- A new study from JAMA found that smokers, particularly people who used both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes, had high amounts of toxins in their bodies.
- E-cigs may contain toxic metals that can cause serious health problems.
- More and more teenagers are using e-cigarettes, with 21% of 12th graders vaping in 2018, a report from the University of Michigan found.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been cracking down on adolescent tobacco use with new e-cigarette and flavored tobacco product regulations, and a new study reinforces how dangerous these products can be to a person’s health.
On December 14, JAMA released an investigative report that looked at potential exposure to harmful toxins in e-cigarettes versus traditional cigarettes and found that both contain high amounts of toxins like nicotine, lead, cadmium, and pyrene.
While the study found that people who used traditional cigarettes or a mixture of traditional and e-cigarettes had the highest level of toxins, the report also stressed that people who exclusively use e-cigarettes have a considerable amount of harmful chemicals in their bodies.
E-cigarette users had fewer toxins when compared with traditional smokers, but still had “measurable exposure.”
The study, which found all types of smokers are susceptible to dangerous levels of toxins, highlights a major sticking point of e-cigarettes: their helpfulness among people trying to quit smoking.
According to the study, 84% of adult e-cigarette users are former traditional cigarette users who are using the devices to quit smoking, but “reducing smoking-related health risks requires complete cessation,” the study’s authors wrote. While people who solely used e-cigarettes had less exposure to toxins and nicotine, researchers said “measurable exposure” still existed.
People who combined traditional and electronic cigarettes had the highest levels of toxins in their bodies, according to the study.
Vapes are being used more readily and can lead to serious health problems
As studies on the effects of vaping and e-cigarettes continue to be released, e-cigs like the Juul are being scrutinised for their negative health effects. Not only do these trendy products contain lead and in some cases traces of diacetyl, but they are also being marketed to teenagers who may not realise the addictive nature of vaping.
“E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous – and dangerous – trend among teens,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a September statement where he called for e-cigarette and flavored tobacco sales reform. In addition, a new report from the University of Michigan found that teenage vape use is at an all-time high, with 21% of 12th graders using vapes in 2018.
With such widespread vape use among teens and adults alike, tobacco-related health issues could become increasingly common. For instance, vape use has been linked to a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung,” which causes irreversible inflammation and scarring of a person’s airways (popcorn lung has not been directly linked to Juul vapes). Nicotine in tobacco products can also stunt adolescent brain development, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the FDA continues to crack down on the sale of flavored tobacco products, knowing the risks associated with both smoking and vaping is increasingly important.
- Read more:
- Scientists are starting to learn how e-cigs like the Juul can affect your health – and the results are troubling
- A chemical found in some vape flavours has been linked to an irreversible condition called ‘popcorn lung’
- Vaping instead of smoking still exposes you to toxic metals like lead – here’s how worried you should be