While e-cigarettes are relatively new, uncertainty remains about their long-term effects. But studies show smoking disproportionately harms people
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When electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) first appeared, they became a popular way for people to quit smoking. But in 2019, a mysterious lung condition emerged that primarily affected young people, especially those who vape. This has led many to question the safety of e-cigarettes.
The condition was named lung injury associated with e-cigarette or vaping use – or ewly for short. The (median) age of those affected by the condition was 24 years. Symptoms These included respiratory complaints such as cough, shortness of breath and chest pain as well as abdominal problems, fever, chills and weight loss.
We now know that Evely is not caused by regulated, commercial nicotine e-cigarettes. Rather the situation has become linked to products Sold as e-liquids containing THC. Because THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) is expensive, some vendors were cutting their products with vitamin E acetate to make the e-liquid appear as though it contained more THC than it does. Although vitamin E acetate is an ingredient in some foods and skin care products, it harmful when inhaled.
Once the risk from vitamin E acetate is identified, cases of Evli huge fall. But that hasn’t changed the perception of many people about e-cigarettes, with many still concerned about their safety.
despite the statements of Public Health England and America Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Which suggests that e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit smokers who switch to vaping, worry about dangers of e-cigarettes, partly because of Avali, are still discouraging people who smoke from switching.
In recent surveys, nearly half America and A third British respondents considered nicotine e-cigarettes to be just as harmful as cigarettes, if not more harmful. Even after links to THC-containing products have been identified, Most people surveyed Avely was thought to be associated with specific types of nicotine e-cigarettes and not cannabis or THC-containing products.
There are many reasons why misconceptions persist about the safety of e-cigarettes, but it was no doubt that Avly was the reason. Confirmed As soon as COVID began to dominate the news cycles. And, until now, many discussions on e-cigarettes have focused on the risks to young non-smokers. it means potential benefits The key to e-cigarettes for smokers – and those around them – is often overlooked.
research shows Nicotine e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking and may be more effective than nicotine-replacement therapy. in studies From testing e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, there was no evidence that people who used e-cigarettes were more likely to experience serious health problems. In addition, e-cigarettes are considered take less risk for the audience – whereas second hand smoke Cigarettes kill about 1.2 million people each year.
It’s also worth noting that e-cigarettes typically only contain nicotine, not tobacco, which is found in cigarettes. Although nicotine is an addictive substance, tobacco smoke It contains carbon monoxide, tar and toxic chemicals – including benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. these substances Known to cause cancer and other heart and lung diseases. Cigarettes do a great deal of harm burning tobacco – Not from nicotine. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine without burning anything.
E-cigarettes haven’t been around for long, so they’re unlikely to be completely harmless, and there’s still uncertainty about their long-term effects.
The liquid and vapor used in e-cigarettes contain some potentially harmful chemicals that are also found in cigarette smoke, but lower level. In addition, there are concerns about the effects of nicotine on adolescent brain development. However, as a recent paper Studies showing that nicotine causes changes in the brain have only been done on animals. The authors argue that it is still unclear whether the same effect would be seen in humans. There is also concern that e-cigarettes could be another route to nicotine addiction – especially if people who have never started smoking start vaping.
In fact, because e-cigarettes are relatively new, uncertainty about their long-term effects will undoubtedly remain for some time.
What do we know that smoking causes disproportionate damage People from disadvantaged groups, including people from low-income groups and people with mental health conditions. Smoking is not only associated with many harmful diseases, it is also killed more people than COVID – Everywhere 720,000 In the US from March 2020. The evidence we have so far suggests that e-cigarettes may be an effective way to help people quit smoking successfully – and are likely to pose far fewer health risks than cigarettes.
When we communicate the risks of e-cigarettes, we need to be clear about which e-cigarettes may be at risk and which may be of benefit. Those who stand to benefit most from vaping – namely those who smoke – also have the right to access to accurate, evidence-based information.
Jamie Hartman-Boyce is a Senior Research Fellow, Departmental Lecturer, and Director of the Evidence-Based Health Services DPhil Program at the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford. This article is republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons license.