Health data regarding the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems has been piling up lately and the results are not good for people who think they are avoiding the dangers of tobacco smoke by vaping instead. In a large American study from earlier this year, researchers found that adult users of e-cigarettes had a 71% higher risk of suffering a stroke and a 59% higher risk of having a heart attack compared with non-users. Of course, these numbers aren’t as bad as they are for tobacco leaf-smoking individuals, according to Brian Bienkowski:
Compared to non-users, traditional tobacco users were 165 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke.
“Cigarette smoking carries a much higher probability of heart attack and stroke than e-cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is safe,” Vindhyal said.
Bienkowski found another large study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing higher rates of mental health problems as well:
Compared to non-users, they found e-cigarette users were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke. Users reported 10 percent more coronary artery disease problems and 44 percent more circulatory problems. In addition, users were twice as likely to have depression or anxiety.
According to the American Heart Association, vaping is on the rise, especially among young Americans:
In 2016, 3.2 percent of U.S. adults and 11.3 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the preceding 30 days. Its use among young people increased by 900 percent between 2011 and 2015.
I imagine most parents who smoke and/or vape don’t want their kids to grow up with the same bad habits and addictions. “I’ll let them make their own choices” aren’t words you are likely to hear from any parent on the subject of smoking or vaping. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear a parent say, “I’d rather they vape than smoke.” Or would it?
Tomorrow on The PediaBlog, we’ll take a look at the mixed messages parents are sending their kids regarding the dangers of smoking tobacco and vaping nicotine.