For several decades now, cigarette ads have been banned from TV and radio. Think about it. Except for the occasional ad in a magazine you may pick up in a doctor’s office (only because your phone is dead), you will not see an ad for Marlboro, Newport, or any other cigarette on TV or hear one on the radio. On April 1, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which banned cigarette ads from airing on television and radio.
Fast forward to 2019, and not a day goes by that you don’t see an ad for Juul vaping devices at some point while watching TV. At first, Juul focused most of its advertising on social media, targeting the young, party-going 20-something demographic. Regarding Juul ads, not only do many people feel vaping companies are targeting children and adolescents, some are concerned about the ubiquitous advertisements now seen on so many media platforms. With more and more scientific evidence about the dangers associated with vaping being published every week as well as news stories of teens being admitted to hospitals after vaping, now the concern is why are the makers of e-cigarettes still claiming that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking tobacco?
Studies Tell Us that Vaping is Dangerous
Vaping, which was first touted as a way to stop smoking or as a way to enjoy smoking without the danger of the tar, nicotine, and carcinogens of tobacco is now coming under fire for being just as, if not more, dangerous than smoking cigarettes. Keep in mind that e-cigs have only been around for a short time, and the research has just recently just ramped up after reports of people suffering various health issues following extended use of vaping products.
One especially alarming study published by the Stanford University School of Medicine reported that vaping leads to an increased risk of heart disease. This team of researchers used endothelial cells to measure the effects of vaping on the cardiovascular system. Endothelial cells line the interior surface of blood vessels and are found all through the human circulatory system. These cells are necessary for clotting blood, healing wounds, and controlling inflammation.
The doctors at Stanford studied endothelial cells before and after being exposed to the chemicals found in vaping liquids. Stanford doctors used a number of different flavors of e-juice and used both those containing nicotine and without nicotine. This study did nothing to support the vaping industry’s contention that it’s a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Nicotine is an intensely addictive chemical whether it is ingested through a cigarette or by vaping, but this study showed the damage to the endothelial cells was found to be the same whether the e-juicecontained nicotine or not. So, even if you are using an e-juice in your vaping device that does not contain nicotine, you are doing the same damage to your cells.
Since this report came out earlier this year, other evidence has come to light that vaping adversely effects the brain’s stem cells. Researchers at the University of California at Riverside have proven that e-cigarettes “cause stress-induced mitochondrial hyperfusion” (SIMH) in the brain’s stem cells. The study was published in the online journal, iScience, with the lead author stating the following: “Although originally introduced as safer, E-cigarettes, such as Vuse and JUUL, are not harmless. Even short-term exposure can stress cells in a manner that may lead, with chronic use, to cell death or disease.”
Just this past week, the Chicago Tribune online reported a mysterious respiratory illness is being found in those who vape on a regular basis, even if for just a short time. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, ten cases of adolescents reporting difficulty breathing were attributed to vaping, and some of those patients required ventilators to breathe. Dozens of other cases of respiratory malfunction and illness have been reported in other states, and in most of those cases, vaping was the common denominator of those suffering some type of respiratory problem.