Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Vaping: Part 2

The Opposing Argument: Vaping May Be Just as Harmful as Smoking

Even though the popular consensus among researchers and physicians regarding the long term effects of vaping electronic cigarettes might be swayed in one direction (that being, e-cigarettes are still harmful, but far less harmful than conventional smoking), there are still some that dispute this claim. The opposing argument focuses on the idea that e-cigarettes are not necessarily less harmful, but instead, are harmful in different ways. People who use e-cigarettes are simply exposing themselves to different chemicals and poisons that carry with them their own risks.

Research Into the Adverse Effects of Vaping

Back in early February at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting, Ilona Jaspers of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill made a public announcement regarding some of the findings her and her research team uncovered about the use of e-cigarettes. Her argument is that e-cigarettes are not more or less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but instead, introduce a whole host of different issues.

According to the news report published in Science News, by Janet Kaloff, Jaspers’ research team examined scraped cells from the noses of otherwise healthy people who had a history of smoking, vaping or doing neither.” The activity levels in these cells were compared with 594 genes responsible with the body’s ability to fight infections. The main conclusion of the study was that the cellular ability to combat infection was significantly diminished for both smokers of tobacco and e-liquids.

Kashmira Gander of The Independent, discusses a UK study published in the journal Oral Oncology, which argued that electronic cigarettes are not as safe as their marketing efforts would suggest. Dr Jessica Wang-Rodriguez, chief of pathology at the San Diego branch of the US Department of Veteran Affairs and co-author of the research, stated that “evidence to date” shows that e-cigarettes are “no better than smoking regular cigarettes.”

What is “Popcorn Lung”

Another among study conducted at Harvard University looked at the cellular reactions to 51 different e-liquid types, and discovered that the vaping of these liquids is responsible for a rare condition called “Popcorn Lung.” What this disease does is cause the airways in your lungs to narrow, weakening these organs through scarring and inflammation, which could potentially kill if you left untreated. The study found that 75% of flavored e-liquids they tested contained a chemical called diacetyl, which is safe to eat, but toxic to inhale. The chemical is used in artificial butter flavoring, and got its name after several workers at a popcorn manufacturer back in 2000 came down with the affliction.

Jason Quintal | March 24, 2016

Leave a Reply