E-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) – a battery-powered device that heats up liquid solution to a temperature that produces an aerosol – are popular with people who smoke or have quit smoking tobacco products. They are sold in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including devices that look like regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and USB flash drives. The FDA monitors national usage rates, and has seen a dramatic increase in youth use of e-cigarettes.
While short-term e-cigarette use is less harmful than tobacco smoking, the long-term health effects remain unknown. A number of studies have shown that e-cigarettes can expose the user to hazardous chemicals and adversely affect respiratory and cardiovascular health.
One of the most common chemicals in e-cigarettes is diacetyl, which can cause a lung disease called popcorn lung. The illness is characterized by permanent scarring of the lungs and can be fatal.
Another danger is the nicotine in e-cigarettes. Nicotine can damage the lungs and other organs, hurt brain development, raise blood pressure, and narrow arteries. It also increases the risk for addiction to other drugs, especially illicit substances such as heroin and marijuana.
Research shows that e-cigarette users can develop an addiction to nicotine even after stopping regular smoking. People who switch from smoking to vaping may also experience a “chewy” mouth feeling, which can be an indication of nicotine withdrawal.
There are many ways to quit vaping or e-cigarettes. Talk with your doctor or therapist for tips to help you quit. Get support from friends and family. Consider joining a support group. Exercise can be helpful. It can help you think about other things besides vaping, and it also helps reduce stress and anxiety.
E-cigarettes are available in a variety of flavors. Many of these flavors are attractive to young people, and they can be used as a lure for youth to start using the products. High-nicotine flavored e-liquids have been found to be particularly attractive to youth, and their consumption has increased over the past few years.
In addition, some e-cigarettes have been designed to contain much higher concentrations of nicotine than what is allowed in Europe. In fact, a recent study showed that e-liquids with a concentration of more than 20 mg/mL of nicotine are available on the U.S. market.
Researchers are looking into the effects of adolescent e-cigarette use. One of the key findings is that adolescent dual-use of e-cigarettes and conventional tobacco cigarettes results in urine levels of dangerous compounds such as acrylonitrile, acrolein, ethylene oxide, and propylene oxide that are more than twice the registered levels in non-users. In addition, the use of e-cigarettes can cause dysregulation of lung homeostasis in adolescent smokers and non-users alike. This can result in pulmonary hypertension and attenuation of the immune response to respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia. It can also lead to an elevated sensitivity to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be life-threatening. The use of e-cigarettes should be discouraged in children and adolescents. 電子煙