In an alarming revelation for the younger generation, experts have highlighted the potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
Tobacco consumption, leading to over 8 million deaths annually around the world, has found a new avatar in E-cigarettes or “vaping,” alongside smokeless tobacco and waterpipes. The shift only seems to have increased the severity of health risks.
The e-cigarettes, appearing like everyday use objects such as regular cigarettes, pens, or even USB flash drives, carry cartridges containing a harmful liquid. This liquid transforms into vapors on heating, which consumers inhale. Often misunderstood as safe due to the absence of solid burning tobacco, the dangers multiply with various dangerous substances like chemical flavors, nicotine, and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in the inhaled liquid.
Despite the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, health risks persist. Ongoing research paints a worrisome picture. The chemicals in e-cigarettes are linked to brain and heart health issues and various cancers in the long term. Additionally, the disease called EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping product use-Associated Lung Injury) came under the spotlight in 2019, with e-cigarettes being a suspected cause.
E-cigarettes also pose the potential threat of secondhand exposure to their harmful emissions, leading to severe lung diseases. The CDC has recommended against their use. Those continuing should avoid modifying cartridges, procuring e-cigarettes from street vendors, and be vigilant about their health. Symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and abdominal pain should be promptly addressed to a medical practitioner.
Some perceive e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking. However, the FDA hasn’t approved e-cigarettes for this purpose due to associated health risks. Instead, it recommends conventional nicotine gums, patches, lozenges, and nasal sprays.
Proven diseases linked with smokeless tobacco products include various cancers and heart conditions due to their high nicotine content. Additionally, smokeless tobacco often leads to gum diseases and tooth decay. Waterpipes, another alternative tobacco product, expose users to higher levels of damaging toxins, leading to severe conditions like lung cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, and esophageal cancer.
The fight against tobacco consumption in all forms continues as researchers and policymakers seek to protect the public, particularly the younger generation, from its devastating effects. The integration of further research, policy reform, and public education is necessary to curtail tobacco-induced health risks.