The Great Debate | Are E-Cigs Better Than Regular Cigarettes?
There is much debate between whether or not electronic cigarettes like Juul or Vuse are better for your health than regular cigarettes. On one hand, traditional cigarettes have the tar and carcinogens that are known to cause cancer. On the other hand, most people don’t know what is really in the electronic cigarettes and if it can be harmful. Electronic cigarettes may be safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes, but they may not be as safe as you think. Let’s look at the two, see what is similar, what is different, and what the issues are.
It is no secret that traditional cigarettes that burn tobacco are bad for you. These are full of toxins and carcinogens that are known to cause health problems. These include cancer, lung disease, COPD, heart disease, and stroke. Unfortunately, these products are highly addictive, and many people start at a young age with plans of it being a short term habit. This happens before they realize how hard the addiction is to quit, and many are not able to quit. According to the CDC, 10 times more people in the United States have died at an early age from smoking cigarettes than all of the wars the United States has fought in.
According to the CDC, the smoke from regular cigs can contain as many as 7,000 chemical. This is a large part of why smoking is no longer allowed indoors. Restaurants, bars and clubs must require their guests to go outside if the would like to smoke. This is to protect non-smokers from these chemicals through second-hand smoke. This is not a new law, but many of us remember how it was before.
Electronic cigarettes are not new, as they were created for commercial use back in 2003, in Beijing, China. Use in the United States began around 2007 and has gained massive popularity over the past 5 years. Although they do not contain as many chemicals as tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs are shown to produce levels of lead, nickel and cadmium in their vapor. In addition many of the liquids contain formaldehyde and diacetyl. Formaldehyde has been proven to cause cancer and diacetyl can cause popcorn lung. Popcorn lung occurs from the scarring of small air pockets in the lungs that causes the airways to become thicker and more narrow. Even though they contain a lower amount of dangerous toxins than tobacco cigarettes, they are still not good for you.
Another issue with e-cigs is the battery in them. There have been a number of issues where the battery has overheated, sometimes causing the device to explode. This can, and has, done serious damage to the hands and face of the user. Others have had the device explode in their pocket, causing damage to their legs. This has also been the cause of several fires due to leaving the batteries plugged in for too long. Most modern devices have a trickle charge feature. This stops the charging when the battery is full. Some cheaper devices do not have this, leading the a risk of fire or explosion.
Nicotine is the driving factor behind both e-cigs and tobacco cigarettes, as well as chewing tobacco. This chemical is highly addictive and is hard to quit once you become addicted. Electronic cigarette manufacturers use this as a way to encourage people to switch from traditional cigarettes. People can keep the same hand to mouth routine that they have always done with traditional tobaccco products. They also get to keep the nicotine cravings at bay because of the nicotine in the e-cigs. The difference is that you are inhaling less harmful chemicals than with a traditional cigarette. One of the biggest issues with nicotine relates to usage in younger people.
Emphasis on Youth
Nicotine has been shown to harm brain development in youth. Brain development is said to continue into your mid twenties. This is why the use of nicotine products in teens is such a problem. The addictive nature is dangerous for everybody, but especially for teen use. When students are in high school, or college, the brain is a crucial resource in success. Damaging the ability to learn can have negative effects in the long term growth of a person.
Recently, many companies have come under pressure from the government because the fruity flavors are appealing to youth. This is the reason that Juul took all of their fruity flavors off of the shelf. You can now only order these online, and must go through an age verifying process. You can still purchase tobacco and menthol flavors at local stores, as these are seen to be more for people to switch from more harmful tobacco products. This has not been approved by the FDA, but many people believe that they do help in quitting.