As more and more people across the country turn to e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking, a new study warns that switching from conventional combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes can significantly increase the risk of stroke. That vaping can aid in smoking cessation is one of the many claims e-cigarette manufacturers have made about their controversial products over the years, but this research raises serious concerns about whether the possible smoking cessation benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh the potential health risks associated with vaping. If you or someone you love has suffered a stroke or another serious medical event and you believe e-cigarette use to be the cause, consult a reputable product liability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss whether you are eligible to file a legal claim for compensation.
In the face of the e-cigarette epidemic that is sweeping the nation, researchers across the country have sought to evaluate the benefits and risks of e-cigarette use, in order to determine whether the use of combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes or a combination of the two products increases the risk of side effects. In this most recent study, published this week in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers from George Mason University analyzed data from the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national health survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in order to examine the link between e-cigarette use, with or without previous or concurrent cigarette use, and stroke among young adults. The Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System survey was conducted between 2016 and 2017 and the participants included approximately 161,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44.
The use of e-cigarettes and vape pens like JUUL has increased considerably over the past several years, due in large part to aggressive marketing tactics on the part of e-cigarette manufacturers, who claim that their products are a better alternative to combustible cigarettes. Unfortunately, because of their sleek design, ease of use and smoother nicotine experience, among other factors, e-cigarettes have become the most popular form of tobacco use among teens and young adults. What many of these young e-cigarette users don’t realize is that e-cigarettes are not safer than combustible cigarettes, nor are they free of addictive substances and potentially dangerous toxins. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine study, “The potential ingredients that contribute to an adverse cardiovascular state with e-cigarette smoking include nicotine, oxidants, aldehydes, particulates, and flavorants, as well as lead in certain disposable devices.”
There is a common misconception among e-cigarette users that vaping poses fewer health risks than smoking combustible cigarettes and many people end up using both products at the same time. This is especially true among people who are actively trying to quit smoking and the George Mason University researchers found that dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes was associated with the greatest risk profile. According to the study findings, current dual use of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes was associated with a 2.91 times increased risk of stroke compared to nonsmokers and a 1.83 times increased risk compared to sole combustible cigarette users. “Sole e-cigarette use is not associated with greater odds of stroke in young adults. However, if young adults have former or current combustible cigarette use, odds of stroke are significantly increased even compared with current sole combustible cigarette use,” the researchers concluded. They also noted that “Switching from combustible cigarette smoking to e-cigarette use did not curtail risk of stroke in young adults.”
Previous research has highlighted the potential health risks associated with concurrent cigarette and e-cigarette use, which has become more and more popular. According to Truth Initiative, “dual use of heated tobacco products along with cigarettes is, by far, the most dominant pattern of use, which raises substantial issues about what impact they might have on overall public health. Notably, research has shown that dual use is not associated with reduced cigarette use, but rather increased exposure and poorer health outcomes than using cigarettes or e-cigarettes alone.” Based on their research, the authors of this latest study presented a similar conclusion, that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes offered few health benefits, while increasing a person’s risk of suffering a stroke, and that dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes was associated with a nearly three-fold increased risk of stroke. In addition to a higher risk of stroke, e-cigarette use has also been linked to a recent nationwide outbreak of severe lung illness and death, with more than 2,600 reported cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and 57 deaths as of January 2020.
As concerns about the potential health risks associated with vaping continue to mount, a growing number of JUUL addiction lawsuits are being pursued against the makers of JUUL vape pens, which have become one of the most widely used e-cigarette products among middle and high school students. The lawsuits allege that the e-cigarette products were illegally marketed to kids and prior non-smokers without proper warnings indicating that each of the e-cigarette pods contains more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of potentially dangerous e-cigarette products like JUUL, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the e-cigarette manufacturing company. Contact a knowledgeable e-cigarette injury attorney today to discuss your legal options.