Drug facts: E-Cigs

May 31 is World No-Tobacco Day. World Health Organization (WHO) created that day in 1987 with the intention of not using all forms of tobacco for a 24-hour period around the globe.

“I only smoke when I go out.”, “I just bum cigarettes, I never buy them. That doesn’t count, right?”, “I can go a long time between smokes. So I’m not addicted.” Does it sound familiar? If yes, you most probably consider yourself a “social smoker,” or a “light” smoker. It does make you fell better, doesn't it? The truth is - you’re still smoking. Even if you smoke only now and then, you are still destroying your body or as it is often said "feeding your lung cancer".

“When you take the first puff, your metabolism has changed,” Russell V. Luepker, MD, a cardiology professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. says. “Your heart beats faster. … [People don’t realize] the sudden impact one cigarette has.” And it's not just about your lungs. Many people know that smoking can cause lung cancer. But many people do not know that smoking, even if it's "just one cigarette" has tremendous effect on your heart!

How about e-cigs? Electronic cigarettes (also called e-cigarettes, e-cigs, ENDS - Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) are devices operated by a battery system. They were designed to deliver nicotine with flavors or other chemicals to replace the smoke. E-cigs are designed to resemble traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Nowadays, they can resamble everday objects such as pens or USB memory sticks. More than 250 different e-cigs brands are available on the market. While e-cigarettes are promoted to be safer and healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, little is known about the results of using these devices. A small study suggests that the regular users of e-cigarettes may face an increased risk for heart disease:

"This is the first study to look at these cardiac risk factors in habitual e-cigarette users. The results were a bit surprising, since it is widely believed that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes," said Dr. Holly Middlekauff, a professor with the division of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Another study suggests that the liquid used in e-cigs may contain high levels of toxic and cancer-causing metals:

"We do not know if these levels are dangerous, but their presence is troubling and could mean that the metals end up in the aerosol that e-cigarette users inhale," said Ana Maria Rule, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. What's more, the statistics about ENDS use are terrifying - more than 3 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2015 (in 2014 - 2.46 million).

"My Dad was smoking a pack of cigarettes per day for almost 20 years. You know when he stopped? When he found out that his second daugter has asthma. He didn't wait. He wasn't looking for excuses and saying It's so difficult to stop smoking if you had been smoking for so many years. He just stopped, i-m-m-e-d-i-a-t-e-l-y, because he didn't want to waste the breaths which his daughter was and still is fighting for everyday."

Quit smoking. It's never to late.

If you can't stop smoking, cancer will.






Beata Jaranowska