New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Monday that will ban the use of e-cigarettes in every place that traditional cigarettes are barred across the state.
Like Cuomo said, long term studies on the ill effects of e-cigs are limited—however, there are a few health points of interest to know about these tobacco alternatives.
On Friday, UNC School of Medicine researchers released a study showing a direct link between e-cigs and certain lung diseases. The researchers found that e-cigs cause a “significant” increases in neutrophils, which can contribute to inflammatory lung diseases, such as COPD and cystic fibrosis.
As Harvard Health Publishing reported, many e-cigs contain a chemical compound called diacetyl, which is associated with a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. According to the National Institutes of Health, those with bronchiolitis obliterans have damaged and inflamed bronchioles, which are the lung’s tiniest airways.
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One randomized study found that the use of e-cigs were “modestly effective” at helping people quit traditional cigarettes by mitigating nicotine withdrawal—but another longitudinal, international study found that e-cigarette users did not quit more frequently than non-users, because nicotine is still present in e-cigs and vapes.
As the American Lung Association pointed out, a 2014 study showed wide-ranging inconsistencies between ingredients listed and those actually present in e-cigs, including varying levels of nicotine. “The more nicotine a person uses, the greater the potential for addiction,” the ALA wrote.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, using e-cigarettes and vapes can lead to increased heart rate and high blood pressure, which can put your health at risk.
According to a recent study by the European Lung Foundation, e-cigarettes that contain nicotine can directly cause a stiffening of the arteries in humans. “This has important implications for the use of e-cigarettes, as arterial stiffness is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in later life,” the researchers wrote. The effects can be seen just 30 minutes after a person smokes using an e-cig or vaporizer, the study’s authors wrote.
According to a study published in 2013, “e-cigarettes are not emission-free, and their pollutants could be of health concern for users and secondhand smokers.” The study found that ultra-fine particles formed from vapor, and can be deposited in the lung of non-smokers.