Give a cigarette a battery and, surprise surprise, it’s still bad for you.
At least, that’s what new research from the American Heart Association is indicating. They put e-cigs to the test, in the largest experiment to date examining these fancy new smoke-sticks and their effects on human health.
What they discovered does not inspire a lot of confidence in the supposedly “healthier” alternative to smoking cigarettes.
For the study, these scientists gathered data from 400,000 different respondents from all 50 US states. 66,795 of those people regularly used e-cigs, and the other 343,856 respondents were the control group, who never used vaporizers. The groups were then compared using “logistic regression analysis.”
When compared against the non-e-cig users, people who had used e-cigs regularly, had: 71 percent higher risk of stroke, 59 percent higher risk of heart attack or angina, 40 percent higher chance of coronary heart disease and (perhaps not surprisingly), they were twice as likely to smoke regular cigarettes as well.
"Compared with non-users, e-cigarette users were younger, had a lower body mass index and a lower rate of diabetes," Paul Ndunda, the study's author and an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Kansas in Wichita, said in a press release.
On top of all that, they also found that 4.2 percent of e-cig users had experienced a stroke.
These numbers are disconcerting, not only because these vape pens have been peddled to the masses as a better, healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, but because kids are so into these things. It’s no secret that companies like Juul are marketing to America’s youth, a problem that’s gotten so bad, some schools are even paying kids to rat on their peers for using e-cigs. Just between 2011 and 2015 e-cig use among young people rose by a staggering 900 percent. In 2016 11.3 percent of American high schoolers reported having used e-cigs in the past 30 days — a problem that has mushroomed in the years since.
With an entire generation of youngsters sucking nicotine vapor out of these futuristic cigarettes, America could be looking at a generation riddled with heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. E-cigarettes are a relatively new technology, one that hasn’t been around long enough for people to actually see their health effects manifest.
Which is exactly why studies like this one are so important. The word needs out: e-cigs might be healthier on some level than regular cigarettes, but they’re still going to screw you over in the long run.