Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes to break their addiction to tobacco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about half of all current cigarette smokers had tried e-cigarettes, and that more than half of people who had recently stopped smoking tobacco had tried e-cigarettes.
Many of those who smoke e-cigarettes were relying on early studies that suggested they were up to 99 percent healthier than traditional cigarettes. But recent studies have found that electronic cigarettes may not be safe at all, and researchers from West Virginia University found that the vapor from a single e-cigarette may be enough to damage vascular function.
In an animal study, they found that arteries narrowed by 31 percent within an hour of being exposed to vapor from electronic cigarettes. Long-term exposure caused aortic stiffness to increase two-and-a-half times when compared to the control group which was exposed to normal room air. In short, the vapor caused premature aging, an indicator of cardiovascular disease.
The study concluded that e-cigarettes should not be considered safe.
Other recent studies have also found that electronic cigarettes are harmful.
Greek researchers found that e-cigarettes have an immediate effect on pulmonary function. They studied 54 young cigarette and e-cigarettes smokers; 27 had mild controlled asthma and the others were healthy. After smoking e-cigarettes, measurements of airway obstruction and inflammation were worse in both groups, but were more severe in asthmatics.
A study from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that electronic cigarettes damage gums and teeth just as much as conventional cigarettes. Researchers found that vapors from e-cigarettes cause cells to release inflammatory proteins, which could lead to oral diseases.
The study, which was published in Oncotarge, also found that the flavorings added to e-cigarettes made the damage worse, some more so than others. In addition, e-cigarettes also contain nicotine, which is known to harm gum tissue.
Other studies have found electronic cigarettes to be just as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. A Harvard study found that of 51 e-cigarettes tested, at least one toxin was found in 47 of them, and 75 percent contained diacetyl, a chemical linked to a severe respiratory disease called bronchiolitis obliterans or "popcorn lung." Even more frightening, the amounts of diacetyl found in 39 of the e-cigarettes contained amounts higher than the laboratory was capable of measuring.
A 2016 study found that e-cigarettes contain high levels of a cancer-causing substance called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The researchers found that levels of PAHs, a byproduct of burning petroleum, were at least 1 million times higher than found in heavily polluted Hong Kong air.
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Fake News: E-Cigarettes Accelerate Cardiovascular Aging