E-cigarettes – A boon, or a curse?
E-cigarettes is mankind’s safer options to the addiction of cigarettes. Marketed as the new and easier way to smoke, it still doesn’t promise a safer experience. Scientists are not so sure about its long term health hazards. This consequently leads us to understand that we should regard it with wariness. E-cigarettes created in the early 2000s has the obvious aim of helping smokers without them having to face health problems. FDA’s jurisdiction saw E-cigarettes in 2016. It was a potential technology engaged in saving lives. No wonder it gave them the plus point for allowing their sales. A caveat issued demands the lengthy approval process. It needs completion by August 2022.
However, the FDA didn’t oversee the explosion of teen use. With the available flavors, it has suddenly become appealing to teens and young people. 2017 saw over 2 million middle and high school students vaping.
Jessica Oakes, a researcher of the Northeastern University, concerns herself about how fast it is getting caught in the crowd. This concern is regardless of the fact that scientists are yet to take a decision on its safety. Oakes and Professor Chiara Bellini got an FDA-funded grant to study its effects. When the contents get heat exposure, the cartridge seems to transform into chemicals called aldehydes. This, Oakes observed, causes cancer.
“There are less of them [in e-cigarettes] than there are in cigarettes,” Oakes said. “But we still don’t know how much is harmful.”
Oakes and Bellini are researching about these potential long-term effects. However, the project is rather time-consuming, which led them to use mice to speed up the process. Six months for a mouse is as same as 20 years for a human. “Their systems are so similar to ours,” Bellini said. “It is a good system to study how things work, and what happens if they go wrong.”
The research enabled them to test the changes in the cardiovascular system. These changes take place with frequent and extended exposure to e-cigarettes. If the results are more than negative, an entire generation might be landing in a horde of new diseases.
“We don’t want to repeat history,” Oakes said.