If you've considered puffing on an e-cigarette, chances are you're trying to ditch the death sticks. You've probably heard cigarettes' electronic brethren are less damaging to your lung, deliver less uber-adding nicotine and, fingers crossed, can help you wean off the traditional child.
Some of that is true-but just because e-cigarettes are healthier does not make them healthy, says Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., a cardiologist and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at
Here's a run-down of the most common myths-and-the-reality-vaping with an e-cigarette actually does to your body, brain, and life.
. They Fill Your Lungs With Less Carcinogens Than Cigarettes
Completely switching over from regular smokes to e-cigs lowers your exposure to toxicants and carcinogens, confirms a 2018 position paper in JAMA .
"There are more than 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes, including dozens of carcinogens, "says Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D., a professor of public health sciences and psychiatry who studies smokers and tobacco products at Penn State University. The vapor that comes out of e-cigarettes is not harmless, but it has maybe 10 to 20 chemicals compared to a cigarette's thousands.
There are a few bad habits that override this benefit, though: If you keep smoking on top of vaping-like most e-cig users do-you're actually putting more chemicals into your body;
"Once you reach the point of dry vaping-continuing to puff at the bottom of the cartridge until there's no liquid left-there's nothing to cool down that
"Most importantly, just because e-cigs deliver less carcinogens does not mean they're harm-free."
"E-cigs are different from cigarettes, "says Glantz. Plus, if you're a lifelong e-cig user, even that low level of carcinogen exposure will catch up with you.
2. They'll Still Tear Up Their Lungs-Especially Flavored E-Cigs
The Annual Review of Public Health The Cigarettes, the electronic child still exposes themselves Lung damage is thanks to a few things.
Lung damage is thanks to a few things. For one, the two chemical found in all e-cigarette liquid-propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin-the same compounds used in a fog machine and an older study found. , Chest tightness, and wheezing.
Vaping so lowers your ability to fight off infection: E-cigarette liquid and vapor alveolar macrophages, our main respiratory immune response that gets rid of infections, toxins, and allergens, according to a 2018 study in British Medical Journal Thorax . Meanwhile, research from UNC Chapel Hill reports cinnamon flavoring in particular likely impairs respiratory immune cell function,
And that's just the tip of the iceberg of the harm flavorings pose: One 2017 Harvard study analyzed 24 different flavored e-cigarette brands and found it to be one of the most widely used aldehydes or flavoring chemicals on the FEMA "High Priority Chemicals" or FDA Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents lists. What's more, diacetyl-a chemical known as wreak havoc on your respiratory system and cause "popcorn lung" -was found in more than 60 percent of the samples.
Why are the flavorings allowed? Excluding the above, most of the chemicals that are added have been approved by the FDA for use in food, Glantz explains. But in e-cigs, we're not ingesting them: "Heating the flavorings, aerosolizing them, and breathing them in will tear you up," he confirms.
. 3 They Wreak Havoc on Their Heart
Just like smoking cigarettes, we know puffing the electronic variety puts your heart at risk. E-cigarette use increase your risk of having a heart attack, but since then who the electronic stick is
Once again, since research on e-cigs is so new, we do not exactly know why. Research out of Poland suggests the acrolein, formaldehyde, and ultrafine particles in the e-liquid most likely to contribute to the hardening and narrowing of your arteries.
And those ultrafine particles, which are about 1 / 100th the size of a human a giant role, Glantz says. When you inhale e-cig vapor (or cigarette smoke, for that matter), these ultrafine particles deliver the nicotine straight to your lung, then give it a big blast to your heart, all within seconds. Ultimately, this restricts blood flow to your ticker.
What's more, inhaling these toxic substances activate platelets, Glantz says. When platelets float around systematically (instead of reacting to, say, a cut), they can stick to other free-floating platelets. Eventually, this may form a clot that floats through your blood until it gets big enough to clog an artery and cause a heart attack or, if it's in your brain, a stroke, Glantz explains.
