Vaping has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Many people began to use e-cigarettes and vapes to help them quit smoking. Vaping was introduced as a safer alternative to smoking regular cigarettes and has now become a social trend and a habit formed by many.
Research – Health Concerns?
The long-term effects from vaping are still unclear, given that e-cigarettes were only introduced in the United States in 2006. There are many researchers out there arguing that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking. However, there are just as many, if not more, arguing that vaping is just as dangerous. There are many different types of e-cigarettes, or vapes, in the market. Each device holds a different concentration of chemicals and/or nicotine which makes it more difficult to come to a definitive conclusion.
The research team at The University of Connecticut is on the end of the spectrum that says vaping has the same cancer-causing effects as smoking tobacco cigarettes. UConn’s research team used a testing device to compare the DNA-damaging chemicals in nicotine and non-nicotine based e-cigarettes. (Damage to DNA causes cellular mutations, which can cause cancer.) Their research showed that about 20 puffs of an e-cigarette was equivalent to smoking one unfiltered tobacco cigarette. The results of their study revealed that e-cigarettes containing nicotine-based liquids are as damaging to human DNA as unfiltered cigarettes. The team also found that possibly due to the many chemical additives, non-nicotine e-cigarettes can be as damaging to human DNA as filtered tobacco cigarettes. Overall, the research concluded that vaping can still cause cancer (Uconn Today).
Researchers in favor of e-cigarettes admit that they contain carcinogens, but argue that there are much fewer harmful chemicals present compared to traditional cigarettes. The effects of second-hand smoke are believed to be substantially less dangerous from a vape than a traditional cigarette. Some research also suggests that vaping has the same effect as patches to help smokers reduce and potentially quit their smoking habits (Project Know).
Injuries from Explosions
Research not only suggests that vaping can be just as medically damaging to one’s health, new studies suggest that bodily injuries have been common from the use of e-cigarettes. “Users of various e-cigarette devices sought legal compensation against manufacturers after their devices exploded, claiming to experience the following: severe burns, blindness, dental damage, physical and emotional scarring, and other permanent injuries” according to Drugwatch.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, patients suffered from injuries to the face, hands, and thigh or groin due to flame burns, chemical burns, and blast injuries. At times these explosions caused tattooing on the skin, loss of soft tissue, and loss of teeth resulting in extensive wound care and skin grafting.
This article points out some immediate health and safety concerns from vaping. As these devices are still fairly new to the market, a solid conclusion as to long-term effects of vaping is yet to be determined. Researchers will continue to investigate the health and safety concerns of vapes and e-cigarettes as time and technology progresses.
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