsenic was also found in 10 of the 56 devices which is a mystery. E-cigarettes produce a cloud of vapors instead of the usual smoke from tobacco cigarettes but there is no doubt about the similar damage they both cause to the body.
E-Cigarettes were invented to discourage smokers and reduce smoking but they turned out to be dangerous as they are more commonly used. The internet is loaded with a lot of conflicting information about e-cigarettes and its usage.
However, it should be known that they are no different to the usual cigarettes for smoking as they also contain nicotine. They may be dangerous as they also leach other heavy metals that are extremely dangerous for health.
Nations should take care of the youth as they are attracted more towards using e-cigarettes as a symbol of fashion.
Parents should talk to their children and make them aware of the hazards of using e-cigarettes. This can save the new generation from falling into habbit of using e-cigarettes.
Mental awareness is the first step to be taken as young people can get affected badly with the use of such cigarettes which will only harm their development and do no good.