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A fairly recent trend that has taken over the world of smoking, e-cigarettes have been at the center of controversy since their inception in 2003. Many people argue whether or not these products are actually better for you than traditional cigarettes, or worse. Unfortunately, because of many professionals’ inexperience with this new trend, no long-term safety regulations exist regarding e-cigarettes, leaving many to believe that they come with both benefits and a number of health issues.

It is widely believed that e-cigarettes are almost guaranteed to be safer than their conventional cousins given the fact that they kill roughly 480,000 people every single year. Traditional cigarettes come with an array of health issues including, but not limited to, heart attack, asthma, cancers of various forms, diabetes, and respiratory infections. The harmful chemicals found within a single cigarette are enough to physically age the human body, which, over time, can take about 10 years off of your life.

The smoke created from cigarettes contains noxious gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, produces a somewhat safer vapor created by a liquid combination of nicotine, standard flavorings, and glycerol. Many smokers have even chose to switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to (eventually) quit entirely, though this is not exactly a proven method. While some have found success in doing so, others were tempted to smoke even more.

The nicotine found in e-cigarettes can be just as harmful as that found in standard cigarettes. Chronic exposure of either kind has been found to contribute to type 2 diabetes, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Because of its addictive nature, e-cigarettes can be just as difficult to quit as normal ones, and may even lead to addiction of other drugs in adolescents who are still undergoing prefrontal brain development.

There many flavors also make them somewhat of a family hazard as well given that they are often listed as candy flavored or fruity, making them appealing to younger children. If the “e-liquid” found in cartridges is ingested orally, poisoning can result in vomiting, redness, blurred vision, headaches, and more. Some e-liquids even contain the chemical diacetyl, which has been found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans; a rare lung disease that can cause permanent damage to one’s bronchioles.

In conclusion, smokers who may be looking for alternatives could find solace in e-cigarettes, though they should still be aware of the lingering health issues. Those who do not smoke at all should avoid e-cigarettes altogether. Developing an addiction for these could prove very harmful for one’s long-term health. Seeing as the use of these products is continuing to grow, it is becoming a concern. Doctors and pediatricians alike should clearly explain the potential health issues that come with e-cigarettes to all of their patients in an effort to combat this growth.