These days, kids are raised knowing that they’re not supposed to smoke cigarettes. It’s definitely still a problem, with nearly 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first trying smoking by age 18, and 98 percent first trying it by age 26, according to the CDC. However, cigarette smoking has gone down among teens in recent years, which is a huge win. In fact, from 2011 to 2017, smoking cigarettes among middle and high school students declined significantly.
But the reason is likely because of the uptick in vaping and using electronic cigarettes. Current use of e-cigarettes increased among middle and high school students from 2011 to 2018, the CDC tell us, as did smoking hookahs and using smokeless tobacco.
Well, at least they’re not using cigarettes, right? E-cigs are probably much healthier right?
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a very addictive substance, as well as many other chemicals. The difference is that e-cigarettes don’t produce smoke like cigarettes, rather a vapor that often contains better-smelling flavors.
Being such a new-ish trend, it used to be difficult to find any reputable research that tells us the negative effects of using e-cigarettes. However, over the years, a growing body of studies have been emerging that suggest e-cigarettes aren’t so great.
And now a new preliminary study by the American Heart Association that studied 400,000 participants found that people who vape have a 59 percent higher risk of having a heart attack, a 71 percent higher risk of havening a stroke, and a 40 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.
Additionally, the study found that people who vape are twice as likely to also smoke traditional cigarettes than those who don’t vape—which we know has conclusive significant health risks.
“Even as we consider electronic cigarettes as a means of aiding in smoking cessation, we need to be careful about the impact this may have on the health of folks,” said lead researcher Dr. Paul Ndunda, an assistant professor with the University of Kansas School of Medicine, in Wichita.
Though there’s been a few small studies that showed vaping to be harmful to our heart, “this is the first real data that we’re seeing associating e-cigarette use with hard cardiovascular events,” Dr. Ndunda said.
The thing is, it’s probably not the nicotine that’s the issue when it comes to the heart issues—it’s the other chemicals that we don’t know much about that is likely causing the harm.
“[These] other chemicals found in electronic cigarettes could increase inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels,” Ndunda said. “That could lead to clot formation, clogging the artery and causing a stroke.”
“It’s quite a concern, especially since nationwide now we’ve seen a leveling off in and, in many instances, an increase in the risk of stroke-related mortality in the country,” he stated.
It’s crucial that we stop teens from getting their hands on e-cigarettes—right now it’s far too easy with online purchases and the legal age not being very high.
Don’t worry, everyone’s trying their hardest. Check out this video to see how professionals plan to get kids to stop.
What do you think of the e-cigarette craze? Did you know it was so harmful to our health?