Even if it does not turn into a life-threatening event, the conglomeration of platelets tears up your endothelium (the tissue that surrounds your organs, especially blood vessels and the heart). These tiny tears can not be built into any of these bars and restaurants.  New York Bans Vaping Anywhere Cigarettes
4 , They Can Reduce Their Dependence on Nicotine
The nicotine in e-cigarettes plays on the rewarding centers in your brain the exact same way it does with the traditional types, Foulds says. The Difference: While you are eating a high amount of nicotine with each puff, doses in e-cigarettes are less reliable and often lower, even if you choose a high nicotine brand, he says (Note: Some e-cigs can hold their own against the traditional child, but standardization has not hit yet, so it's hard to know how much nicotine you'll really get from a brand, whatever the label says).
And in fact, ex-cigarette smokers report
"On average, e-cigarettes, puff for puff, are delivering less nicotine to your lungs and to your brain, so it's enough to take the edge off cravings and reinforcing-but overall weakening-the link with your addiction, "Foulds explains. [Citation needed] [e-cigarette use, ex-smokers reduced their nicotine withdrawal symptoms and exposure to toxic cigarette smoke, 2018 […] published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology .
. 5 In Reality, They'll Probably Keep You Just As Addicted
Even though 85 percent of e-cigarette users said they were no more likely to give up cigarettes than people who skipped vaping, according to a 2013 study on four countries in American Journal of Preventive Medicine .
"Most people try e-cigarettes to help them quit, and they think something miraculous will happen that wanna make them not want cigarettes any more, "Foulds says. "But they actually just end up supplementing with the electronic child in situations where they can not smoke traditional cigarettes and use them to top off their nicotine. They end up taking more nicotine in a day than they would have without e-cigarettes. "
Let's be clear: If you switch over to e-cigarettes, your brain and body will benefit, both docs agree. But the only way they'll give you the cigs for the electronic kid, then set a quit date for all nicotine entirely, Foulds advises.
6. They May Cause Asthma in Kids and Teens
"Studies in young people using e-cigs have found some of the chemicals are causing irritant effects that can trigger asthma and wheezing," Foulds says. It's hard to tease out the source.)
A 2017 study in Currently Allergy and Asthma Reports for example, found children with asthma were more likely to use e-cigarettes than non-asthmatic peers, and while that does not prove cause and effect ie, acrolein, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde). cigs-propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine-producing a whole slew of chemicals. On top of asthma, smoking in general as a child and teen cigarettes or e-cigs-can slow development and increase your risk of developing obstructive pulmonary disease (hallmarks include blocked airflow and difficulty breathing) in adulthood, according to the CDC .
. 7 They Exacerbate the Harm of Cigarettes Themselves
"There's an assumption made by most e-cigarette users that it's like a cigarette, but not as bad as it gets." t that bad, "Glantz says.
That assumption is wrong:" If you're a dual user-which is some 70 percent of people using e-cigarettes-you're worse off than if they were just smoking because they
Compared to who smoked cigs (or e-cigs), dual users had higher levels of nicotine, heavy metals, and some carcinogens, in their urine, which raises their risk of cancer, addiction, and everything from disease to infertility beyond that of single-use smokers, according to a recent study conducted by the CDC. Meanwhile, when chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-suffering smokers switched to vaping, it actually worsened their pulmonary health, says a study in Journal of General Internal Medicine . And while daily smokers 'risk of a heart attack is three times higher than non-smoker's, dual users' risk kicks up to five times higher.
Plus, consider this: You do not get most smoking-related diseases from puffing for a few months, but from a decade or decades of smoking. And when you consider that taking e-cigarettes deters smokers from quitting, instead of long-term users, and thus developing those long-term smoking health consequences.
"We've been studying cigarettes for at least 70 years, but e-cigarettes have been getting studied for all of you seven," Glantz says.
Okay , he's being hyperbolic, but the first electronic cigarette was not even introduced in the US
One of the biggest issues: Glycol, flavorings, and other additives-react and FDA approval intends, Foulds says.
Case in point: A study from Johns Hopkins last year looked at 56 different e-cigs and liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage, even some cancers.
Glantz adds: "The early thinking about e-cigarettes what they're like a cigarette, but without as much bad stuff. But the more we're realizing they're completely different and have their own toxicological profile. "