The American Lung Association has taken an official stance on e-cigarettes, stating that the organization is “very concerned” about the potential negative health effects of vaping. It is also not convinced that e-cigarettes can be used to help a person stop smoking.
The American Heart Association doesn’t believe in the safety of e-cigarettes, either. In e-cigarette liquids, the chemical called diacetyl has been found, which is linked to serious and debilitating lung diseases such as bronchiolitis obliterans. Even liquids that do not contain nicotine have been found to contain formaldehyde and acetalehyde, which are cancer-causing chemicals.
“E-cigarettes are dangerous because they target young people, can keep people hooked on nicotine, and threaten to re-normalize tobacco use,” the organization states on its website. “Analysis of the limited data suggested that e-cigarettes did appear to be less harmful than traditional cigarettes and — as a last resort — may help people quit smoking. But those finds were accompanied with warnings that the observations were based on a limited pool of medical research and there were no long-term results.”
With candy and dessert flavorings, the appeal of vaping to American youth has increased exponentially since e-cigarettes first appeared on the market, with vaping among middle and high schoolers tripling from 2013 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Officials with the CDC have expressed their concerns, as well.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement, “We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age, whether it’s an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar. Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction and lead to sustained tobacco use.”