Nov. 17, 2022—If you smoke, you might wonder if switching to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) could help your health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. But they come with their own risks. And a recent report from the National Institutes of Health warns that combining the two may have even worse effects. Here's what to know.
Know the risks of e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also called vapes or vape pens. Puffing on an e-cigarette activates a battery-powered heating device that heats a liquid—containing nicotine and other chemicals—to create a vapor, which is inhaled.
We don't know all the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, but many of them contain chemicals that may carry risks.
The NIH reports that using electronic cigarettes over a long period of time can damage blood vessels and up your risk of cardiovascular disease. The damage was different from the damage caused by traditional cigarettes. That's why researchers warned that combining the two types of smoking may do more damage than using either product alone.
Do you need help quitting smoking or vaping?
If you're ready to quit smoking—or vaping—you don't have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor. They can help you understand your options, which might include medicines to help you succeed. And they can tell you more about how smoking and vaping affect your individual health—as well as how quitting can help.