E-cigarettes, also known as e-vapors or vaporizers, are a battery-operated, electronic nicotine system (ENDS) that simulates the experience of traditional smoking.
These “vaping” devices emit vaporized nicotine which, instead of being inhaled by the user, is simply held in the mouth and released. E-cigs are heavily advertised products, with many ad campaigns focusing on the “benefits” of vaping over traditional smoking, but are they really healthier?
One of the United States’ leading market research firms, BIS Research, estimates that the global electronic cigarette (e-cigarette, or ‘e-cig’) will reach a total market value of $50 billion by 2025.
Competing directly with “Big Tobacco” and “Big Pharma,” e-cigarette products have become a major player. While the growth of tobacco companies has stagnated in recent years, e-cigarettes – despite stricter regulations in primary markets – is conservatively expected to grow by over 20 percent year-over-year.
Since the number of people smoking e-cigarettes are expected to continue to increase as people give up real cigarettes and look or a safer alternative, the question is, what happens to your body after you smoke an e-cigarette? Lets dive in and find out…
Experts Reveal The Dark Side Of Smoking Popular E-Cigarettes
What Is The Problem
Although most health professionals will concede that vaping is much safer than traditional smoking, it isn’t without risks.
As mentioned, e-cigs usually contain nicotine, and – aside from the health problems (which we discuss later) – are being used, in increasing numbers, by high school students and other minors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nicotine found in e-cigarette products may lead to continued tobacco product use among youth. 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements, according to a recent study.
As there’s nicotine in the products, minors – under current U.S. law – are prohibited (or supposed to be) from its usage. The selling of nicotine-containing products (e.g., cigarettes and dipping tobacco) is also illegal.
However, up until recently, there were no restrictions on the sale or use of these products to minors. And many people, rightfully so, had a big problem with this.
What Happens To Your Body After Smoking ‘E-Cigarettes’
Additional studies show that the products aren’t as safe as advertised.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found “there was a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure” in those who used e-cigarettes containing nicotine.
The study also found that arterial stiffness, the “generalized thickening and stiffening” of the arterial walls, is three times higher in smokers using e-cigarettes containing nicotine than e-cigs without nicotine.
Stiffening of the arteries strains the heart, reduces blood circulation, and may increase the risk of heart damage. Conditions associated with arterial stiffness include atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), coronary artery disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, and stroke.
Dr. Magnus Lundback, the leader of the study, says his team “found there was a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure in the volunteers who were exposed to e-cigarettes containing nicotine.”
Toughening The Law
Findings such as those by the Karolinska Institute are having serious repercussions.
The European Commission of the European Union (EU) was the first body to crack down on the e-cigarette industry. The lawmakers consented to Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive in 2014, which issued wide-ranging safety and quality requirements, packaging and labeling rules, and enhanced regulatory oversight of the e-cigarette and vaping industry.
In 2016, the European Commission issued technical standards for the electronic components of e-cigarettes.
In August of 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finalized a tobacco rule to include e-cigarettes. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said:
“Before this final rule, these products could be sold without any review of their ingredients, how they were made, and their potential dangers. Under this new rule, we’re taking steps to protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco products, ensure these tobacco products have health warnings and restrict sales to minors.”
Generally, when the U.K. and U.S. take legal action, other countries do as well. To date, 79 countries have adopted laws regulating e-cigarettes; including minimum age laws, advertisement, labeling, packaging, promotion, safety, and classification legislation.
The Need For Transparency
While some studies show that vaping may help someone to cut back on smoking or quit, the companies – unsurprisingly – were taking advantage of lax regulations. Many find former promising and the latter unacceptable – particularly when minors are unnecessarily put at risk.
Lundback emphasizes this point: “Our results underline the necessity of maintaining a critical and cautious attitude towards e-cigarettes, especially for health care professionals.”
“E-cigarette users should be aware of the potential dangers of this product, so they can decide whether to continue of quit based on scientific facts.”