E-cigarettes contain a vaporizable liquid, made up of a number of chemicals, among them propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine (or no-nicotine) and a variety of flavoring substances. New research shows that the real danger may be in how these compounds change when heated.

To use an e-cigarette, you insert the liquid and apply electricity, which heats it until it vaporizes. The chemicals inside the fluid undergo a breakdown process when heated,  and are converted into other chemicals. Using an advanced measurement system called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, scientists examined the new chemicals, and in the process, found a particularly concerning result.

When the e-cigarette liquid broke down, it produced both formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents, a troubling result when you consider that formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. In fact, the recent article compares the risk of developing cancer from this e-cigarette toxin to the risk of cancer from smoking traditional cigarettes, and states that that the risk of cancer with e-cigarettes may be up to 15 times higher.

Though e-cigarettes are still newer, this data should be seriously considered. Even if there appear to be benefits to switching from traditional cigarettes to an electronic version, the long-term health consequences of this new alternative are far from fully understood, and this preliminary information indicates that the effects could range from less than safe to extremely dangerous. The jury is still out on whether e-cigarettes are better or worse than traditional cigarettes remains to be concluded; however, staying away from e-cigarettes and conventional ones, seems to be the safest option to maintain optimal health and longevity.

Bad habits are bad habits.

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