It has long been known that cigarette smoking carries with it a substantial risk of heart disease and continues to be the number one cause of death around the world. When the electronic cigarette first appeared on the Chinese market back in 2008, its popularity spread globally. E-cig usage, also known as vaping, has become a successful method for smoking cessation, but with its wide-usage, safety questions soon surrounded the e-cig and vaping mods.
There are a great number of independent studies, along with major news and reports that have been criticized by researchers or scientists for showing bias or failing to report the study’s findings in their entirety. A major report against vaping was released last year by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. The report resulted in higher state taxes for e-cigarettes and vaping products. The vaping community fought back, stating that the Surgeon General’s office based their report on misinformation and partial findings.
For instance, Science News for Students recently published an article on the safety of e-cigs. The article described researcher Irfan Rahman’s study which detailed some of the alleged health risks of vaping, particularly in teens. Rahman and his team found that e-cig “vapors inflame mouth cells in ways that could potentially promote gum disease. That gum damage can destroy the tissues that hold teeth in place. So severe gum disease could lead to tooth loss.”
The published article also discussed the following information from Rahman’s research team.
“‘Smoker’s cough’ and bloody sores have begun showing up in teen vapers. The hotter a vaped liquid get the harsher its effects on human cells. A relatively new vaping behavior called ‘dripping’ ups the heat. This threatens to intensify a teen’s risks from those vapors.”
In direct contrast to Rahman’s findings, new research has recently been released by British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world’s five largest tobacco companies. Realizing that proper usage of vaping devices does not burn at the heat level noted in the study above, the new research suggests that vaping does not damage blood vessels or lead to heart disease. According to the study, vaping does not follow the same dangerous path as traditional tobacco cigarettes. The smoke which is inhaled from cigarette smoking causes damage to the mouth, throat, and lungs. Along with causing such damage, the smoke itself stops these wounds from healing.
Lab tests from the study revealed that vaping does not stop wounds from healing. Researchers also tested thicker and heavier vapor with twice the amount of nicotine as smoke. The test concluded that even heavy vapor doesn’t disrupt the body’s natural healing process.
The question on many minds is whether or not electronic cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. According to Cancer.org, smoking tobacco cigarettes is the cause of death in approximately six million people on a yearly basis. As a direct result of smoking, 30 percent die from cancer or another lethal disease.
The UK’s Department of Health conducted a study to find out. A group of prestigious scientists and researchers, alongside public health professionals, published a report that recognized vaping as a potential approach to quitting smoking. They found e-cigs to be at least 95 percent safer than the traditional tobacco cigarette.
The American Heart Association (AHA) took a similar stance. Although in general, the United States views e-cigarettes in the same manner as tobacco cigarettes, the AHA published a lengthy statement that suggested e-cigs are less dangerous to human health than tobacco cigarettes. In addition, the AHA noted that vaping has the ability to help smokers quit. The American Heart Association wrote the following.
“E-cigarettes either do not contain or have lower levels of several tobacco-derived harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.”
Although studies show that there are benefits of vaping over smoking cigarettes or turning to smokeless tobacco, e-cigs have only been around for a short time. Vaping still needs extensive study in order to measure both the short-term and long-term, effects that e-cigs or mods may have on the body.
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