Everyone knows the health risks of cigarettes. Stroke, blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration, periodontitis, aortic aneurysms, coronary heart disease, pneumonia, atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, asthma, diabetes, reproductive defects, hip fractures, ectopic pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, immune dysfunction, overall diminished health and causes 15 types of cancer. OK, so you might not have known about all those risks, but these are the facts presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As you can see, it is a long list of diseases, illnesses and cancers that have serious, life-threatening health effects. For the people that want to reduce, cut down or quit smoking there are a variety of options on the market aimed at helping you quit, such as nicotine patches or chewing gums, e-cigarettes or hypnotherapy, which has proven to be incredibly effective method.
As a health professional who has been working in the field of smoking cessation for over 25 years, clinical hypnotherapist Joseph R. Giove is particularly concerned about the growing trend of e-cigarettes. He notes that he has seen a rise in clients coming to him for help after failed attempts at quitting smoking using methods such as switching to e-cigarettes.
In this article we will discuss the following points related to e-cigarettes and the myth that they aid in efforts to quit smoking conventional cigarettes:
- What are E-Cigarettes? Tobacco, flavor compounds and assorted chemicals that when heated become an inhalable vapor.
- ‘‘Popcorn Lung’ and other diseases related to E-cigarettes: Several studies have linked e-cigarettes to serious lung trauma.
- The Problem with E-Cigarette Flavors: Fun flavors such as ‘Cotton Candy’ attract a significantly younger audience than conventional cigarettes.
- Chemicals in E-Cigarettes: Potentially significantly higher concentrations than conventional cigarettes.
- Marketing E-Cigarettes: E-cigarette companies face few marketing restrictions.
- Health and Hypnotherapy Information: Studies and why Joseph R. Giove and hypnotherapy is a very useful tool to quit smoking
What are E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are a nicotine delivery system, and function by heating flavored nicotine and other chemicals electronically, just enough to vaporize. Puffing an e-cigarette activates the heating device which vaporizes flavored liquid which the user then inhales. This process is called ‘vaping’. It is the aforementioned chemicals that have been added to the nicotine that are now being investigated, and the results are shocking.
The ‘Popcorn Lung’ Effect
One of the more serious side-effects of E- Cigarettes is something called the “Popcorn Lung.” It gets its name from the effects that first appeared in workers in microwave popcorn factories. In these factories they also produced the artificial butter accompaniment, and it was chemicals from this which led to workers contracting what is now known as ‘Popcorn Lung’. The link between ‘Popcorn Lung’ (also called bronchiolitis obliterans) and e-cigarettes was recently discovered by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Troublingly, e-cigarettes are perceived by many to be a safe alternative to cigarettes, and are gaining popularity. However, this Harvard School of Public Health report suggests that e-cigarettes are linked to the “Popcorn Lung” effect and are not actually a safe alternative to conventional cigarettes.
Popcorn Lung is a debilitating and irreversible respiratory disease. As previously mentioned, this disease is similar to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This causes small scarring in tiny air sacs inside the lungs that lead to shortness of breath and intense coughing. Basically, the chemicals that are found in e-cigarettes are restricting the blood and oxygen flow in the lungs.
The Problem with E-Cigarette Flavors
Another troubling problem with e-cigarettes is that they are flavored, often with fun and tasty sounding names such as Cotton Candy, Fruit Squirts and Cupcake. This is troubling for the following reasons:
- Big tobacco companies are targeting a younger market, perhaps even those under the age of 18.
- A source from the CDC illustrates that since 2011, e-cigarette smoker rates have skyrocketed from 2% of adolescents to nearly 15% in 2014.
- In that same time, conventional cigarette smokers decreased from 16% to 9% for the same age group.
It is not hard to see that the big tobacco companies have found a new way to get the youth of a new generation addicted to their product.
Chemicals in E-Cigarettes
The same Harvard study we previously referenced found at least one of the three extremely toxic chemicals found in regular cigarettes in over 50 flavors of e-cigarettes. The chemicals are diacetyl, acetoin and 2,3 pentanedione. In a quote from the report, author Joseph Allen says “the amount of diacetyl in 39 of the e-cigs exceeded the amount that was detectable by the laboratory.”
This is definitely a troubling statistic. If the amount exceeds what we are even able to measure, than how much of these chemicals are actually in these e-cigarettes?
The tests results regarding e-cigarettes are only just now becoming available, and they are showing the risks associated with e-cigarettes are at least equivalent, and in some cases worse than conventional cigarettes. Tobacco smoking is in fact less harmful than smoking e-cigarettes because of the additives that make their way into those e-cigarettes.
“Vaping” an e- cigarette may seem like a healthier alternative to a conventional cigarette, but they contain many of the same chemicals, as well as additional chemicals. One of these, which is found in the flavoring component of e-cigarettes, is formaldehyde, and will therefore not only cause addiction but also severe lung damage.
There has been an aggressive attempt by tobacco companies to get younger people to buy e-cigarettes. Since the government has not put many restrictions on the sale and production of e-cigarettes, they are taking this opportunity to target youth. Teen use alone has tripled since 2014, mostly due to the flavors that are offered by e-cigarette companies. In April 2014 the United States Food and Drug Administration proposed banning the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18.
The problem is that because e-cigarettes are so new, there is insufficient data to sway lawmakers to take action at the federal level. At the state level, 46 States have enacted laws that will prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and a further 12 now require childproof packaging.
Despite recent attempts by the United States government to curb advertisement of e-cigarettes to minors, websites like YouTube still host them. YouTube claims that at least 90% of e-cigarette ad viewers are over 18, and will not take down their advertising unless that number drops below 85%. Considering how many people use sites like YouTube, we can see that there are still an enormous number of youth that are being actively marketed to.
Health and Hypnotherapy Information
Youth and adults alike are not receiving proper health information regarding the risks associated with e-cigarettes. They are clearly not a viable alternative to conventional cigarettes, nor are they a useful tool to quit smoking.
One of the most effective tools for those wishing to quit smoking is the proven method of hypnotherapy. Posing no additional risk factors such as increased carcinogen or chemical intake, Joseph R. Giove and clinical hypnotherapist therapy gently rewire your brain so you are no longer falsely dependent on cigarettes, allowing you to live a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle.