© 2019 Wen Wang
Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are a fast-growing class of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which were first put on the market 15 years ago. These devices have been advertised as safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes and a tool for smoking cessation by their manufacturers regardless of inadequate safety data (Kalkhoran, 2016). Since ECs have only been on the market for one and half decades, data on short-term health effects from inhaling EC aerosols are inadequate, and data regarding long-term health effects are very limited. Despite insufficient safety data, the use of ECs has increased exponentially since they were put on the market, especially among adolescents and young adults. ECs now are the most commonly used tobacco product in this population (Jenssen, 2019).
Current research data suggests that EC usage can cause damage to the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, immune system, and musculoskeletal system in ways both similar to and different from conventional cigarette smoking. ECs also contain more toxic chemicals in the e-liquids and more heavy metals than those listed in conventional cigarettes. New generations of ECs can deliver much higher concentration of nicotine than conventional cigarettes. In addition, EC usage in adolescents is associated with higher rate of drug and alcohol addiction, and long-term cognitive and behavioral impairment compared to teens who never used ECs (Jenssen, 2019). Use of ECs as a perioperative smoking cessation aid is not supported at this time (Lee, 2018). The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a report on potential seizure risk associated with ECs usage among teens and young adults (Boyles, 2019). Further studies are needed to help us better understand the effects of vaping on the practice of anesthesia.
Wang, Wen, "Vaping And Anesthesia" (2019). Nurse Anesthesia Capstones. 29.