(ORDO NEWS) — Electronic cigarettes, also known as vaping products, have gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
However, the American Heart Association (AHA) warns that the health risks associated with e-cigarette use are becoming increasingly clear. In a new scientific statement published in the journal Circulation, the AHA emphasizes the need for further research into the potential long-term effects of e-cigarettes on the heart and lungs.
Current state of research:
The AHA scientific statement provides an overview of existing research on the health effects of e-cigarette use. It highlights the importance of understanding both the short-term and long-term health effects of using these devices.
The statement also highlights the need for more comprehensive research to gain a better understanding of the risks associated with e-cigarettes.
The concept of electronic cigarettes:
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid solution, or e-liquid, to create an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs. Most e-liquid formulations contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance with known health effects.
However, these products may also contain other substances such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element of cannabis, as well as methamphetamine, methadone or vitamins. Fluids also contain humectants, fragrances, coolants and metals formed in the heating coil.
The scientific conclusion emphasizes that e-cigarettes introduce many potentially harmful substances into the body. These chemicals and compounds may have unknown or poorly understood effects on human health. Studies have shown that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can cause acute changes in hemodynamic parameters, including increases in blood pressure and heart rate.
Additionally, even in the absence of nicotine, components of e-cigarettes, particularly flavorings, pose independent risks of heart and lung disease in animals. In vitro studies and studies of people exposed to chemicals found in commercial e-cigarette products have also shown negative effects.
The scientific statement highlights the importance of a clinical diagnosis known as Electronic Cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). EVALI was first recognized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019, when there was a sudden spike in hospitalizations among e-cigarette users of about 2,800 cases in less than a year.
This alarming trend highlights the lack of knowledge about the risks associated with e-cigarettes and their ingredients. In the case of EVALI, vitamin E acetate, used as a thickener in some e-liquids, was identified as the likely cause.
Dr. Jason J. Rose, volunteer chair of the scientific statement committee, warns of the potential harm of e-cigarettes: “There are studies indicating that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are associated with acute changes in a number of hemodynamic parameters, including increased blood pressure and heart rate… The negative effects of e-cigarettes have been shown in in vitro studies and in studies of people exposed to chemicals contained in commercially available products.”
With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, it is important to understand the potential health risks associated with their use. The AHA’s scientific statement serves as a wake-up call, calling for more research into the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on the heart and lungs. With evidence mounting against these devices, public health and safety must be prioritized by better understanding the hidden dangers they may pose.
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