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Electronic cigarettes loaded with nicotine-based liquid are potentially as harmful as tobacco cigarettes when it comes to cancer-causing DNA damage, new research has found. Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a battery-operated device that emits doses of vaporized nicotine and gives a similar sensation as that of a nicotine cigarette but without the smoke.
The process of inhaling the smoke from an e-cigarette is termed as vaping, something that has become a trend amongst youngsters all over the globe. The devices contain a tank full of nicotine-laced liquid that is heated up by an atomizer to produce smokeless vapours of water mixed with minimal amounts of vapourised nicotine and flavour that you can inhale in through a mouthpiece  .
E-cigarettes can contain nicotine but not many of the harmful substances produced by smoking tobacco, such as tar or carbon monoxide. 'While preliminary evidence suggests that e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes, our findings suggest that a potential increase in harmful cigarette use may follow as e-cigarette use continues to rise among adolescent populations', asserts researchers  .
In contradiction to the common belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful, various studies have pointed out the similar or even elevated levels of risks this habit can cause  . Read on to know the ways and means through which this device can affect your health negatively.
Health Risks Of E-cigarettes
While e-cigarettes may help some people quit, there is growing evidence that vaping is extremely harmful to your health.
1. Brain damage
Smoking e-cigarettes are in no way beneficial for your health and is equally harmful as that of smoking a cigarette. Nicotine is addictive and can harm the proper functioning of an adolescent brain. This can cause behavioural risks and addiction to other nicotine products or drugs  .
2. Causes lung disease
E-cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals such as acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde, which are all responsible for damaging the proper functioning of your lungs. These chemicals can cause lung diseases such as acute lung injury and COPD  .
3. Causes asthma
Breathing in smoke can trigger asthma, and the habit of smoking e-cigarettes can severely damage your lungs, resulting in the development of asthma. The chemical acrolein found in e-cigarettes is a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds, is one of the central causes for the development of asthma  .
4. Damages DNA
Various studies have been conducted on understanding the impact of e-cigarette on DNA. And it was asserted that e-cigarettes could cause damage to human DNA and the potential damage was found to increase with the number of puffs. Vapour from non-nicotine e-cigarettes caused as much DNA damage as filtered cigarettes, possibly due to the many chemical additives present in e-cigarette vapours  .
5. Spreads infection
One of the major drawbacks of an e-cigarette is that people tend to share it with others, resulting in the development of various infectious diseases. It increases the risk of transferring diseases and viruses  .
6. Causes addiction
Nicotine is highly addictive and smoking cigarettes or vaping can lead to the individual developing an addiction. Once addicted, it can be difficult for the brain to give up the habit  .
Some of the other risks involved with the habit of smoking e-cigarettes are stomach cancer, bladder cancer, oesophageal cancer, heart diseases and respiratory issues like emphysema  .
[Image Courtesy: https://www.blacknote.com]
On A Final Note...
Vaping or smoking e-cigarettes in no way can be considered as less-harmful means of smoking. To quit the habit of smoking cigarettes, try giving it up as a whole and not by replacing it with another dangerous habit. From your brain to your stomach, each and every internal organ in your body will be negatively affected by his habit. Therefore, try adopting preventive measures and remedies to give up the habit that costs you, your life!
-  Wills, T. A., Knight, R., Williams, R. J., Pagano, I., & Sargent, J. D. (2015). Risk factors for exclusive e-cigarette use and dual e-cigarette use and tobacco use in adolescents. Pediatrics, 135(1), e43.
-  Schober, W., Szendrei, K., Matzen, W., Osiander-Fuchs, H., Heitmann, D., Schettgen, T., ... & Fromme, H. (2014). Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers. International journal of hygiene and environmental health, 217(6), 628-637.
-  Schripp, T., Markewitz, D., Uhde, E., & Salthammer, T. (2013). Does e‐cigarette consumption cause passive vaping?. Indoor air, 23(1), 25-31.
-  Polosa, R., Caponnetto, P., Morjaria, J. B., Papale, G., Campagna, D., & Russo, C. (2011). Effect of an electronic nicotine delivery device (e-Cigarette) on smoking reduction and cessation: a prospective 6-month pilot study. BMC public health, 11(1), 786.
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