Mar 29, 2015 09:41 PM EDT
A recent craze has taken hold of America in the wake of lawsuits against big tobacco companies over cancer and second-hand smoke issues. E-Cigs or vapor cigarettes have become popular, especially with younger smokers, as they have been touted as a healthy alternative to smoking.
While e-cigs may be safer than lighting up a Marlboro and puffing away, a new study suggests that users should be aware they carry their own health risks. The study, published on Plos One, states that, "human lung fibroblasts exhibited stress and morphological change in response to treatment with ENDS/e-liquids."
Citing multiple experiments, both on mice and on human lung tissue, the study points out that sweet flavors seem to cause the most damage, versus the natural tobacco flavored serums. This seems to negate many of the claims we've heard in the past regarding how healthy these products are for end users.
The study says, "exposure to e-cig aerosols/juices incurs measurable oxidative and inflammatory responses in lung cells and tissues that could lead to unrealized health consequences."
ABC News reports that British researchers have claimed that e-cigs could save as many as 6,000 lives per year, but it's impossible to simply accept them at their word. E-cig usage among young children has tripled in just three years. Worse than that is the fact that nearly 50 percent of the children who use vaping products said they intend to smoke regular cigarettes within the next year.
While some studies have suggested that using e-cigs to quit smoking conventional cigarettes is a viable option, others have noted that the use of e-cigs over the patch or gum showed no major increase in the number of users who actually quit. The number of e-cig users in the US has grown exponentially over the last decade, with many tobacco stores, gas stations, and grocery stores now carrying vaping products. There are some stores dedicated totally to vaping, and selling only e-cig products.
The attraction of being able to smoke without the health risks associated with smoking conventional cigarettes is understandable. Smokers enjoy the nicotine in a cigarette, but it's the tar that causes the damage. With an e-cig there is no tar, so it would seem that it's a more healthy option.
What do you think? Should e-cigs be regulated the way that cigarettes are? Are they a viable alternative to conventional cigarettes? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.
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