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Largest analysis to date on e-cigarettes shows the effects
The e-cigarette is considered controversial. Their popularity contrasts with a complete ignorance of the users about the health hazards they are exposed to due to the steam. The largest e-cigarette analysis to date has recently appeared, showing two results in particular. On the one hand, there is little evidence that e-cigarettes are conducive to quitting smoking, and on the other hand, many adolescents and young adults who have not smoked before are led to use tobacco by the e-cigarette.
In the large-scale analysis, scientists from the "National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine" evaluated over 800 studies on e-cigarettes. This evaluation was carried out by the "U.S. Food & Drug Administration ”(FDA) commissioned to resolve the dispute over the steam devices. Particular attention should be paid to whether e-cigarettes are suitable for quitting smoking and whether young people are tempted by e-cigarettes to consume conventional tobacco products. The results were published in a report by the National Academies Press (NAP).
Large amount of data
The results of the report are based on more than 800 studies that have been checked in advance by experts for their scientific usefulness. This allowed the research team to draw dozens of conclusions about the health effects of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are probably less harmful than cigarettes
First of all, the report suggests that while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are probably far less harmful than conventional cigarettes. According to the report, this is due to the lower number of toxic substances. However, the long-term health effects are still unclear, since e-cigarettes in their current form have not been on the market long enough.
E-cigarettes are popular with teenagers
The proportion of young people using e-cigarettes is higher than that of adults. Young adults represent the largest group of e-cigarette users. Men are more strongly represented in this group than women. The proportion of e-cigarette users decreases with increasing age. The report also shows substantial evidence that the use of e-cigarettes increases the risk of starting smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes.
Effects on public health remain unclear
According to the report, it is currently not possible to tell whether e-cigarettes have a positive or negative impact on public health. More and better research on the short- and long-term effects of e-cigarettes on health and their connection with conventional smoking is needed to answer this question clearly.
E-cigarettes cannot be clearly classified
"E-cigarettes cannot simply be classified as useful or harmful," said David Eaton, study director of the report, in a press release on the results. In certain circumstances, such as adolescents and young adults, their side effects should be clearly considered. In other cases, such as when adult smokers quit smoking and switch to an e-cigarette, it offers a way to reduce smoking-related illnesses.
E-cigarette nicotine intake
The report also shows that nicotine levels from e-cigarettes vary widely, depending on the properties of the device and the e-liquid. How a device is operated also plays a role. For experienced users, the nicotine intake is comparable to that of conventional cigarettes, the researchers explain.
Do e-cigarettes make you addicted?
The scientists could clearly answer this question with yes. The investigation provides significant evidence that the use of e-cigarettes leads to addiction.
Limitation of damage caused by e-cigarettes
The researchers were able to show that a complete change from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces the intake of many toxins and carcinogenic substances. A complete change can lead to a reduction in short-term negative health consequences, the experts emphasize.
Are e-cigarettes linked to cancer?
According to the report, there is currently insufficient information on whether or not the use of e-cigarettes is associated with an increased risk of cancer in humans. However, according to the scientists, some data from animal studies support the hypothesis that long-term use of e-cigarettes could increase the risk of cancer.
The study authors sum up
The authors of the study propose that the use of e-cigarettes in adolescents be curbed by more education and tightened access restrictions. In their view, the devices should also be improved in order to enable more uniform use, which offers more security for the users. (vb)