Are E-cigarettes Good For You?

Experts have not yet reached an agreement about the safety of e-cigarettes as a substitute to conventional tobacco cigarettes or their efficiency in helping smokers quit but one thing is for certain and that is their easy availability in the markets which is indicative of their growing popularity. These e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes are battery operated products often designed to resemble traditional cigarettes and even claim to give you the feel of it with added flavors along with nicotine. They can also look like pens, USB sticks, pipes, cigars etc. but the ones that come with refillable tanks can have a different look. As they are mainly marketed as products that can provide you the nicotine fix without bringing in the side effects of tobacco cigarettes, there is an emerging interest in the way they function and how they are different from traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Almost all of them have the same manufacturing format and heat up the containing nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals called e-liquid to convert it into vapor which is then inhaled by the user and the process is called vaping as against smoking. Although not much is known about the positive and negative effects of using them as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, one can always try to demystify the desirability of the e-cigarettes by decoding the products used in the devices. So first of all, the main chemical that constitutes the e-liquid, nicotine, apart from being an infamous cardiovascular stimulant, is also addictive. Hence, you may start using e-cigarettes for wanting to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes but in the process can get addicted to e-cigarettes too and quitting e-cigarettes might also lead to withdrawal and depression. Nicotine is also known to harm arteries, developing brains of children affecting their attention span and memory and unborn babies, which means that pregnant women should stay away from nicotine.

The e-liquid in the electronic cigarettes have also been reported to contain dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde which are carcinogens and the vaporizing appliance can also cause to leak toxic nanoparticles from metals used to make it. Therefore, e-cigarettes are not entirely safe but to look at the brighter side they do save you from tar and other problematic chemicals which are produced when tobacco burns to give out smoke. Hence, this leads us to the argument that eliminating the need to light tobacco, which involves combustion and the release of toxic chemicals, e-cigarettes emit only water vapor containing propylene glycol or PEG which are the basic constituents of and therefore the exposure to the level of toxic in case of e-cigarettes is much lower compared to traditional cigarettes. Therefore, e-cigs should be kept out of non-smoking regulations because the risks associated with second hand smoke or toxic emissions decreases compared to tobacco cigarettes. However, it has been argued in this case that as we have already discovered a range of carcinogens in the vapor and are not yet sure of everything in these formulas, so it is best to subject e-cigs to public health policies.

 

Image courtesy of [Goldy] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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