Does Switching to E-Cigarettes Make Your Body Any Healthier?

Cigarette in One Hand, E-Cigarette in the Other?

People like Derrick Gurley and his dad, Mannie, don’t want people who are addicted to cigarettes to be discouraged from switching to the electronic kind. Gurley said his dad’s doctor told him the blockages in his arteries are clearing up and his heart is performing better.

Gurley, 33, said he quit at the same time as his dad. He said he has a lot more energy and is no longer coughing all the time.

He said lots of people in the southern United States have converted to e- cigarettes. He added he doesn’t know anyone who both vapes and smokes regular cigarettes.

But a peer-reviewed study in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that 76 percent of e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes. The results were from a consumer survey conducted from 2010 to 2013.

A recent study out of Australia offers another powerful message: It’s never too late to quit.

“The health advantages for younger people quitting cigarettes are well known,” stated a news release from the University of New South Wales. “Now a study has found older smokers can reap similar benefits and save the health system billions of dollars.”

The researchers analyzed hospitalization data from 267,000 men and women in the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study. Smokers (who only made up 7 percent of the sample) had a 700 percent increased risk of hospitalization for COPD. Risks for congestive heart failure, diabetes complications, and angina went up 41 percent for smokers.The thrust of the study is that if people quit smoking, it could save the Australian health system billions.

The mainstream medical community is generally cautious about saying what, if any, gains can come from switching from burning cigarettes to e-cigarettes. But they don’t want to discourage those people who report feeling better.

The science behind how the body repairs itself when a person totally quits smoking is well established and hasn’t changed that much in the past couple of decades.

“The basics are still the same,” Samet said. “Smoking is such a powerful hit to the body. When people stop, look what happens.”

As for those who switch from smoking to vaping, the verdict on whether they truly are improving their health is still being studied. It’s a question researchers are competing for millions of dollars to investigate.

“Using an e-cigarette exclusively may be advantageous when the results come in,” Rose said.

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