The electronic cigarettes, also called vapeadores, e-cigarette or electronic nicotine delivery systems (SEAN) , are devices usually used by smokers to quit. With this cigarette, which has a low nicotine load, they can reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms while having the feeling of continuing to smoke.
Originally, they were believed to be less harmful to health because they do not contain the same amount of nicotine and volatile compounds found in cigarettes. However, some studies show that the use of vapers constitutes a health hazard due to its possible association with various diseases, including lung cancer, bladder and cardiovascular diseases.
How do electronic cigarettes work?
The vapeadores are devices that simulate a burning cigarette, since they are activated with a battery that generates heat, causing a liquid (containing nicotine, propylene glycol, in some cases glycerol and flavor) vaporizing similarly to smoke emanating cigarettes conventional. They are shaped like cigarettes, but can also be shaped like pens and other eye-catching figures. This is why smokers find it an attractive substitute for the common cigarette.
In view of the fact that the electronic cigarette has been an option for some smokers, some companies have made more attractive presentations by incorporating lights, flavors and smells and have even reduced or removed the nicotine from the liquid they contain. Despite these updates, it has been shown that the persistence of some metals and toxic substances that are released when heating the device have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Harmful health effects
Since these devices began to be used in the 2000s, currently available research is scarce and there are still no statistically significant long-term studies that measure the impact of the electronic cigarette as a risk factor in the appearance of diseases Chronicles.
Currently, there are studies associated with the substances contained in electronic cigarettes, such as nicotine, associated with direct intoxication, oncological diseases and cardiovascular diseases, as well as neurological damage of fetuses of mothers who consume them.
Danger of using nicotine
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert to users of electronic nicotine administration systems about the possible consequences of their use. Although electronic cigarettes contain less nicotine, its distribution in the blood varies depending on several factors such as: the concentration of nicotine in the device, the frequency of its use, the size of the device and the number of inhalations by the user.
In addition to creating dependence (or addiction), it has the ability to alter normal cellular functions promoting their conversion to tumor cells and cardiovascular pathologies such as arrhythmias, narrowing of the coronary arteries, and heart growth. Similarly, the WHO does not promote its use in women of childbearing age, due to the risk that nicotine can cause neurological and cardiovascular damage to the fetus.
Danger of electronic cigarette nicotine over conventional cigarette nicotine
The main risk of the electronic cigarette stems from its misuse when its content is broken or spilled and there is ingestion or direct contact with the skin, which leads to intoxication or overdose with nicotine, which does not happen with conventional cigarettes.
When nicotine is ingested or there is direct contact with the skin and mucous membranes, it can reach high blood levels in a few minutes causing severe symptoms. Nicotine intoxication manifests itself with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain associated with neurological manifestations such as psychomotor agitation, confusion, alterations in hearing and vision, tremor, and in high doses it produces respiratory failure, tachycardia, hypotension and can even lead to death. For all this, electronic cigarettes should not be within the reach of children.
Risks of inhalation of toxic substances in aerosol
The WHO issued a warning on the use of electronic cigarettes not only for nicotine but also for toxic substances that ignite when heated.
In an acute way, substances such as propylene glycol cause irritation to the mucosa of the mouth and eyes and in asthmatic patients it can provoke attacks. Chronically, research has been carried out in laboratory rats and human cells that have been exposed for long periods of time to toxic substances contained in e-cigarettes, demonstrating their carcinogenic capacity (to cause cancer), especially in organs such as the lung. and bladder. Currently there are no studies that measure the e-cigarette as a risk factor for developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Regarding the contact of these substances with "passive smokers", that is, people around the electronic cigarette user, the direct impact on their health is not clear, but there are environmental studies that indicate that exposure to any type of smoke promotes lung diseases.
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