E-Cigarettes – Pro’s versus Con’s

In the last couple of years the popularity of e-cigarettes has exploded, to the point that you almost can’t go anywhere without seeing someone puffing away on one of the brightly colored plastic tubes.

Whether you choose to use them as a cessation tool or simply as a replacement for smoking regular cigarettes, you may be confused by the various conflicting messages that have been coming out from the media over the use of e-cigarettes. Are they healthier than smoking or aren’t they? Do they risk your health at all or not? Read on as e-cigarette specialists explain the ins and out of the Vaping debate.

What’s NOT in them

One of the major benefits of e-cigarettes is all about what they don’t contain rather than what they do.

The most dangerous component of regular cigarettes isn’t the nicotine or even the tobacco, but instead the approximately 4,000 chemicals that are released when the tobacco burns. In fact, cigarettes contain more than 70 cancer-causing chemicals, as well as hundreds of other poisons, including:

  • Tar;
  • Arsenic;
  • Benzene (an industrial solvent that has been refined from crude oil);
  • Cadmium (used in batteries);
  • Hydrogen cyanide (yes, cyanide);
  • Carbon monoxide;
  • Ammonia (used to make explosives).

This is just a snapshot of the chemicals and poisons that you are inhaling when you smoke a cigarette. For the full list and further information, check out the About Cancer Research UK page: .

So which of these chemicals do e-cigarettes contain? None of them.

The e-cigarettes on offer from VIP contain simply pharmaceutical grade nicotine, flavorings, glycerine (a colorless and odorless viscous liquid used widely in pharmaceutical formulations), GC/MS tested Propylene glycol (a nearly odorless viscous liquid which requires large quantities to cause perceptible health damage in humans) and distilled water.

But Isn’t nicotine harmful on its own anyway?

Nicotine is the highly addictive element of cigarettes that get smokers hooked on them in the first place, however in itself, nicotine is not particularly harmful to humans.

Dr. Peter Hajek, director of the Queen Mary University’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, said that:

“Many people are saying that nicotine itself is a dangerous poison, but if nicotine is taken without the accompanying toxicants then the health effects would be very similar to drinking coffee.”

Dr. Hajek made this statement after speaking about the results of his study that found no discernible difference between CO2 readings before and after using an e-cigarette. Find out more about this study, as well as a study conducted by Professor Robert West of University College London, .

The Concerns over E-cigarettes

So if e-cigarettes do not contain the thousands of poisonous chemicals that regular cigarettes do – what’s the problem?

First of all, the British Medical Association (BMA) says that there simply isn’t enough evidence to confidently claim that they are safe to use, and the BMA’s members agreed that e-cigarettes should be included in the ban on smoking in public places, as have the World Health Organization (WHO) – despite no second-hand smoking risk.

However the primary concern over e-cigarettes is that they will ‘glamorize’ and ‘normalize’ smoking, with the Welsh parliament planning to ban them for under-18s, with Welsh Health Minister Mark Drake-ford telling Assembly Members that e-cigarettes were a ‘gateway product’ to ‘something far worse’.

‘Certain to be way less harmful than cigarettes.’

Ultimately it is down to the individual to decide on whether they are willing to take on any potential risk posed by e-cigarettes. Regardless, despite the WHO describing e-cigarette’s safety as ‘illusive’, it has also been accepted that they are ‘certain to be way less harmful than cigarettes’, at least according to Anna Gilmore, director of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath.

What do you think about the risks of e-cigarettes? Do you think it has been overblown or that more research needs to be done? Let us know in the comments below.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of VIP Electronic Cigarette – one of the UK’s leading providers of a huge range of e-cigarettes.

 



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