E-Cigarettes. They are not what you think they are. New studies are proving that electronic-cigarettes are extremely unhealthy, contrary to popular opinions. According to Robin Koval, CEO of Legacy, E-Cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug that comes from tobacco plants that causes changes in the brain, when inhaled.
The non-profit organization Tobacco Free California (TFC), cited the Surgeon General’s report, which states, “Nicotine may contribute to the hardening of the arteries, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke”. When the smoke from the cigarette is inhaled, all of the chemicals spread out and start to harden the arteries by forming plaque. Nicotine is also a stimulant so it increases the heart rate of the person which could also lead to hardening of the arteries.
“The nicotine in these cigarettes are relieving for most people, however, they do not know what this drug could do to them and the others around them. It is most dangerous to the people around the smoker because of something called second-hand smoke” Angela Zhang, a 12th grader at SPHS (South Pasadena High School) told JSR. Second-hand smoke is as dangerous as smoking the actual cigarette because most chemicals that the smoker breathes in comes back out but with less tar.
Additionally, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) stated, “Electronic Cigarettes are battery operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user”. When asked to predict what the FDA would decide about E-cig regulation, Hannah Kim from South Pasadena High School said, “They will definitely approve the E-cig. E-cigarettes are basically the same thing as tobacco. They both contain nicotine. Since they are basically the same, E-cigs should be approved too,” Kim explained.
In addition, the FDA has approved that tobacco is not something that is beneficial in any way. However, the E-Cigarette, a type of cigarette that contains deadly chemicals, is expected to become approved by the FDA sometime soon.
However, what more is that E-cigarettes are becoming more popular to teens. Jamie Primeau from Choices Magazine said that E-Cigarette producers are now trying to attract more teenagers to smoke their products by adding flavorings and using celebrity endorsements. However, according to the TFC organization, “some FDA-approved flavors damage lung tissue over time.” The chemicals inside the flavorings approved by the FDA are harmful because they contain chemicals that could increase the risk of lung cancer.
“We’re finding that kids who never smoked before are using E-cigs, and they may be moving on to smoking regular cigarettes,” explains Dr. Garry Sigman, director of adolescent medicine at Loyola University Medical Center. Teens that never smoked before because they thought that tobacco was bad for them are now starting to smoke e-cigarettes because they got information saying that they are healthier.
With such unhealthy trends rising, it is crucial to spread the word and raise awareness of the dangers smoking – regular cigarettes or e-cigarettes – come with.
Nicole Kim, Grade 10
South Pasadena High School