Teens, E-cigarette’s and health risks

authordebStarred Page By authordeb, 14th Nov 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Public Health

Even though e-cigarettes do not produce smoke they still contain nicotine and harmful chemical. E-cigarette use is on the rise with teens who may not be aware of the health risks.

E-Cigarette Use

National data released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show that the use of e-cigarettes has surpassed the use of cigarettes for the second year in a row, with 10.6 percent of high schoolers and 5.3 percent of middle schoolers had reported using e-cigarettes. Since 2011, there has been a ten- fold increase among high schoolers and almost nine-fold increase among middle schoolers. The survey revealed over 2.3 million high schoolers and 620,000 middle schoolers currently use e-cigarettes.

What are they vaping?

Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at what substances teens’ vaped and the last time they used an e-cigarette. The researchers used data from Monitoring the Future, an annual representative survey of US 12th, 10th, and eighth graders.

They found among teens that never used an e-cigarette to vaporize 65 – 66 percent last used it just for flavoring in 12th, 10th, and eighth grade. In all three grades of students who just used it for flavoring was over 57 percent for males, females, African Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, and students with or without a parent with a college degree. Among teens that vaped nicotine at last use had increased national averages of tobacco and nicotine use in the past thirty days by 24 – 38 percent and above.

Over 60 percent of teens in a Hawaii survey chose e-cigarettes because they believe they are healthier than traditional cigarettes according to a study in Pediatrics. Also revealed in the study the use of e-cigarettes has increased at a rapid rate doubling every year since 2009.

E-cigarette flavors are the safe?

Research published this year in Environmental Science &Technology reported that vapors produced by flavored e-cigarettes liquids contain dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals known to cause cancer in humans. Recent reports have shown that many flavors are available including gummy bear, bubble gum, etc.

Researchers from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada, measured concentrations of 12 aldehydes (organic compounds) in aerosols produced by three common e-cigarette devices. To determine whether the flavoring additives affected aldehyde production during vaping, five flavored e-liquids were tested in each device. In addition, two unflavored e-liquids were also tested.

E-cigarette vapor was produced from each device was produced from each device by a four-second, 40-ml controlled puff, with 30-second resting periods between puffs. The devices were manually operated to duplicate real-life conditions. All samples were collected in triplicate for verification and confirmation of results.

For the series of experiments the researchers tested flavored e-liquid that was diluted with different amounts of unflavored e-liquid.

The researchers found that in all experiments the amount of aldehydes produced by the flavored e-cigarette liquids exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for hazardous chemical exposure.

"One puff of any of the flavored e-liquids that we tested exposes the smoker to unacceptably dangerous levels of these aldehydes, most of which originates from thermal decomposition of the flavoring compounds," said Andrey Khylstov, Ph.D., an associate research professor of atmospheric sciences at DRI.

Health Effects

E-cigarettes are a tobacco product and the potential health consequences and safety of these products are unknown. Initial studies show that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and also may add in other harmful chemicals, including carcinogens and lung irritants. Other health effects linked to e-cigarettes include the following.

Immune Suppression

In a study published the American Journal of Physiology. Lead researcher lona Jaspers, professor of pediatrics, and microbiology and immunology at UNC in collaboration with researchers from the University of California at San Francisco, recruited 13 non-smokers, 14 smokers and 12 e-cigarette users. Each participant kept a journal detailing their cigarette or e-cigarette usage.

The team examined the participant’s blood and urine samples for confirmation of nicotine levels and biomarker relevant to tobacco use.

After a period of three weeks researchers took samples from nasal passages from participants in order to examine the expression of genes important for immune responses.

The non-smokers were used as the comparison group; the team found that cigarette smoking decreased the gene expression of 53 genes that are important for immune response. Using e-cigarettes decreased the gene expression of 358 genes important for immune defense - including all 53 genes implicated in the smoking group.

Researchers compared the genes one by one and found that each gen e common to both groups was suppressed more in the e-cigarette group.

The data indicates that vaping e-cigarettes is linked with decreased expression of a large number of immune-related genes, which are consistent with immune suppression at the level of the nasal mucosa (tissue in the nasal cavity).

Lung damage

In 2012, a study presented at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna added new evidence to the debate over the safety of e-cigarettes.

Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece examined the short-term effects of using e-cigarettes on various people including those who without known health problems and smokers with and without existing lung conditions.

The study consisted of eight never smokers, 24 smokers, 11 with normal lung function and 13 with COPD or asthma. Each person used an e-cigarette for 10 minutes. Researchers measure participants airway resistant using various tests including spirometry test.

The results showed that all participants had an increase airway resistance from the e-cigarettes that lasted for 10 minutes. Among non-smokers there was a significant increase in airway resistance on average from 182 to 206 percent. In smokers with normal lung function they too had a significant increase from 176 to 220 percent. In participants with COPD or asthma the use of one e-cigarette appeared to have no immediate effect.

The study suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking. Moe research is warranted to understand if the harm caused has long lasting effects.


A study from Well Cornel Medical College compared reduced nicotine cigarettes like Quest 3 and Eclipse compared to regular cigarettes. The study found that mice exposed to smoke from reduced nicotine cigarettes had smaller atherosclerotic lesions compared to exposure from regular cigarettes. The accelerating effects of smoking on lesions were seen early, within weeks of smoke exposure. According to researchers these findings points to the special role of nicotine in promoting arteriosclerosis.


According to a CDC study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 3, 2014, had found that 51.1 percent of calls to poison control centers are due to e-cigarettes involving young children under five and 42 percent for people 20 and older.

Poisoning related to e-cigarettes is usually due to young children eating them. Poisoning involves the liquid containing nicotine used in the devices and can occur in three ways: by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin or eyes.

E-cigarette calls were more likely than cigarette calls to include a report of an adverse health effect following exposure. The most common adverse health effects mentioned in e-cigarette calls were vomiting, nausea and eye irritation.

What’s in e-cigarettes?

According to the American Lung Association initial studies show that e-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals including carcinogens and lung irritants.

In 2009, the FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer causing chemicals that included an ingredient used in antifreeze.

A 2014 study found the aerosol from e-cigarettes with a higher voltage level contains more formaldehyde, a carcinogen that causes cancer.

Diacetyl, a buttery flavored chemical often added to such as popcorn and dairy have been found in some e-cigarette flavors. This chemical can cause serious and irreversible lung disease.

Nicotine found in some e-cigarettes in large doses can cause poisoning with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

E-cigarettes are a tobacco product. The American Lung Association remains concerned about their impact on the public health, as they are now the most commonly used tobacco product by youth. As FDA begins its oversight of these products, we will learn more about them and more safeguards will be put in place to protect the public health.

Tips for talking to your kids about vaping can be found online at Keep Your Kids from Vaping


Tobacco Free Kids
Desert Research Institute
American Lung Association
COPD News of the Day Retrieved From

Nicotine May Accelerate Atherosclerosis, May Be as Dangerous as Tar | Newsroom | Weill Cornell Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2007/09/nicotine-may-accelerate-atherosclerosis-may-be-as-dangerous-as-tar


Chemicals, E-Cigarettes, Effects, Health, Nicotine, Teens

Meet the author

author avatar authordeb
Author of the Love and Laughter series
Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Freelance Health Write
Works with Media companies for interviews and articles such as Howie Mandel for Afib,

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
16th Nov 2016 (#)

I have long suspected these e-cigarettes to be harmful. I have noticed teens using them today in the same way teens of yesteryear were smoking. They need to get it through their heads that it isn't cool.

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