E-Cigarettes Risks: Are E-Cigarettes Worse Than Smoking?

E-cigarette, also called "e-cigs", "vapes", "e-hookahs", "vape pens", and "electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)", is composed of electronic cigarette set and electronic cigarette liquid or cigarette oil.

It has the same appearance and similar taste as cigarettes, and even has much more flavor than ordinary cigarettes.

Various tobacco enterprises are constantly studying e-cigarette of various flavors to attract the attention of young people. At present, there are tens of thousands of e-cigarettes with different flavors in the market.

For young people, their taste needs are extremely different, so compared with traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes are more attractive to them. Some of them are exposed to nicotine and become addicted, and the result is that these teenagers will become the majority of future smokers.

At present, most e-cigarette enterprises vigorously publicize the advantages of e-cigarettes under the pretext of "less harm than traditional tobacco", giving many people an illusion that they will be away from cigarettes and carcinogens after smoking e-cigarettes. But in fact, e-cigarettes are also cigarettes, and they are also harmful to us.

What's the Difference Between Traditional Cigarettes and E-cigarettes?

1. Nicotine

The nicotine content in e-cigarettes is no less than that of traditional cigarettes. After entering the body, nicotine will cause blood vessel contraction, accelerate the heartbeat and breathing speed, and further increase the blood pressure.

2. Propylene Glycol

The amount of propylene glycol in e-cigarettes is much higher than that in regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes use propylene glycol as a humidifier, which has a puffing effect. Propylene glycol, which is found in the highest levels of e-cigarette ingredients, can irritate the respiratory tract and trigger a range of acute symptoms.

3. Allyl Alcohol

Vaping devices are fast to warm, and allyl alcohol can be produced during the heating process, which is a highly toxic substance. Long-term inhalation of allyl alcohol can harm the respiratory tract, causing bronchitis, laryngitis and chest pressure, and even induce pulmonary edema, pneumonia and nephritis, as well as heart failure and shock.

4. Ethylene Glycol and Glycerol

Glycerin aerosol and ethylene glycol vapor produced by e-cigarette can stimulate skin and mucous membrane tissue, easily cause skin and eyes to dry and dehydrate, reduce the resistance of skin and respiratory mucosa and other organs and tissues, and cause invasion of pathogenic bacteria and increase the risk of disease.

5. Flavoring Agents

To appeal to consumers, e-cigarettes are packed with flavors such as creamy mint, blueberry, strawberry, and cherry. These flavoring chemicals can damage bronchial cells when inhaled into the lungs. 

In addition, a variety of other harmful substances have been detected in vaping fumes, including nitrosamines, propionaldehyde and formaldehyde, heavy metal particles and silicon hydrochloric acid.

What Are the Risks of E-cigarettes?

1. Vaping has been linked to negative effects on cardiovascular health and cancer. The liquid in e-cigarettes also contains nicotine, which affects blood flow, causing blood pressure to rise and further straining the heart. 

In addition to heart function, vaping can also harm a person's lungs, causing difficulty breathing. In the long run, smokers can develop asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and, in serious cases, lung cancer.

2.  Vaping can affect the development of the nervous system and digestive system. In addition to those mentioned above, nicotine may affect brain maturation and nervous system development for adolescents.

In terms of neurological damage, scholars like Konstantinos E. Farsalinos have found that vaping can cause headaches, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia and other symptoms; In terms of the damage to the digestive system, it can also lead to diseases including mouth, throat, stomach and so on.

3. Secondhand e-cigarette vapor can also harm the health of people around. As we all know, traditional secondhand smoke do great harm to people around, such as inducing respiratory diseases, increasing the incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, affecting children's intellectual development, and impairing people's memory.

Similarly, secondhand e-cigarette vapor can also be harmful to people around, because the aerosols in it contain toxic substances such as nicotine, particulate matter and potential carcinogens. 

Studies have shown that when people are exposed to the e-cigarette vaping aerosols, the lung function will change immediately and discomforts to the eyes, nose and throat wil be caused.

4. Vaping may cause osteoporosis. According to a paper published in 2021, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center first conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from the US Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HNutrition) from 2017 to 2018 and conducted a sample survey of more than 5,500 adult e-cigarette users in the US on this basis. 

The study found that e-cigarette users had a higher prevalence of osteoporosis than non-e-cigarette users, which shows that e-cigarettes may have an unshirkable responsibility for human osteoporosis.

Which Is More Harmful, E-cigarettes or Traditional Cigarettes?

E-cigarettes appear to be less harmful than traditional cigarettes:

  • Traditional Cigarette
  1. Respiratory diseases: High level of addiction.
  2. Nicotine addiction: COPD, asthma.
  3. Diseases: Hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease.
  4. Malignant tumor: Lung cancer, oral cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, renal cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer.
  5. Immune system: Greater damage.
  6. Reproductive system: Greater damage.
  • E-Cigarette
  1. Respiratory diseases: High level of addiction.
  2. Nicotine addiction: Allergic airway inflammation.
  3. Diseases: Increased risk of heart and lung disease.
  4. Malignant tumor: Oral cancer.

Although the harm of e-cigarettes to the human body is indeed less than that of traditional cigarettes in terms of composition, the e-cigarettes liquid still contains nicotine that can cause addiction, as well as other carcinogen.

Can Vaping Be Addictive?

E-cigarettes contain a lot of nicotine, which makes people addictive. The amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes is higher than that in traditional cigarettes. When nicotine is inhaled into the lungs, it gradually invades the brain and accelerates the release of dopamine, which gives smokers a temporary feeling of pleasure and makes them addicted to smoking.


In the most save way, it is suggested to quit smoking, whether traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

On the other hand, with e-cigarettes becoming more and more popular now, the dangers of secondhand e-cigarette vapor are becoming more and more serious. So it's better to keep an air purifier at home to protect yourself from being damaged by secondhand e-cigarette vapor or secondhand smoke. 

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