As we get closer to approaching April 1st, the OVH Employee Tobacco-Free date, we want to remind you of the dangers involved with using tobacco and nicotine products. At this point, we’ve already written blogs about the dangers of tobacco usage. This blog continues to talk about the harmful effects of nicotine usage, by discussing Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, also known as ENDS.
For those who aren’t sure of what ENDS are, let’s break it down: they are the vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes, and e-pipes making waves on social media, in high schools, and across the country. These devices at their core contain a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled. This is used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco. However, that’s not all they’re made up of.
Statistics & Comparison to Cigarettes/Chewing Tobacco
The popularity of e-cigarettes can be found in kids in high school, teens, and young adults. Since 2015, there have been more than 3 million middle and high school students who are current users of e-cigarettes. On top of that, 12.6% of adults have tried an e-cigarette, and 3.7% use a vaping product on a daily bases (Products, Ingredients & Components – Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other ENDS).
The popularity of e-cigarettes amongst young adults and teens can be from the variety of appealing flavors that e-cigarettes have to offer. Unlike regular cigarettes or other tobacco products, e-cigarettes have added flavoring to them to give the user a better taste.
So why are kids inhaling? There is speculation that e-cigarettes are safer to use than tobacco cigarettes. This is NOT true. As we are about to find out, they still produce and contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Harmfulness of ENDS Products
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical. Nicotine is absorbed into the blood stream, sending itself throughout the user’s body. When nicotine enters the brain, this causes the activation of cholinergic receptors*, which disrupts the acetylcholine’s normal function. Because nicotine is replacing acetylcholine, which is naturally made by the body, this can lead to nicotine tolerance, and eventually, when it’s been awhile since your last dose of nicotine, can lead to withdrawal.
As of now, there are no regulations for ENDS products. The FDA does plan on releasing regulations on vaping products by 2018. This will include a warning label on their packages saying it contains nicotine. So what’s the big deal about that? Well, no regulation means vaping companies don’t have any restrictions on what they can use when mixing their chemical concoction.
So what else is in these vaping mechanisms….and what are they releasing into the air?! Multiple studies have found chemicals in first and second-hand vapor like acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and toluene, not to mention cadmium, nickel, and lead.
Furthermore, vaping devices can lead to a higher risk of asthma, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. This is from the high level of nanoparticles found in vaping tools. Similar health risks, in fact, to what a regular cigarette can cause.
More and more studies are showing the effects and harmfulness of E-cigarettes and all ENDS products to be as bad as cigarettes and other tobacco products. They contain nicotine and other chemicals, like the other tobacco products, just in a different form. Ohio Valley Hospital asks you to please join us in improving the community by quitting one butt or puff at a time.
*A specialized sensory nerve ending that responds to the stimulation of acetylcholine
Raloff, J. (2014, June 2). Health risks of e-cigarettes emerge. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/health-risks-e-cigarettes-emerge CITE 1
Mandal, M. D. (2014, October 08). What is Nicotine? Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Nicotine.aspx
Products, Ingredients & Components – Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm
Ecig vaping and side effects. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.ecigalternative.com/vaping-side-effects.htm
Cholinergic receptor. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cholinergic receptor
Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/electronic-cigarettes-e-cigarettes
Written by: Kevin Dailey