Effects Of Electronic Cigarettes On Health Essay Sample
The hyped television advertisements of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are all passing on one message, that e-cigarettes will prevent the primary users and those in close proximity from the tobacco smoke. They claim that the ‘vapor’ byproduct is less harmful compared to the real tobacco smoke. The impact resulting from this hype, which is also being availed to young people, is that the e-cigarettes are acceptable for use everywhere. The tobacco companies have always endorsed the use of their products without warning the consumers of the complications associated with it. The e-cigarette marketers are not any different they are also vigilant in sales yet provide scanty information on the side effects and problems of the e-cigarette to the users who are little informed. Millions of people die every year of causes related to the harmful effects of tobacco inhalation; the e-cigarettes seem like an alternative that will address the problem.
Tobacco smoking causes addiction, with many victims trying many methods of quitting but often without satisfactory results. Advocates of e-cigarettes use the argument that the product aids in promoting smoking cessation. They claim that the product does this by assisting the smokers to trick his mind to do without the tobacco. Contrary to the assertion, researchers Grana et al. (2015) are in agreement with other previous studies that show that e-cigarette adoption and use did not facilitate greater quitting. This means that the smoking cessation assertion is nothing more than a marketing gimmick designed to attract more people into using e-cigarettes. The e-cigarette industry continues to make enormous amounts of profits while users continue to be hooked on a habit that harmful to the individuals health.
Although thorough scientific research on the contribution of e-cigarettes to declining human health has not been achieved, the little that has been done already shows negative results. Therefore, before you ‘vape’ know that e-cigarettes risk your health because they produce formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that increases the users risk for a number of cancers and increased inflammation and virus infection from the vapor.
Increased cancer risk
The much-hyped fame of e-cigarettes sounds like a panacea for nearly all health problems associated with conventional cigarettes. Contrary to this notion, we could be seeing increased deaths as a result of the vapor in e-cigarettes which has been found to contain formaldehyde. Recent research indicates that e-cigarettes pose a higher risk than conventional tobacco smoking because the exposure risk is 5 to 15 times more (Pursell 2014). These results downplay the notion that e-cigarettes are safe yet the reality is that the world is in danger as huge numbers embrace and adopt e-cigarettes. The risk is higher based on the fact that a few puffs, even 10 only increases the user’s exposure to formaldehyde by 2.5 in comparison to a tobacco cigarette smoked in full (Kaplan 2015).
Kaplan (2015), highlights that the World Health Organization warnings against formaldehyde as a harmful chemical. The organization has often linked the chemical to various cancers including nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), has supported the hypothesis that the chemical formaldehyde is a potential human carcinogen. More studies to support this hypothesis are required to shed more light on the effects of the chemical. The idea that there is a possibility showing that e-cigarettes have formaldehyde necessitates the conclusion that the e-cigarettes are unsafe, as they can cause health complications to both the primary and tertiary users.
Tobacco is a concern for health because it contains chemicals that cause various cancers. E-cigarettes are not a solution to this problem because recent studies provide an understanding that when burned e-cigarettes at high-voltage produce formaldehyde, a carcinogen. This shows how they are linked to various forms of cancers especially lung cancer. The new phenomenon of E-cigarettes lacks sufficient data and scientific information showing the long-term health effects stemming from continued use. Conclusive evidence on the subject of e-cigarettes and their direct link to cancer will require several years of research.
Reduced lung capability
The fact that large numbers have embraced the e-cigarettes serves as an indication that the health problems associated with the use of the same will be on a steady increase in the future. According to Utah Department of Health (2015) it has already been established that greater than 12 % of youngsters have been enticed into testing with e-cigarette, exposing them to the risk of addiction, lung impairment, and cancer.
In addition, Wu et al. (2014) have provided reliable data to confirm that e-cigarettes are associated with serious health risks primarily affecting the lungs. The study focused on epithelial inflammation as well as the innate immunity in youngsters. The research established that various effects of e-cigarettes including coughing, wheezing, and pneumonia had been reported in many young people social media forums. Proponents are quick to counter the assertion, citing that the consumer is at liberty to select an e-liquid that contains or does not contain nicotine. The claim opposes the generalization of results and also its use as the basis for classifying brands of e-cigarettes as detrimental. In addition to this, Wu et al. (2014) have confirmed that there is a huge proportion of young adults as well as adolescents who have adopted the habit of e-cigarettes use yet they do not have a prior record of tobacco use.
