Millions of Americans are trading smoking cigarettes for e-cigs, but some experts say both forms of the vice come with risk. Researchers examined more than 800 scientific studies, reaching several conclusions about the health impacts of using e-cigarettes.
Scottie Freeman, owner of Hippie and the Hound Vape Shop, was a cigarette smoker for 40 years, but he says he’s ‘clean’ now, thanks to the device. “I haven’t had a cigarette in over four years and I was never gonna quit smoking cigarettes, ever.” Now, Freeman sells e-cigs at his shop to help others quit smoking. “For some people, it’s the nicotine, for other people it’s the hand to mouth thing, for others it’s the combination.”
But, a study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine indicates e-cigarettes contain and emit numerous potentially toxic substances. The study concludes using e-cigarettes may lead youth to start smoking while they can help adults to stop smoking.
Pulmonologist Dr. Kenneth Chinsky says the devices are not risk-free. “Probably electronic cigarettes are not as bad as combustible tobacco, but still have significant health risks.”
And while for some people e-cigs could be a way out of smoking, for others, vaping could be a way in. Chinsky warning, “People who have never smoked that start e-cigs may be more likely to end up smoking combustible tobacco as well.”
Data proves these devices contain lower levels of toxic substances than conventional cigarettes, but doctors advise smokers to proceed with caution before picking up a vape and non-smokers to steer clear altogether.
There is little evidence to indicate the long-term effects of using an e-cigarette. However, there is data saying e-cigarette use increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes.