About one out of 20 Americans now uses e-cigarettes. Sales have increased 14-fold in the last decade.
Many people figure they are not as bad as tobacco cigarettes.
But the fact is, until now, no one has really known what they do to your body.
A major new study quantifies the risks.
E-cigarettes or vapes are electronic devices that contain a combination of liquids and chemicals. These include nicotine and a solvent carrier like propylene or glycerol. More than 7,700 different flavors are available as part of the mix.
The e-cigarette devices heat the liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled.
Vaping, as its called, is often promoted as a safer alternative to regular smoking.
The new research was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.
Scientists gathered data from 96,467 people. They compared the medical history of e-cigarette users to those who don’t use them.
They found that e-cigarette users were:
- 34% more likely to have a heart attack.
- 30% more likely to have a stroke.
- 25% more likely to have heart disease.
- 44% more likely to have a blood clot.
- 55% more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.
Dr. Mohinder Vindhyal was the study’s lead author. “I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor family members to vape,” he said.
When his research team dug deeper, they found that even when people vape infrequently “they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease,” Dr. Vindhyl said.
The study did confirm that e-cigarettes are somewhat less dangerous than smoking tobacco. In particular, tobacco carries a higher cancer risk.
But “that doesn’t mean vaping is safe,” Dr. Vindhyl said.
It’s the difference between extremely dangerous and very dangerous.
The Best Way to Quit Smoking…or Vaping
Here’s the best method to kick the habit…whether it’s tobacco or e-cigarettes.
A study by University of Oxford researchers found that behavioral counseling increases the chances of quitting by between 40% and 60%.
Behavioral therapy or counseling is a way to unlearn habits. It involves discussions of thoughts and feelings when the smoker practices the behavior. These discussions can be with professional counselors or even friends or spouses.
They can include individual in-person sessions, telephone counseling, group sessions, and written advice. All were found to be effective, although individual counseling worked best.
There are two easy ways to access behavioral counseling:
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). This toll-free number connects you directly to your state’s quit line. All states have trained coaches who provide phone counseling.
1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848). This National Cancer Institute program offers referrals to trained counselors.
One more thing…
Stay away from smoking-cessation drugs like Chantix and Zyban. Studies show they don’t improve your chances of quitting. And they are linked to depression, seizures, insomnia, headaches, and high blood pressure.