Vaping May Not Be Safe As You Think

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in Blog

Dr. Howell

While conventional cigarettes has been the subject of numerous studies, the data on e-cigarettes is much limited. Among the controlling factor is the fact that e-cigarette was only developed in 2003, while tobacco has been in existence for centuries.

And because of this, the risks or benefits of e- cigarettes are not well understood. There is no enough data for researchers to study. Even the US FDA cannot determine if e-cigarettes produces potentially harmful compounds. But earlier this year the Health Department of California declared e-cigarettes as public health threat.

The general perception is e-cigarettes are less harmful than ordinary cigarettes because of the absence of the burning of tobacco, which creates more or less 7,000 different compounds. Compared to only 4 or 5 compounds in e-cigarette vapor.

Hand Holding An Electronic Cigarette Over A Dark BackgroundHowever, the problem is e-cigarettes vary from one brand to another. As to the writing of this article there are more than hundreds of brands, selling from simple designs that look like ordinary cigarettes to more high-end and stylish vape pens. The Food and Drug Administration discovered inconsistencies with some brands marketing their products as nicotine-free when in fact it contains the substance. Aside from the fact that the levels of quality also varies from one manufacturer to another. The FDA seek to regulate the product soon.

Not all brands contain nicotine. Some products even allow users to regulate the amount and the potency of nicotine. However, the components of the liquid solution vary by product and flavors, each with different chemical compounds. Now, the question is, what are the effects of these 4 to 5 compounds to your body?

It all goes back to the lack of data. However, there have been a number of researches that have studied how e-cigarettes may affect the body. And here’s what they’ve discovered:

Cotton Mouth, Itchy Throat, and Coughing

Some e-cigarette users complained of cotton mouth, itchy throat, and coughing. Unfortunately, the reason for this is still unclear other than it’s due to hydration problems.

However, review on the existing research on e-cigarette use suggests that absorption of nicotine most likely happens in the lining within the mouth and the upper respiratory tract, which may be causing these problems.

Infection on the Lungs

Among the main ingredients used in e-cigarette solutions is glycerin and propylene glycol (used in artificial fogs in theaters). Glycerin may be safe when used in foods, but nobody really knows what happens when you turn it into vapor and you inhale it.

There are fears that small particles from the vapor may stick in the lung and cause inflammation which may further lead to infections. A new study published this year in the PLOS Journal discovered that vapors actually damage the epithelial cells in your airways, leaving it exposed to infections.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Several studies that examined the effects of e-cigarettes cardiovascular health suggests that the ones with nicotine increases the heart rate and blood pressure. This is due to the effect of nicotine, which stimulates the adrenaline rush. However, it was also found that e-cigarettes do not cause the same bodily disruptions seen in tobacco smoking.



Experts and authorities say there has to be more research into the issue and encourage more rigorous research on the long-term effect of e-cigarette on public health, heart disease and stroke.

Addictive Effect


Nicotine triggers the release of dopamine in the brain which makes the user feel good. While it is not considered as carcinogen it is highly addictive and may trigger the brain to be addicted to other substances.

Anti-tobacco advocates fear that this will lead to conventional smoking.

Reproductive Health

Nicotine is harmful to your baby. According to research, pre-natal use of e-cigarettes can affect the development of the lungs and brains of the unborn, and can cause issues like preterm birth and stillbirth.

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