A growing number of Americans are considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to help them quit smoking. But recent studies indicate that e-cigarettes don’t help smokers kick the habit and actually mask many additional health risks. If “Stop Smoking” is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take a closer look at risks involved with this rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar industry in this month’s issue of Let America Know. Here are some excerpts.
Unregulated E-Cigarettes Mask Hidden Dangers
E-cigarette use has skyrocketed in the last few years. About 10 percent of U.S. adults now vape, as the practice is called, almost four times more than the 2.6 percent reported by the government in 2013. And that growth means big business: Sales are estimated at $3.5 billion for 2015 versus $2.5 billion in 2014 and are projected to grow 25 percent annually through 2018.
This may surprise many users, but so far e-cigarettes are entirely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The amount of nicotine in the liquid, as well as other dangerous chemicals or carcinogens, are not monitored and are not required to be represented accurately on the packaging.
Risks Involved with E-Cigarettes
Research cited by the American Lung Association highlights the significant health risks posed by the nicotine and other hazardous chemicals found in e-cigarettes.
- Tweens and teens are the fastest growing segment of e-cigarette users. But, there is a real concern about the harm nicotine exposure can pose to brain development among young people along with the potential for long-term addiction.
- Users who hope e-cigarettes will help them stop smoking entirely may be surprised to hear that the opposite may be true. Researchers in California found that e-cigarette users were less likely than those who never used e-cigarettes to quit or cut down on smoking cigarettes.
- A growing number of users have been injured by e-cigarettes that explode due to unstable lithium-ion batteries. In fact, Federal transportation officials have already banned e-cigarettes from packed luggage for fear of explosions inside the luggage hold.
Find out more about the harm e-cigarettes may cause, teenage usage, unregulated brands, and potential hazards users experience. And, please share this important information with any friends or family considering or using e-cigarettes.
Here’s to a happy, healthy 2016 for all.