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Vaping, Is It Really Less Harmful?

Vaping simulates the act of smoking by inhaling and exhaling vapor. Created from propylene glycol or a vegetable glycerin liquid, or both, the liquid base is mixed with nicotine and other food-type flavorings that get vaporized via a battery-powered atomizer. The ingredients are vaporized. Cigarette smokers can continue to imbibe nicotine at what has been promised to be a less hazardous medium. The question remains, how dangerous is “less hazardous”?
 
The latest research has shown that e-cigarettes or vaping entails the inhalation of forms of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde results from the degradation of propylene glycol or glycerol during vaporization, where formaldehyde is identified as a group 1 carcinogen, as designated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
 
A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that the long-term inhalation of formaldehyde compared with long-term smoking, of 1-pack of cigarettes per day, may be 5 to 15 times more harmful than cigarettes over a lifetime. In addition, the releasing agents, associated with formaldehyde, more efficiently deposit in the respiratory tract and could, therefore, indicate an even higher risk of cancer.
 
E-cigarettes or vaping can be adjusted according to the voltage level. The researchers found that at higher voltage levels there are formaldehyde-releasing agents but not at the lower voltage levels.
 
The public perception has consistently been that e-cigarettes are safer than ordinary cigarettes, where the tobacco, not the nicotine, is the cancer-causing element in ordinary cigarettes. This perception may still be the case, but it has diminished to some extent.
 
It turns out that vaping does not take place at the highest voltage levels because of the distasteful burning flavor. In fact, in some human studies, vaping never occurs at the highest voltage levels. People simply do not inhale because of the foul taste it incurs at a high voltage.
 
The state of California has decreed e-cigarettes and vaping, a public health risk, issuing a public health advisory, warning California residents to stop using e-cigarettes. The e-juice, when heated, becomes an aerosol or vapor, which is not harmless, state officials claimed. It contains a host of carcinogens including benzene, lead, nickel and formaldehyde.
 
E-cigarettes Among Teenagers Exceeds Cigarette Usage
 
In addition to these findings, the annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future study, found that teenager’s use of cigarettes is finally diminishing, but at what cost? The cost appears to be in replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have now exceeded ordinary cigarette usage among teenagers nationally.
 
In some states, including New Jersey, e-cigarettes are illegal to sell to those under the age of 19. The FDA has proposed a national rule regulating e-cigarettes much the way tobacco is currently regulated. Concerned parents, cigarette smokers and anyone considering vaping, picking up an e-cigarette for a nicotine blast with the notion that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking ordinary cigarettes, you may need to think again. The total information set is not yet in or confirmed. There is variation in explanation and whether this activity is harmful and if so, to what extent?
 
If e-cigarettes are not set to the higher voltage level, it has not been clearly identified whether the named carcinogens or others, are actively within the inhaled vapor. It remains up to the concerned, to follow-up and review the recent research, stay informed and consider not just the loudest voices on the subject. Those who remain cautious may best be serving their own health and well-being in not partaking until all the research is in.

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