What are E-Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that have been developed as an alternative to normal cigarettes. These are made up of a heater, a battery, and a cartridge that contains a solution of propylene glycol, nicotine, and some other chemicals. It gives the smoker a dose of nicotine without delivering the toxic elements like tobacco, carbon monoxide and tar that harms the lungs. With e-cigarettes, there is no smoke, meaning that the user won’t have cigarette breath or yellowing teeth.
Electronic Cigarette History
The electronic cigarette was devised in 2003 by a Chinese druggist named Hon Lik. It was introduced into the Chinese market in 2004. Golden Dragon Holdings, the company where Hon worked, began marketing the device in 2005.
Are Electronic Cigarette Dangerous?
Electronic cigarettes were first popularized as a safer way to consume nicotine. Electronic cigarettes are safer than real cigarettes, but not much is known about them. They are not currently regulated by the FDA, but they may be in the future.
Possible Dangers in E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes are found to contain an anti-freeze component known as diethylene glycol. It is toxic to humans and can cause health issues when it’s inhaled.
Other than diethylene glycol, e-cigarettes also contain cancer-causing compounds like nitrosamines. If the cigarette accidentally breaks, humans may be exposed to such harmful components.
The marketing strategy of e-cigarettes has also fallen under recent scrutiny. Many electronic cigarette brands offer flavors like mint, orange, and chocolate. In some smoke shops, you can also make your own flavors. Offering a multitude of different flavors may entice people to take up smoking. It also makes e-cigarettes more attractive to children. This type of marketing actually promotes smoking rather than curbing it.
Health experts argue that electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, the basic element found in cigarettes. In an electronic cigarette liquid nicotine is used. Nicotine is an alkaloid medicine that is harmful for humans. A long drag on the cigarette can make you actually suck some of the liquid nicotine into your mouth. This can be very damaging for health.
E-cigarettes also consist of tetramethylpyrazine. Prolonged exposure to Tetramethylpyrazine can result in brain damage in human beings.
There is also a widespread concern that electronic cigarette consumption may promote drug use. There are reports of liquid nicotine being substituted with liquid THC, a popular potent marijuana resin. If electronic cigarette liquid is replaced with THC liquid, it can be very damaging to health and cause addiction. It also allows people to surreptitiously smoke marijuana in a public setting using their e-cigarette. For example, it would allow someone to easily smoke marijuana in their car while driving, which is a very dangerous practice.
The e-cig is cheaper than most regular cigarettes and it lasts longer. The device may cost around $90, but liquid cartridge refills are much cheaper.
Do Electronic Cigarettes cause Cancer?
People often worry whether electronic cigarettes give rise to cancer. In electronic cigarette nicotine, flavorings, and many other harmful chemicals are used that may have cancerous effects on the body. However, carcinogenic electronic cigarette health risks have not been proved by any study.
Overall, e-cigarettes appear to be a better alternative to real cigarettes. According to Michael Siegal, MD, MPH, and a professor as Boston University’s School of Public Health, “Obviously, it would be best if smokers could quit completely. But if that’s not possible, I think they’d be a lot better off with e-cigarettes. They’re a safer alternative.”
Cigarettes are legal for those who are at least 18 years of age. The same rule should apply to e-cigarettes in order to curb smoking among the underage population. As of right now, e-cigarettes can be purchased online which would allow and underage person to purchase and consume nicotine.