For many smokers battling a nicotine addiction, and for experimental teens, e-cigarettes (aka “vaping”) are an alluring phenomenon. Malls across America have been filled with kiosks of vapor puffing salesman soliciting to both smokers and non-smokers. E-cigarettes are commonly advertised by claiming to be a safer and more convenient alternative to smoking, odorless, less toxic, and have appealing flavors like bubble gum, strawberry, and chocolate.
However, the old saying may be true, all that glitters is not gold. The craze for e-cigarettes may soon be up in smoke (pun intended). Recent medical research has revealed that the trendy alternative to smoking exposes users to unknown dangerous health risks.
Weaken Immune System: According to the researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, e-cigarettes come at a perilous price, “e-cigarettes compromise the immune system in the lungs and generate some of the same potentially dangerous chemicals found in traditional nicotine cigarettes”.
Cancer: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently reported that hidden Formaldehyde was found in e-cigarette aerosols. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Formaldehyde is classified as a well-known carcinogen. The NEJM report found that “vaping” increases the risk of cancer, and when compared to smoking (in some instances) the risk of cancer was even higher.
Birth Defects: Formaldehyde, the above-mentioned toxin, has been proven to also cause birth defects and reproductive harm. (see the NIH link above for more information)
Lung Disease: Researchers from Harvard's School on Public Health issued a study on December 8, 2015 that reported e-cigarettes cause lung disease, such as “popcorn lung”. The Harvard study reported that cancer-causing toxins were found in the flavoring chemical.
Given the results of such studies and reports, it may be unsettling that it is reported that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not test e-cigarettes for safety and their potential health effects, and it does not regulate e-cigarettes. However, users of e-cigarettes should take heed to the following alert from the FDA:
“E-cigarettes have not been fully studied, so consumers currently don't know:
- the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended,
- how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
- whether there are any benefits associated with using these products.”
If you believe that you have been harmed by e-cigarettes, contact Gilman & Bedigian, LLC at 410-560-4999.
To report an adverse effect from using e-cigarettes, contact the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or through their online safety reporting portal.
To ask questions about e-cigarettes, contact the FDA at 1-877-CTP-1373 or email [email protected]
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