E-Cigarettes May Not Be as Safe as You Think

• 2 min read 5


Cigarette smoking has long been considered as a deadly habit. To curb that, came e-cigarettes. A supposed to be a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes, that was until now.

Cigarettes have been around for a long time. From being addicted to it or just trying to look cool amongst others, smoking cigarettes is prevalent in every section of our society.

Despite the numerous warnings that smoking kills, people haven’t stopped the habit.

Following the trend of having a “healthy alternative” to everything unhealthy, came e-cigarettes and the concept of vaping.

Vaping has become so popular that a survey conducted Surgeon General, reported a 900% increase in usage of e-cigarettes amongst high school students from 2011 – 2015. [1]

In case, you’re not aware of what exactly an e-cigarette is, here’s a quick primer on the fancy new gadget.

What is an e-cigarette?

An e-cigarette is a small handheld device that emulates the behaviour of a traditional tobacco cigarette without the known harmful effects of tobacco.

The process is quite simple.

Instead of relying on tobacco to give you pleasure, the device uses a liquid mixture called e-liquid to create the smoke that you inhale.

You might have heard of the term vaping. Well, that’s smoking an e-cigarette, in short.

Really healthy?

For years, e-cigarettes have been marketed to smokers as a “healthy alternative” to regular tobacco cigarettes.

A recent study by the University of North Carolina, however, indicates that e-cigarettes trigger some unique immune responses in addition to what is triggered by a regular cigarette [2].

Taking a deeper look:

E-cigarettes have shown to significantly increase neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in the human airway and outside the lungs.

NETs are released by white blood cells known as neutrophils to control microbial infections.

A good defence mechanism, indeed, but when NETs are present in excess it can lead to diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [3].

Like the saying goes, too much of something can be bad for you.

In addition to this, e-cigarettes seem to mimic the harmful effects of a regular cigarette by significantly increasing the mucus secretion specifically mucin MUC5AC.

An overproduction of mucin MUC5AC is linked to various diseases like chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, asthma, and wheezing.

That doesn’t sound healthy to me.

To vape or not to vape?

Dr. Mehmet Kesimer, coauthor of the mentioned study says,

“This research challenges the concept that switching to e-cigarettes is a healthier alternative.”

Indeed, given the data from the study, switching to e-cigarettes might not be a healthy choice after all.

What’s the healthier option here?

Quit smoking.

Not only will you do your body a favour, but also feel better.

While there are many controversies on which method works the best, this video will give you some insights.

Quit smoking or know anyone who has?

Let us know.

Don’t forget to spread the news by sharing this article with your friends and loved ones.

READ NEXT: You Shouldn’t Trust Your BMI Score – here’s why

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