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Since the CDC started tracking problems related to vaping in March of 2019, there have been 52 confirmed deaths related to the habit. Between the deaths and the extreme injuries, vaping has put the dangers of e-cigarettes in the public spotlight.
“Vaping can do a lot to the lungs,” said professor Robert Tarren from the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, in this article for NPR health-shots. Professor Tarren went on to add that
“I think it’s fair to say that the new study adds to the evidence saying vaping e-cigarettes is harmful to the lungs.”Robert Tarren – University of North Carolina School of Medicine Chapel Hill
Of most concern are the cases where people both smoke and vape, as this has been shown to compound the damage done to the heart and lung health. Some individuals adopted the habit of vaping in the hopes of weaning off of traditional cigarettes, or to skirt tobacco laws across the country. In some states, vaping is legal in public places where traditional cigarette smoking is not.
Unfortunately, somewhere around 5 million Americans now do both – that accounts for half of the country’s cigarette smokers. What is now commonly referred to as dual use, the habit is popular among Americans in cars and within their homes, as a means to smoke around children and non-smokers. Many that practice dual use were cited in this small study in the Tobacco Journal claiming that they started with the intention of quitting smoking altogether. Ironic, given that according to an October 2019 article in US News and World Report, dual use does nothing to help the majority of smokers trying to kick the habit.
Given that quitting smoking is one of the very best things you can do for your health, it is a travesty that switching over to vaping was promoted as a kind of step down effect, when in reality it upped the consumption of nicotine for dual users.
According to an article in the JAMA Network Open, dual smokers of cigarettes and e-cigarettes are at the highest risk for elevated concentration of toxicants. Researchers from this study concluded that “current, exclusive e-cigarette use results in exposure to known toxicants. Toxicant exposure is greatest among dual users, and frequency of use of combustible cigarettes is positively correlated with tobacco product toxicant concentration. These findings provide evidence that using combusted tobacco cigarettes alone or in combination with e-cigarettes is associated with higher concentrations of potentially harmful tobacco constituents in comparison with using e-cigarettes alone. This study may provide a foundation for disease risk investigation in the PATH(Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health) Study population.”
The American Cancer Society strongly warns of the dangers associated with dual use, and discourages smoking any kind of cigarettes. However, the habit has been adopted by over half of the current smokers in America, leaving millions at risk for organ damage and a shortened life span.
Ironic, given that it simply looped the smokers into a secondary method to obtaining nicotine, with the tons of added dangers for the heart and lungs.
Teresa Stack Hunter is a former journalist turned content writer with two decades of experience. Her career began as a journalist in Washington, D.C. where she interviewed politicians on Capitol Hill and foreign dignitaries on Embassy Row. Teresa also worked at the Department of Treasury, where she served as the writer-editor for Under Secretary of Enforcement Ronald K. Noble, and his equally impressive replacement Under Secretary of Enforcement Raymond W. Kelly. As a freelance writer, she writes for clients across many sectors and also ghostwrites for clients in finance.