Nicotine in e-cigarettes carcinogenic
A team from Virginia Tech has been carrying out a series of studies investigating the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties of nicotine. In their latest paper, they report that, in addition to previously acknowledged qualities such as its addictiveness, nicotine is a carcinogenic substance.
MedLine Plus lists the following as effects that nicotine has on the body:
- Decreases appetite
- Boosts mood
- Increases intestinal activity
- Creates more saliva and phlegm
- Increases heart rate
- Increases blood pressure
- May cause sweating, nausea and diarrhea
- Stimulates memory and alertness.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) report that about half of all Americans who maintain a smoking habit will die as a result of it. Around 480,000 people in the US die every year due to illnesses related to tobacco use - more than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.
Smoking cessation can lead to weight loss increase of 5kg
It is thought that stopping smoking can lead to substantial weight increases years after quitting. French & British researchers have found results from carrying out 62 studies finding that former smokers gained an average of 4.67kg in the months after they quit.
“Weight gain is important because weight concern is widespread among smokers and could deter some from trying to quit.”
In an accompanying editorial, Prof Esteve Fernandez, of the University of Barcelona, and Prof Simon Chapman, of the University of Sydney, point out that past studies have also shown that many smokers gain more weight than “never smokers” for a few years, but then the rate of weight gain falls to that seen in people who have never smoked.
And they conclude: “Although obesity is positively associated with an increased risk of all cause mortality, cohort studies indicate that modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death – smoking does.”
How smoking effects the Heart
Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke.
Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.
The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.
The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.
Your blood is more likely to clot, which increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
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