March Prevention Column

 E-Cigarettes… The Not-So Safe Alternative

Many people are turning to e-cigarettes, or “vaping”, as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. This new trend is continuing to become more and more popular, and is conveying the idea that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking, and possesses no danger.

Recent studies have found a hidden form of formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor. In fact, formaldehyde was found in a different form than regular formaldehyde, and this form could increase the likelihood that it would get deposited into a person’s lungs. Additionally, this form of formaldehyde was found at significantly higher concentrations than regular cigarettes (between 5% and 15% higher!)

So what? Well, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen – this means it is known to cause cancer, in this case, of the lungs. The formaldehyde differs based on the setting someone is using on their electronic cigarette device. Many people report using e-cigarettes at high settings.

Regardless, much is left unknown about the facts and dangers of vaping. Since this trend is so new, the public knows very little about long term outcomes. Don’t forget, at one point a doctor could smoke a cigarette while you were visiting with him or her, and smoking in schools was acceptable. It was only once these horrific dangers came out that a change occurred. The reason we do not know about vaping dangers is NOT because there are not any, but rather the dangerous results have not appeared yet.