A study published in the recent edition of JAMA Cardiology revealed an association between electronic cigarettes and mycocardial infarction.
It was found that E-cigarette users had heartbeat patterns that indicated high levels of adrenaline — also known as epinephrine — in the heart, a sign of heart disease risk. Researchers also found signs of increased oxidative stress, an imbalance of certain protective molecules that can cause the hardening and narrowing of arteries.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Head and Neck Cancer surgeon in Tata Hospital, said, technically the sale of E-cigarettes is illegal in India as Drug Controller General of India doesn’t allow sale of nicotine above 2mg and a cartridge of E-cigarette has around 10 mg of nicotine.
“Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka have banned E-cigarettes. There needs to be all India ban on E-cigarette. We still see easy availability of E-cigarettes and majority of Indian smokers still see it as a positive alternative to tobacco products, which is a cause of worry,” said Dr Chaturvedi.
E-Cigarette was introduced in 2006 and was seen as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
“It is a myth that E-cigarette is a safer alternative to the traditional cigarette. Many people, who want to quit smoking, switch to E-cigarette, but recent studies say otherwise,” said Dr Chaturvedi.
He also added that with the advent of nicotine replacement therapy, the consumption of the nicotine is on the rise.
“Nicotine is considered to be a safer alternative of tobacco. The IARC monograph has not included nicotine as a carcinogen. However there are various studies which show otherwise,” said Chaturvedi.
He further said nicotine needs regulation as it poses several health hazards like increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.
“There is a decreased immune response and it also poses ill impacts on the reproductive health. It affects the cell proliferation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, DNA mutation by various mechanisms which leads to cancer. It also affects the tumour proliferation and metastasis and causes resistance to chemo and radio therapeutic agents. The sale of nicotine should be under supervision of trained medical personnel,” said Chaturvedi.