• Vaping & e-cigarettes can cause lung damage and lasting health consequences

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    November 30, 2022
    E-cigarettes are considered by many smokers/tobacco users to be a replacement for cigarettes, but increasing evidence shows e-cigarettes contain and emit several potentially toxic substances that can impact your lung health.
    “E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless water vapor,” said Dr. Jorge Perez-Cardona, oncologist at MercyOne Clinton Cancer Center. “Almost all e-cigarette devices are unregulated by any official health agency. There’s no safety regulation or purity standards on the ingredients in e-cigarettes.”
    The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that while e-cigarettes contain fewer harmful substances than the 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes, they still contain harmful substances that can lead to lung damage and health consequences.
    According to the CDC, e-cigarette aerosol contains harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
    • Nicotine
    • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
    • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease
    • Volatile organic compounds
    • Cancer-causing chemicals
    • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead
    Though e-cigarettes are relatively new, there is evidence showing young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future. A 2018 National Academy of Medicine report found that e-cigarette use increases the frequency and amount of cigarette smoking in the future. Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer.
    “Nicotine is still a highly addictive substance that impacts your health,” said Dr. Perez. “It can lead to increased risk of heart disease, vascular disease and stroke. The smoke can lead to long term diseases such as asthma, debility in general, chronic bronchitis.
    If you have a history of smoking, take our Lung Cancer Risk Assessment to find out your risk for lung cancer. Talk with your provider about how to quit smoking.

    C. Pamela Glennon, Eastern Iowa Communications Lead
    pamela.glennon@mercyhealth.com, (563) 589-8112