As I walked along the streets while visiting New York City last weekend it seemed everywhere I turned I saw someone puffing on an e-cigarette.
That should be no surprise because these devices have literally EXPLODED in popularity. Sales of e-cigarettes went from $5 million in 2007 to a whopping $500 million in 2012 and $795 million in 2014.
While these contraptions initially appeared to be an option for quitting smoking that was safe—or at least less harmful than traditional cigarette smoke—well, the smoke is starting to clear on the issue (pardon the pun) and the facts are stating otherwise.
Here is the unsettling truth about e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid called “e-juice”—usually a mixture of flavorings, propylene glycol (a substance used in the manufacturing of polyester and anti-freeze), glycerin (a by-product of the soap making process) and often nicotine—until it vaporizes.
And if you’re suspecting that sucking this stuff into your lungs might not be so good, you’re right on.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data showing that the number of calls about nicotine e-juice to poison centers jumped from a mere one call per month in 2010 to 215 calls per month in 2014.
Some of the flavors currently marketed contain a chemical called diacetyl that has been associated with popcorn lung.
And a San Diego Veterans Affairs lab investigation found that two e-cigarette products damaged cells in ways that could lead to cancer, even when nicotine-free.
In addition, several lawsuits have been filed against e-cigarette manufacturers from injuries sustained by users when the devices have exploded, causing lost teeth, facial burns and even near blindness.
The latest study—a major nail in the coffin
According to a study published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine, e-cigarettes expose the lungs to toxicity, reduce immune function and encourage harmful bacterial activity, potentially making superbugs more deadly.
Researchers at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) carried out mouse studies to examine the effects of e-juices from seven different manufacturers. The scientists exposed the mice to e-cigarette vapors for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks.
Results showed that inflammatory markers in the airways and blood of mice after inhaling e-vapors were 10 percent higher than those in unexposed mice—and remember that’s after just 4 weeks.
In addition, when unexposed mice were infected with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)—the antibiotic-resistant “superbug”—they survived, but 25 percent of the e-cigarette mice infected with MRSA died.
So in other words, MRSA becomes stronger and more lethal when exposed to e-cigarette vapor!
Moreover, some of the changes observed in the mice are similar to those seen in the airways and blood of conventional cigarette smokers, and others resemble human cancers or inflammatory lung disease.
They’re BOTH bad!
So the moral of the story here is ALL cigarettes are bad—whether they are conventional tobacco or vapor butts is irrelevant.
Cigarettes in all forms destroy your friendly gut bacteria, reduce your immune functioning, impair your absorption of nutrients and of course, set the stage for early aging, disease, and death.
Plus remember you’re not the only one affected here. Even if you don’t smoke around your loved ones, they will most assuredly be impacted when you get sick and die.
I’ve been without a Dad since age 15 (38 long years) because of smoking, and nothing in my life has been as devastating as losing him as a kid.
Do yourself a favor
Please, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and quit smoking. There are a lot of great programs and aids to help you—do whatever works for you.
Note that I heavily caution you about taking the medication route. Both antidepressants and Chantix present several frightening side effects (including suicide), so aim to do it without opening yourself up to even more dangers from drugs. Millions have done it before you so it’s not impossible.
Keep in mind that many successful quitters have to try several times before they actually quit for good, so if you fall off the wagon, try again.
If you don’t already do so, this is the time to start EXERCISING! Not only will regular exercise help curb the jitters and anxiety from smoking cessation, but it will also help prevent any post-smoking weight gain if you substitute food for cigarettes.
So get your doctor’s OK and start getting fit now!
And most importantly, help your body recover from smoking’s harmful effects. If you’ve been a smoker for a while, chances are excellent that you have one or more serious nutrient deficiencies and your friendly gut flora has taken a major hit.
In addition to having a healthy diet of nutritious real foods (wait until you SEE how great food tastes once you quit smoking!) a complete multi-vitamin formula like Super Core can help make sure your nutrient levels are where they should be, and an outstanding probiotic formula like Super Shield can help your population of getting bacteria get back to a healthier level, supporting sound immune function and nutrient absorption.
Get on the wagon to spending the rest of YOUR life as a healthy non-smoker.