Do E-cigarettes Increase the Risk of Stroke in Young People?
Published On Aug 25, 2023, Updated On Aug 29, 2023
Over the years, E-cigarettes have gained significant popularity, establishing themselves as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. Moreover, they are also advertised as being used to help smokers quit smoking. However, recent research has discovered some bad news regarding its potential side effects. One of them is the risk of stroke among young users of e-cigarettes. What is the reason behind it? Let's do a deep dive to find out.
Table of Contents
What is an E-cigarette?
E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes, are devices that simulate tobacco smoking. E-cigarettes are powered by batteries. They have a liquid solution consisting of nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. When the liquid is heated, it produces aerosol, which is inhaled by the user. This process is similar to conventional smoking but without the combustion, which is the main source of harmful toxins in traditional cigarettes.
Negatives of E-cigarette
While smoking e-cigarettes, also called vaping, is likely far less harmful than smoking, it is still harmful. Some of the harmful effects of e-cigarettes are as follows:
Nicotine: Nicotine is the central component of both traditional and E-cigarettes. Though present in smaller quantities, nicotine in e-cigarettes is still harmful and very addictive.
Aerosol: E-cigarette aerosols contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein. They can be the source of several respiratory illnesses. Research shows that e-cigarettes increase the risk of asthma by 40%.
Gateway for tobacco usage: There is a high possibility that people who use e-cigarettes may slowly transition into using conventional cigarettes. This phenomenon is called the "gateway effect".
Risk of stroke among young people
In 2019, a study was published in the journal of the American Heart Association that highlighted the health concerns associated with e-cigarette smoking. Its primary focus was to assess the extent of cardiovascular damage, i.e., damage to the heart and blood vessels caused by e-cigarette use. Researchers found that e-cigarettes have a negative impact on cardiovascular functions, which is on the same level as traditional cigarettes. It is noteworthy, considering it challenges the perception that e-cigarettes are a substantially safer alternative to conventional smoking.
An important point to note here is that e-cigarette smokers who were part of the research were much younger and smoked for fewer years than traditional cigarette smokers who were part of the research. This observation is critical as it suggests that the side effects of e-cigarettes can manifest in a very short span of time.
Considering all these factors, it is clear that e-cigarettes have an adverse impact on the heart and blood vessels. The components of e-cigarettes damage the inner lining of the blood vessels, causing the accumulation of fatty deposits on them, restricting blood supply and consequently leading to stroke.
While e-cigarettes are often perceived as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, the potential link between their use and an increased risk of stroke in young people is a matter of concern. Young adults need to be aware of the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes to ensure protection from them.
Frequently asked questions
What is an e-liquid?
E-liquid, also called vape juice or vape liquid, is the fluid used in e-cigarettes. It is heated during usage, producing an aerosol that is inhaled by the user. E-liquid is a mixture of nicotine along with several other chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, flavourings, etc. It must be noted that different e-cigarettes have different compositions of these products.
Do e-cigarettes help overcome smoking addiction?
E-cigarettes have long been marketed to help overcome smoking addiction. However, this varies from person to person. Some find it helpful, while others don't, or worse, counterproductive. It is necessary to consult healthcare professionals before using e-cigarettes for deaddiction purposes.
What are first, second and third-generation e-cigarettes?
First-generation e-cigarettes: They resemble traditional cigarettes and are designed to give the look and feel of traditional cigarettes. They are also called cigalikes. They come with fixed, low-voltage batteries and have basic features with limited customisation options.
Second-generation e-cigarettes: Also called clearomizers, second-generation e-cigarettes are more advanced with larger, more variable voltage batteries and higher e-liquid capacity. They also come with the option of customisable nicotine levels.
Third-generation e-cigarettes: These e-cigarettes are provided with even more options, such as options for charging a cell phone changing voltage, wattage, and power. They are also called mods.
How long will an e-cigarette last?
That depends on the lifetime of the parts of the e-cigarette. The battery of an e-cigarette typically lasts around 3-6 months, while the e-liquid bottles last for a maximum of 2 weeks, depending on the model.
What is e-hookah?
A hookah is a device that is used for heating, steaming, and smoking tobacco. E-hookah is a device that simulates the smoking of hookah. While traditional hookahs are heated with charcoal, e-hookahs use an electronic heating device to vaporise a flavoured liquid called e-hookah liquid.