A prestigious medical professional association in the United Kingdom recommends using e-cigs to quit cigarettes. Before we look at the UK report, let’s first remind ourselves why it’s important to “make the switch” with an overview of how cigarettes harm the body.
- How Smoking Impacts the Body
- UK Medical Report Recommends Vaping
- Make the Switch
How Smoking Impacts the Body
Smoking really is incredibly dangerous to one’s health. It has negative effects on almost all of a person’s organs and contributes to practically 20% of American deaths annually.
Here are specific ways the body is hurt by cigarettes:
Our immune system allows us to properly fight off disease. Smoking cigarettes weakens the immune system, leading the way to respiratory infections. Cigarettes also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (doubling susceptibility) and Chron’s disease.
If you smoke, you are 30-40% likelier to eventually be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
When people smoke, their bones gradually become less dense. Along with obesity and drinking, smoking is a major contributor to osteoporosis, a loss of strength in the skeletal system that often leads to broken bones.
Senior citizens of both sexes tend to have significantly less bone mass when they smoke than when they do not. Women are at especially great risk of osteoporosis if they start smoking when they’re young, notes the US Department of Health & Human Services. “Smoking lowers the level of the hormone estrogen in your body,” says the HHS, “which can cause you to go through menopause earlier, boosting your risk for osteoporosis.”
There are at least 599 possible additives in cigarettes, which lead to the 7000 chemicals that have been detected in the smoke. The chemicals cause cellular damage and heart dysfunction. In turn, smokers are likelier to develop atherosclerosis (accrual of plaque in the arteries), aneurysms (bulging and possible rupture in the vessels), cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, heart attack, etc.), coronary heart disease (plaque and proteins binding into clots), stroke (brain damage resulting from bleeding or clots), and peripheral arterial disease (which, like atherosclerosis, involves arterial plaque buildup).
Many people with cigarette habits complain that it becomes challenging to go up flights of stairs, so it should be no surprise that smoking makes it more difficult to breathe. It also causes lung scarring and increases your risk for tuberculosis, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage,” explains the HHS, “all of which can lead to blindness.”
Cigarette smoke contains at least 70 known carcinogens, making it the top cause of lung cancer and a contributor to other forms of cancer throughout the body.
UK Medical Report Recommends Vaping
A report released in April 2016 by a prominent British medical society argues that people should quit smoking through the use of electronic cigarettes. Here are primary takeaways from the paper published by the Royal College of Physicians:
- Smoking is a preventable source of death and disability.
- The majority of health problems people will experience in the next few years will be experienced by current smokers.
- It is not easy to get off of cigarettes. The majority of men and women who use cigarettes now will not give them up for years.
- Nicotine causes addiction, but health is placed at much greater risk by the chemicals found in the smoke.
- By giving smokers access to nicotine outside the context of cigarettes (as occurs in nicotine versions of e-cigarettes), society can effectively avoid the health dangers of smoking.
- “E-cigarettes appear to be effective when used by smokers as an aid to quitting smoking,” says the Royal College. “[T]he hazard to health arising from long-term [use of] e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.”
- Many people are worried that e-cigs will make cigarette smoking more prevalent since vaping is a similar activity, since teens could use it as a gateway, and since it might only be effective as a temporary measure.
- The available data does not suggest that any of those concerns are valid. Nearly all current users of e-cigarettes start vaping because they want to get away from cigarettes, so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from its dangers.
- Although consumer safety should of course be protected, any regulations that are introduced for electronic cigarettes should not hinder vaping device innovation or product access.
- Major tobacco companies are now a part of the electronic cigarette market, and these firms “can be expected to try to exploit these products to market tobacco cigarettes, and to undermine wider tobacco control work,” reports the Royal College. “However, in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes… as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking.”
Make the Switch
Do you want to quit smoking to avoid the extensively negative impact the habit has on the body? At eCIG.com, we only stock new, authentic, brand-name ecig products and accessories. Get your starter kit now.