E-cigarettes have become a popular alternative to traditional smoking.
When they first came out on the market, they seemed like a great way to slowly ease out of smoking, save some money that would normally be spent on cigarettes or provide a “healthier” way to smoke.
The reality is this couldn’t be further from the truth.
E-cigarettes have their own dangers that smokers need to be aware of before switching.
What are e-cigarettes?
For those who have not come across these before, e-cigarettes (otherwise known as vapes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, vape pens or hookah pens) are electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that typically contain nicotine, flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and some other ingredients that are heated to form an aerosol inhaled by the user.
Every aspect of the production of the components and parts of ENDS is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This includes any e-liquids, e-liquid containers, cartridges, batteries, cartomizers/clearomizers, atomizers, digital display or lights, tank systems, drip tips, flavorings and programmable software.
As of right now, there is no nicotine warning required for e-cigs, but beginning in August 2018, one is required for all “covered tobacco products” stating that nicotine is an addictive chemical.
Even though ENDS are like cigarettes in that they may only be sold to adults over 18 years old, a rising number of middle and high-school aged students are using them.
In 2016, over 2 million middle and high-school aged students reported using e-cigarettes.
This is especially dangerous since their brains are still developing and maturing and the ingredients in ENDS could play a damaging role.
Why are these ingredients dangerous?
There are a significant number of studies that discuss the addictive and dangerous nature of nicotine so covering that seems slightly repetitive, but it is still worth doing.
Nicotine toxicity can occur from both ingestion and skin contact and can lead to “overdose” symptoms like rapid heartbeat, nausea, increased blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, dizziness, possible seizures, coma and death.
Not only is it dangerous to the user, but liquid nicotine used for ENDS can be especially dangerous, or even deadly, to children if it is left in a place where little hands can reach.
Other ingredients pose hazardous threats as well.
Propylene glycol is a chemical that is found in many products including antifreeze, some cushions and paints.
It is considered “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA for oral consumption (it is a food additive as well), but studies on the effects of inhalation are lacking.
When heated at high temperatures, it has been found that propylene glycol converts to formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
One study found that ENDS that use 3.3 volts or less do not produce formaldehyde, so be aware of that if you or someone you know is going to use e-cigarettes.
The U.S. Surgeon General also revealed that apart from nicotine and propylene glycol, e-cigs can contain “ultrafine particles” that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.”
Because there have not been enough long-term studies to determine the health impact of these ingredients, it is not wise to assume that they are safe.
Not only do these added ingredients have potentially harmful side effects, but one study also found ingredients not listed that could be dangerous.
Using gas or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, most ingredients that were not intended to be in the e-liquids were found in amounts lower than what is considered toxic, but one manufacturer’s liquids contained levels of ethylene glycol that were higher than the glycerol or propylene glycol.
This seems to be evident of improper manufacturing, but does not change the fact that ethylene glycol has not been approved in any amount for human consumption.
E-cigarette vapors have been found to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Laura Crotty Alexander, a pulmonary and critical care physician and scientist exposed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to e-cig vapors She found that these bacteria, which are already antibiotic-resistant and can cause pneumonia, were even more difficult to kill with a natural antibiotic made in people’s bodies.
One of the reasons for this is that the bacteria that had been exposed to these vapors developed a thicker biofilm coating for protection.
Smoking e-cigarettes can lead to regular cigarette use.
As with any addictive chemical, nicotine use over time results in the need for a stronger hit.
In one study, a quarter of teens who vaped reported using a method called “dripping”.
This involves putting the e-liquid directly onto the heating element (atomizer) for three reasons: to produce a more intense and concentrated vapor, improve the flavor and to create a stronger throat hit.
With the need for a more concentrated nicotine “blast”, moving on to regular cigarettes is the next logical step.
Studies are finding that students who had used ENDS by the ninth grade were very likely to smoke cigarettes within the following year.
While it is illegal for minors to purchase an electronic nicotine delivery system in stores and online, studies have found that many minors have been successful at purchasing e-cigarettes online because 95% of the time, the packages are delivered with no age verification upon delivery.
It is clear that there are dangers to using e-cigarettes that need to be considered before purchasing them.
If you are switching from cigarette use to an electronic nicotine delivery system, research has shown that this can be a beneficial move, but they should be avoided entirely for non-tobacco users as they can be a gateway to regular cigarette use and compromise health.
To protect yourself from these toxic chemicals (which lead to higher risk of cancer) in many of our everyday’s products, go to the next page and discover how to boost your immune system –
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.
Do you smoke before? What helps you quit smoking?
Please share with your friends this article on E-cigarette – Use any of the social media and email buttons on the left of our website.