The e-cigarette is marketed as a means to help you get your nicotine fix without having to expose anyone to second-hand or third-hand smoke. However, a small study done by researchers in Greece says there might be short-term side effects to using e-cigarettes.
Researchers recruited 30 healthy smokers and asked them to give e-cigarettes a puff. After five minutes, the participants showed signs of airway constriction and inflammation. Unfortunately, the researchers were unable to find the root of the problem, but they believe the culprit could be one of the ingredients used in e-cigarette cartridges.
"There are claims that e-cigarettes have no health effects, but that's not correct," lead researcher Constantine Vardavas of the Harvard School of Public Health told Reuters Health. He added, though, that more research needed to be done to find out what the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes are. Whether or not the same signs would appear in long-term users of the products, for example, was not explored in the study. Vardavas also said using e-cigarettes temporarily as a way to kick the smoking habit might mean getting long-term health benefits that outweigh short-term side effects.
Meanwhile, Ray Story, CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, was quoted as saying, "[The e-cigarette] is a product that eliminates second-hand and third-hand smoke. We already know e-cigarettes are much safer than the conventional cigarette because you're not burning it, and you don't have the five or six thousand ingredients in cigarettes, which are mostly dangerous chemicals."
While the five main ingreidents for making e-cigarettes are all US Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA), however, Reuters Health also noted that the FDA previously warned five e-cigarette companies against touting their products as "stop smoking" devices.
For more on smoking, check out these articles:
- No Smoking! 11 Things to Remember When Trying to Quit
- New Study: These 4 Bad Habits Can Shorten Your Life by 12 Years
- DOH: Smoke in bars worse than anywhere else + 5 ways to protect yourself against secondhand smoke
You can also read up on more studies about smoking here:
- Face Your Fears: See What Drinking, Smoking, and Overeating Will Do to You
- New Study: Teen Smokers More Likely to Quit If They Exercise
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)