Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Free Enterprise Capitalism and Health Outcomes

"Advocates of e-cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes, so you're better off using e-cigarettes."
"I would say, that may be true for certain users -- for example, longtime smokers that cannot quit -- but the problem is, it doesn't mean that they're healthy. Regular cigarettes are super-unhealthy. E-cigarettes are just  unhealthy."
Hugo Destaillats, researcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

"[Propylene glycol and glycerine, among chemicals released in e-cigarettes are both considered] probable carcinogens [by federal health officials]."
New study on e-cigarettes' safety
E-cigarette vapour contains potentially dangerous free radicals E-cigarettes are growing in popularity (diego_cervo/
"This is the first study that demonstrates the fact that we have these highly reactive agents in e-cigarette aerosols."
"While e-cigarette vapour does not contain many of the toxic substances that are known to be present in cigarette smoke, it's still important for us to figure out and to minimize the potential dangers that are associated with e-cigarettes."
Prof. John P. Richie Jr., public health sciences and pharmacology, Penn State
E-cigarettes have been hailed as the brave new world for those unable to or incapable of, or unwilling to surrender the pleasure they find in tobacco and smoking. Heralded as the safe new, modern way of using tobacco, as well as presenting as 'cool' and popular with the young, e-cigarette use has a large and enthusiastic following. This, despite the uncertainties involved and which scientists have been exploring with a final purpose of either designating the practise with a clean bill of  health or dismissal as yet another dangerous practise whose substances spell out nicotine addiction has no practical solution.

Studies have discovered the presence of aldehydes in the vapour of e-cigarettes, not a serendipitous finding, since these are compounds capable of causing oxidative stress and cell damage. Published in early 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study found that high levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, are produced with the use of e-cigarettes. Later in the same year researchers at Penn State College of Medicine found their own cautionary tale.

Electronic cigarettes were found by the Penn State investigative team to produce the free radical molecules that cause cell damage which can also lead to cancer. Free radicals represent the molecules causing the most oxidative damage in cigarette smoke, a leading cause of smoking-related cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin aging and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The discovery was made that e-cigarettes produce free radicals levels roughly one thousand to one hundred times lower than found in regular cigarettes, but remaining in the range representative of what might be encountered in the air of heavily polluted atmospheres.

More currently a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology points out that propylene glycol, an eye and respiratory irritant and glycerine, a skin, eye and respiratory irritant are present among other chemicals released in the vapour of e-cigarettes, according to the research team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A serious finding, considering that both are known 'probable' carcinogens.

Heating those chemicals within an e-cigarette causes their decomposition, releasing toxic chemicals like acrolein and formaldehyde. The higher the temperature reached within the heating coil of the vaporizer, the greater the emission of chemicals. Even the type of vaporizer makes a difference; a one-heating-coil e-cigarette released higher chemical amounts than the double-coiled vaporizer because it reaches a higher temperature.

865 E-Cigarette Vapor Shown To Repress Immune System
Health and Medicine, Jonny Williams via Vlicker

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