Potential Dangers Behind E-Cigarettes
The use of e-cigarettes is way up, especially among teenagers. Now, a new study reveals the potential dangers behind e-cigarettes.
The study, based on tens of thousands of responses to federally administered National Youth Tobacco Surveys, found that tobacco use among US middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) students fell off for most products – cigarettes, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco – in the years under study. E-cigarette use among high school students jumped almost tenfold from 2011-2014, but the proportion of high schoolers who reported smoking cigarettes fell steeply from 15.8% to 9.2% over the same period, according to the new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, two products recorded steady gains in popularity; hookahs and e-cigarettes. Hookah or water-pipe use grew from 4.1% to 9.4% in the years under study, according to the CDC, while e-cigarette use grew from 1.5% to 13.4%. E-cigarettes were the most popular products in the study. “Consequently, 4.6 million middle and high school students continue to be exposed to harmful tobacco product constituents, including nicotine,” the study concluded.
Advocates of e-cigarettes say the level of risk is significantly less than with traditional cigarettes because they deliver a hit of nicotine without the array of cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarette smoke. E-cigarettes heat liquified nicotine, which may be extracted from a tobacco plant, into a vapor for inhalation.
Some researchers are concerned that people will become addicted to the nicotine in e-cigarettes instead. The long-term health consequences of vaping are not yet well known.
Julie Weber, the director of the Missouri Poison Center, talks more about the difference between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes and the harm behind them on Fox 2