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The Risks and Benefits of Using E-Cigarettes; US Smoking Population Dropped, Study Says
2019-01-07 15:58:56
KC Jones

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Photo by: Coupon Stocker via Pexels

Smoking is the number one factor linked to many serious diseases including lung cancer and peripheral vascular disease.It is widely known that nicotine is the substance that smokers are addicted to, so they always make time to get a dose of it once in a while.Nicotine is a highly addictive substance due to its relaxing and stress-relieving effects.It can also lift their heart rate and mood.However, these effects are temporary, so smokers are often found going back there to lighting another cigarette stick.

Due to the link between heart and lung diseases from tobacco and cigarette use, vaping came into the scene with the emergence of e-cigarettes.Vaping allows people to get a dose of their needed nicotine fix without having to inhale the harmful substances from an ordinary cigarette or tobacco.

Some people are still hesitant about using e-cigarettes and some are totally rejecting the idea of having to use an object they would have to recharge and inhale something that appears as a liquid at first.

The Impact of Vaping on People

There are other means of getting a dose of nicotine, such as nicotine patches and gums.However, a new US study found that vaping works better than these items as a method for smokers to quit smoking. "It's absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes," said Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University in London.

The results of the study came from analyzing US Census data collected between 2001 and 2015.It found two-thirds of e-cigarette users quit smoking and that smokers were more likely to succeed in quitting smoking if they used e-cigarettes instead.In the Census data collected between 2014 and 2015, there was a significant increase in the smoking cessation rate.

The Risks Involved

There is an ongoing debate on whether e-cigarettes are safe to use.For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration required reviews of e-cigarettes on the market.Aruni Bhatnagar, director of the American Heart Association's Tobacco Research and Addiction Center, has a similar opinion, saying, “We just don't know if moving to e-cigarettes is good enough to reduce the harm”.Meanwhile, a House panel is moving to prevent this move from happening.

The National Health Service in England also warned that vaping is not completely risk-free.Compared to cigarettes, the risks of vaping are lower in number, but it still has some health risks.Some of these risks are being looked at by scientists globally.

“E-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes but they are not harmless.They are far more dangerous than people realize,” said Prof.Charalambos Viachopoulos of Athens Medical School.He noted this, pertaining to a study that found vaping could lead to long-term harm, such as the damage to vital blood vessels, a condition known as arterial stiffness.A separate study found that vaping can increase a person’s risk of suffering a stroke.

“Vaping is not safer than tobacco smoking and may pose a similar, if not higher, risk for stroke severity,” said the team of researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in their press release.

The Discussion on Vaping

Other countries have issued guidelines when it comes to vaping due to its possible impact on one's health.In England, some of these guidelines include limitations on the amount of nicotine in refillable tanks, restricted e-liquid quantities sold, and around the appearance and packaging of e-cigarettes.Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, politicians are considering altogether banning vaping in the country, because nicotine was categorized as poison by the Food and Health Bureau.

The Baptist University and the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health conducted a survey last year.It found that e-cigarettes contained cancer-causing substances a million times more than outdoor air.If the Hong Kong government gets to pass the legislation against e-cigarettes, the sale and possession of these devices will be considered outlawed, and offenders may be imprisoned for up two years and fined HK$100,000.The countries that have already imposed a blanket ban on the use of e-cigarettes include Norway, the Seychelles, and Uruguay.The US and the other European countries welcome the use of e-cigarettes and allowed the possession and sale of it to people over 18 years old.

RTHK Radio 3 DJ Peter King managed to quit tobacco use with the use of vaping devices.He noted that after quitting, he began to enjoy the taste of foods apart from having regained the health of his sense of smell. “I’ve noticed is that my chest has expanded because my lungs are working more efficiently.My sense of smell has definitely improved, and my energy levels have gone up.” He said.

The preference over smoking or vaping is still debatable, and more scientific evidence is needed to prove how badly one or both can affect one’s health.However, the current debate is widely about the capability of vaping devices to prompt a person to quit smoking, and so far, the results of the studies around it are casting a positive light on the use of e-cigarettes.

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