As of 2012, approximately 1.78 million US youth used the e-cigarette. This means that the manufacturers are exposing millions of young people to a product whose effects on health are uncertain. The study conducted by Wu et al. (2014), provided research data with results that show that even nicotine-free e-liquid can promote a pro-inflammatory response and HRV infections. The study confirms the health risks of e-cigarettes, confirming that safer does not mean safe.
Increased airway resistance
E-cigarettes also affect human health negatively by causing cellular changes in the air path of the user. The airway cells that have been exposed to the vapor from e-cigarettes show unhealthy changes and behave just like cells that have been exposed to tobacco smoke. Users experience airway resistance which interferes with normal breathing. Airway resistance is used to measure how the user’s respiratory tract handles incoming air flow during inhalation, as well as outgoing air flow during exhalation. Studies have shown that most e-cigarette users respond with an instant increase in airway resistance. The airway resistance was found to last for an estimated ten minutes (Wu et al. 2014). Although e-cigarettes result in decreased levels of the amount of nitric oxide that is exhaled, they cause a significant increase in respiratory impedance. The use of e-cigarettes as relates to respiratory flow resistance is no different from that of tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are also associated with physiological changes in the users. They are associated with chronic coughs and increased mucus secretions. The product may also reduce lung capacity and consequently impair the user’s abilities in carrying out activities that they previously did with ease. The human airways, gastrointestinal tract, mucous and skin readily absorb the nicotine in e-cigarettes. There are problems associated with lack of proper labeling of what is contained in the e-cigarettes as well as cigarettes containing different concentrations than what is indicated. Exposure to nicotine especially in concentrated form as is contained in e-cigarettes cartridges may cause, vomiting, nausea and dizziness. E-cigarette cartridges pose risks of nicotine toxicity based on the high concentrations. The ingestion and intravenous injection of concentrated nicotine result in poisoning that can result in death of the victim.
Heart and circulatory system Problems
E-cigarettes also affect the heart. Although they cause less irritation to the lungs compared to tobacco cigarettes, they deliver more nicotine to the body. High levels of nicotine are associated with blood vessel constriction. The unregulated nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are suspected to be higher than that found in tobacco cigarettes which might have adverse effects on the circulatory system. Prolonged use of e-cigarettes exposes the user to nicotine with an increased risk of hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a health risk that predisposes the victim to heart attacks. Although not thoroughly researched, nicotine found in e-cigarettes is associated with bacterial resistance in the users. The repeated nicotine exposure to the bacteria causes them to secrete a microfilm that coats them and increase their resistance to drugs.
Studies on the health effects both direct and indirect of e-cigarettes are underway. Although this is the case, the available facts and information already link e-cigarettes to many health complications similar to those of tobacco use. The product is not only linked to many forms of human cancers including lung and leukemia but also linked to reduced lung capability. Although marketed as a suitable option, e-cigarettes are also associated with heart and circulatory system complications, Physiological problems and increase airway resistance. It can only be assumed that further studies will continue to reveal more harmful effects of e-cigarettes.
Grana, R. A, Popova, L. & Ling, P. M. (2014). A longitudinal analysis of electronic cigarette use and smoking cessation. JAMA Intern Med, 174 (1): 812-813.
Kaplan, K. (2015, January 21). E-cigarettes can produce more formaldehyde than regular cigarettes, study says. Los Angeles Times, pp. 1-2.
Pursell, R. D. (2014). Electronic cigarettes: Do we know the benefits vs. the risks? BCMJ, 56 (8):398-399.
Wu, Qun. J. et al. (2014). Electronic Cigarette Liquid Increases Inflammation and Virus Infection in Primary Human Airway Epithelial Cells. PLoS ONE, 9 (9): 1-6.
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