Are e-cigarettes safer than cigarettes? We still don’t know for sure

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The use of e-cigarettes or vapes as they have come to be known has grown in recent years with many questioning whether the activity is safer than smoking cigarettes.

Numerous studies have been conducted in a bid to answer this question and a study published by The National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine offers up something of a clearer picture about the activity.

The committee behind the study titled Public Health Consequences of E-cigarettes made several findings and the crux of those are that vaping is safer than smoking in some instances but still unsafe when compared to not smoking at all.

Among the numerous findings the committee determined that there is conclusive evidence that in addition to nicotine most e-cigarette products emit numerous potentially toxic substances.

Most concerning of these substances are metals which the committee proposed was present because of the coils used to heat the e-liquid use in e-cigarettes. The type of coil used and usage patterns do vary from case to case.

The exhaustive study also suggests that there is substantial evidence that use of e-cigarettes can create a dependence on the activity much like smoking. That’s not altogether surprising considering many e-liquids contain nicotine.

Beyond that the committee also determined that e-cigarettes have introduced new threats such as devices exploding and causing burns. The e-liquid can also be toxic if it comes into contact with the eye, skin or if drunk. This can result in adverse health effects such as seizures, anoxic brain injury, vomiting and lactic acidosis.

As to cancer the committee found that there were no long term studies which could determine whether the use of e-cigarettes increased or reduced the risk of developing the disease.

The crux of the matter is that vaping can’t be classified as safe or dangerous at the moment and anybody that uses e-cigarettes is doing so at their own risk.

[Image – CC BY 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.