Health professionals claim that vaping is better for you than smoking cigarettes, but that doesn't mean it isn't harmful.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and 70 of them are linked to cancer. People who have turned to vape pens may think that they're dodging these potentially toxic chemicals. A recent study shows that's not necessarily the case.
In the study, which was published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, researchers at Johns Hopkins University uncovered nearly 2,000 chemicals in the aerosols produced by an e-cigarette. Even more concerning, at least six were identified as "potentially harmful."
"Existing research that compared e-cigarettes with normal cigarettes found that cigarette contaminants are much lower in e-cigarettes. The problem is that e-cigarette aerosols contain other completely uncharacterized chemicals that might have health risks that we don't yet know about," senior author Carsten Prasse, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering and the Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a statement."More and more young people are using these e-cigarettes and they need to know what they're being exposed to."
Previous studies have demonstrated an association between e-cigarette use and increased odds of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In fact, the data suggest that the odds of developing COPD are nearly six times greater in those who both vape and smoke tobacco regularly, compared to those who don't vape or smoke at all.
What's confusing is that the FDA just approved three vaping products under the brand name Vuse, making them the first e-cigarettes authorized to be sold in the U.S. The agency said it was a move to help offer smokers a way to quit traditional cigarettes, despite the fact that it could also inspire younger generations to get hooked on them.
"The authorized products' aerosols are significantly less toxic than combusted cigarettes based on available data," the FDA said in a statement.
Later in the statement, it reads: "The FDA determined that the potential benefit to smokers who switch completely or significantly reduce their cigarette use, would outweigh the risk to youth."
The question is, why would the FDA approve of a product that allegedly has thousands of chemicals in it? From what the latest research indicates, there's a lot of unknown ingredients in e-cigarettes that could pose a threat to our bodies—especially if inhaled excessively.
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