10 Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes


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They Cause Lung Damage
Lung health is still an issue with e-cigarettes. ©Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Cigarette smokers are known to be at higher risk for developing cancers, the biggest risk being lung cancer; tobacco users are 15 to 30 times more likely to be diagnosed with or die as a result of lung cancer than nonsmokers, and tobacco use is responsible for as many as 90 percent of all lung cancer cases [source: CDC]. Despite the marketing claims that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco, researchers are finding e-cig users experience diminished lung function, airway resistance and cellular changes, regardless of whether or not they currently (or ever) smoke cigarettes. And in the lab, cells exposed to e-cigarette vapor show unhealthy changes similar to cells exposed to tobacco smoke [source: Park et al]. Users who vape nicotine-free e-cigs can't escape the effects, either; they also experience airway resistance and other signs of inflammation as side effects of e-cigarette use.

Author's Note: 10 Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes

I was surprised to learn a few things about e-cigs as I researched the update to this article; that they're addictive, yes, but I could probably have guessed that since they are a delivery system for a highly-addictive substance, nicotine. I was surprised just how toxic liquid nicotine can be when it comes in contact with our skin, and in such small amounts, but the big one for me was how unregulated the devices are, still, after years of an uncontrolled market, and the extent of the fight the FDA has had in an effort to gain regulation. - MT

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