Health Alert: Just One E-Cigarette Changes Adrenaline Levels November 30, 2017
The Journal of the American Heart Association Report recently published data that warns nonsmokers of the serious hazards of smoking just one electronic cigarette that contains nicotine. According to the small-scale but telling study, healthy nonsmokers experience increased levels of adrenaline in their heart after smoking one e-cig, indicating there are immediate – and damaging – consequences from these relatively new products.
Consistent, high levels of adrenaline in the heart can raise a person’s overall chances for experiencing a cardiac event. Previous scientific investigations have confirmed that high adrenaline levels throughout the sympathetic nervous system, or a person’s “fight-or-flight” center, increases their likelihood of dying due to the prolonged strain on their body.
Electronic cigarettes are also called e-cigs, personal vaporizers, vapes or vape pens. Generally speaking, e-cigs are battery-powered products that produce heated vapors similar to smoke. Users can purchase different flavors or “juices”, and are able to opt for ones that do or don’t contain nicotine. They sell from anywhere between tens to hundreds of dollars, and have garnered the attention – and usage – of smokers and nonsmokers alike. A 2015 report counted over 2,750,000 e-cig smokers in the U.S. at the time, and estimated that the industry had brought in nearly $3 billion in annual sales.
Manufacturers and proponents of electronic cigarettes claim they have the potential to be less harmful to a person’s health than conventional tobacco products because they typically have a smaller amount of tar and other known carcinogens. While some safety and health experts acknowledge that it’s better for consumers to be inhaling fewer carcinogens, they also warn the American public against ever considering these products to be 100% safe.
Other recent studies have also pointed out dangers linked to e-cigarettes. According to a Harvard Health inquiry, the nicotine present in e-cigs can be linked to an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. E-cig use has also been linked to a lower rate of people quitting smoking, contributing to the 480,000 cigarette-related deaths every year. E-cigarettes or vape pens raise a person’s blood pressure and heart rate; they can also cause irregular heart rhythms. When it comes to the serious and sometimes lethal risks, that’s not all. Other studies found the nicotine in these products affects the development of adolescents’ prefrontal brain areas – impaired prefrontal brain development can cause impulse control problems and attention deficit disorder (ADD) in young adults.
In 2014, The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported that about 50% of reported exposures to liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes happened in kids under the age of 6-years-old, which means that children are at a particularly high risk for accidental poisoning. That year, over 2,000 cases were reported to the centers. Because e-cigs pose an array of dangers to consumers, no one – smokers and nonsmoker alike – should believe these products are entirely safe.
The study on heightened adrenaline levels found that e-cigarettes affect nonsmokers with or without a history of cardiac disease similarly, which means that vapes can be dangerous right off the bat and before chronic use. Avoiding this increased risk is 100% preventable by simply not picking up electronic cigarettes. The findings also indicate just how dangerous nicotine itself is; when the nonsmokers used e-cigs without any nicotine, their adrenaline levels didn’t go up.
There are many different kinds of cardiac events that a person can experience. Heart valve disease, cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), myocardial infarctions or heart attacks, acute coronary syndrome, stroke and angina are some of examples of various cardiac events. People with a family history of heart disease or a personal history of a cardiac event may be at an especially high risk for increased adrenaline levels and other heart problems.
Another hazard that can be attributed to e-cigs or vapes is the consumer risk of seriously bodily injury from defective or dangerous products. There have been multiple instances of e-cigarettes exploding and injuring unaware consumers. Because these products often require rechargeable batteries, when they are manufactured defectively the results can be catastrophic. In extreme cases, vapes and e-cigs have made consumers lose teeth, become blind and experience serious chemical burns on different parts of their bodies. The majority of e-cigarettes were being used or being carried in a consumer’s pocket when they exploded.
Defective e-cigarettes can also be the culprit behind a house or apartment fire: according to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), approximately 80% of fires associated with e-cigarettes occurred while the products were being electronically charged. The USFA also reported that the majority of injuries to individuals ranged from moderate-to-severe, meaning they required emergency room treatment or hospitalization for the treatment of injuries such as 2nd and 3rd degree burns, stitch-requiring lacerations or cuts, facial injuries or even the loss of a body part.
There are many reasons to be extremely wary towards e-cigs and vapes. They make healthy nonsmokers with no history of cardiac problems experience immediate adrenaline increases and other heart changes that can raise a person’s risk for unexpected cardiac events, put young adults at risk for impaired brain development, can explode and cause fires and have been linked to type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, irregular heart beat and heightened heart rate.
The bottom line is that e-cigarettes are dangerous to consumers for many reasons. This most recent scientific finding shows how yet another health problem – increased adrenaline levels in the heart – is linked to these products. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the safety of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which includes all the parts and components in e-cigs and vapes, they still prove to be inherently hazardous.
Just as recent research has confirmed new safety concerns, we can expect more reports to surface in the future. We recommend that individuals try to limit the dangers created by e-cigs by avoiding using them. However, if you are a current smoker and would like information on quitting or help with stopping, you should consider having a discussion with a medical health professional. Quitting is possible. If you have experienced any injuries or illness as a result of e-cigarettes, please don’t hesitate to contact a representative at our firm.
Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured by Electronic Cigarettes
If you sustained injuries or became ill as a result of an electronic cigarette – also known as “e-cigarettes” or “vapes”, please contact our Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.