There is, at this point, no argument within the medical community or the public at large that smoking cigarettes can seriously impact your health in a negative way. Smoking has one of the largest negative influences on your health possible, and it’s important to stop smoking if you’re already a smoker.
To stop smoking, however, many people are turning to the use of electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigs or e-cigarettes for short. These devices are supposed to replicate the act of smoking and provide the body with the nicotine it’s addicted to, but without the hazardous chemicals found in traditional cigarettes.
And the basic data explains why it’s such a popular option. After all, cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 toxic chemicals and every puff you take pulls those cancer causing agents into your lungs. E-cigs, the argument goes, don’t have all those carcinogens. You’re exposing yourself only to water vapor and nicotine.
But is this really accurate? Does e-cigarette smoking affect your lungs? The answer should be obvious, but it’s one I get here at Joseph R. Giove Clinical Hypnosis often. As such, I think it’s time to take a closer look at the subject to help you understand more about just why you need to rethink your position on e-cigs.
First, let’s start with a brief point to understand about your lungs and airways. The respiratory system is made up of a large number of mucus membranes, from your sinuses to your lungs and all points in between. These mucus membranes are incredibly delicate and easily absorb almost any compound that they come in contact with. In other words, each puff off of an e-cig means that you’re putting what’s in those e-cigs into your lungs, and that your respiratory system is absorbing the compounds and chemicals within them.
What Is An E-Cig?
Now we need to look at the e-cigarette itself. E-cigs are small units that are made up of a battery, heating element, and cartridge. The cartridge contains a liquid mixture made up of flavoring, nicotine, and some liquid that vaporizes easily, usually propylene glycol. Advertisements suggest that it’s just ‘water vapor’ you’re inhaling, but that’s not entirely accurate.
When you take a drag on the e-cig, the battery switches the heating element on. This heat vaporizes the liquid, and the vapor that you inhale is the resulting cloud of ‘smoke’ that you see being exhaled. The various flavors are part of why about 2.5 million teens try these e-cigs, and why they’re so popular among adults as well.
E-Cigarette Smoking And Your Lungs
Now that you understand the basics behind your lungs and their mucus membranes – and the basics of e-cigs – you should be able to understand why the assumption that e-cigs are safe isn’t a good one to make. The reason is obvious. You’re still breathing in large amounts of chemicals and exposing your lungs to them. In fact, the amount of vapor inhaled from certain e-cigs is surprisingly large.
Sadly, e-cigs are still so new that long-term studies haven’t been completed yet. What research does exist is gradually starting to reveal some disturbing facts. Here’s a look at some of the things you need to consider.
- You’re still putting nicotine into your body. And while there hasn’t been an increased risk of cancer found with e-cigs and nicotine, the drug can damage arteries, increase the chance of heart attacks, and increase blood pressure. Additionally, nicotine is the addictive substance found in smoking. Not only can it damage your lungs, but it can keep you hooked on the use of e-cigs.
- There is no FDA regulation on e-cigs and their ingredients. As such, your lungs could be exposed to a wide range of chemicals that could damage them in significant ways. There’s no way to know for sure what is in an e-cig cartridge or mixture since there are no regulations in place.
- A 2014 study found that aerosol from high-voltage e-cigs contains higher levels of formaldehyde. This carcinogen can cause cancer and have other health impacts on your lungs as well as the rest of your body.
- Several other cancer causing chemicals have been found in studies, though the specific chemicals in an e-cig varies from product to product due to the aforementioned lack of FDA regulations.
- The most recent study, completed in 2015, found that the actual flavorings used in e-cigarettes were particularly dangerous. Chemicals linked to respiratory disease and lung cancer have been found in 47 out of 51 flavors tested in the study. In short, these flavors are a main draw of ‘vaping’, but actually also serve as one of the biggest dangers.
Add to this the fact that most medical experts and researchers agree that there isn’t enough evidence to determine for sure what kind of long term damage e-cigarette smoking can cause, and it becomes clear that your lungs could be paying a heavier price than you realize whenever you use an e-cigarette. They may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but that’s not really saying much.
Additionally, those who are already at risk of health issues like those suffering from lupus or other immune or respiratory-specific illnesses need to remember that e-cigs can make their conditions even worse.
Quitting Nicotine Is Possible
Whether you picked up e-cigs to stop smoking traditional cigarettes or have always been an e-cig user and nothing else, it’s important to remember that there you can stop. Nicotine is the primary reason that people are addicted to smoking any kind of cigarette – electronic or traditional – and breaking free of nicotine addiction is important for them to do.
Hypnotherapy offers a way to do just that, and to do so without the risk of health conditions, lung damage, or any other similar problem occurring. Studies have found that hypnosis can work to help improve your ability to stop smoking, and the power of mental suggestion is something that can directly lead to improved health and wellbeing. If you’re serious about improving your life, don’t’ look for bubble gum flavored e-cigs. Look at a viable option that will actually work.