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E-Cigarettes and Hookahs in Current Times: Ill Effects and Way Forward

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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and hookahs have gained popularity among young adults in recent years, as they are perceived as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, research has shown that e-cigarettes and hookahs are not risk-free and can have harmful effects on health. Both these substances cause-

  1. Respiratory problems: Vapor and smoke can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. It can also cause lung damage over time.
  2. Cardiovascular problems: Nicotine in e-cigarettes and hookahs can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
  3. Addiction: Nicotine in e-cigarettes and hookahs is highly addictive and can lead to dependence, making it difficult to quit.

Let’s look at the unique adverse effects that each of these has on our health-

E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes, also known as electronic cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid (e-juice) to produce an aerosol (vapour), which is then inhaled. While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine, which is addictive and can have harmful effects on health. Here are some of the ill effects of e-cigarettes:

1. Oral health problems: E-cigarette vapour can cause dry mouth, which can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Poisoning: E-cigarette liquids can be poisonous if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is particularly dangerous for young children who may accidentally ingest the liquid.

3. Adolescent brain development: Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm brain development, including affecting memory, attention, and learning.

4. Chemical exposure: E-cigarette vapour can contain harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, which can cause cancer and other health problems.

Hookahs

Hookahs, also known as water pipes or shishas, are used for smoking flavoured tobacco. Although some people believe that hookahs are a safer alternative to cigarettes, the reality is that they can have harmful effects on health. Here are some of the ill effects of hookahs:

  1. Cancer risk: Hookah smoking can increase the risk of developing various types of cancer, including lung cancer, oral cancer, and bladder cancer.
  2. Infectious disease transmission: Sharing a hookah can increase the risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and respiratory infections.
  3. Carbon monoxide poisoning: Hookah smoke contains high levels of carbon monoxide, which can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the blood, causing symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and nausea.
  4. Pregnancy complications: Hookah smoking during pregnancy can lead to complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.

 The Way Forward

Several measures can be taken to address the ill effects of e-cigarettes and hookahs. These include:

  • Education: There is a need for public education campaigns to increase awareness about the risks associated with e-cigarettes and hookahs.
  • Regulation: The government should regulate E-cigarettes and hookahs, including restrictions on marketing and sales to minors.
  • Enforcement: There should be strict enforcement of regulations to ensure that e-cigarettes and hookahs are not sold to minors.
  • Cessation programs: There is a need for cessation programs to help individuals quit using e-cigarettes and hookahs.
  • Indulge in self-care activities like Yoga.

E-cigarettes and hookahs are often touted as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Still, the reality is that they are not risk-free and can have harmful effects on health and wellness. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can have harmful effects on the brain and body. Nicotine has been shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular problems. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette vapour can contain harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde and acrolein, which can cause lung damage and contribute to respiratory problems.

Conclusion

Hookah smoking has also been linked to numerous health problems. Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and heavy metals, which can have harmful effects on health. Carbon monoxide can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the blood, which can cause fatigue, headaches, and other health problems. Long-term hookah smoking has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, and respiratory illness.

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