The dangers of e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes run on batteries to deliver nicotine. (Image courtesy of Flickr user Lindsay Fox.)

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes have become popular, perceived as a fun alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, they are just as dangerous.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that have been developed as an alternative to normal cigarettes. They first became popular as a safer way to deliver nicotine. However, they are filled with chemicals that are unhealthy. Electronic cigarettes are found to contain an antifreeze component known as diethylene glycol. It is toxic to humans and can cause health problems from inhalation. They also contain nitrosamines, which are known to cause cancer. E-cigarettes contain tetramethylpyrazine as well. If humans are exposed to this chemical too often, it can cause brain damage.

E-cigarettes also contain nicotine. The U.S. Surgeon General found exposure to nicotine during pregnancy harms the developing fetus, and causes lasting consequences for the developing brain and lung function in newborns. Nicotine exposure also affects maternal and fetal health during pregnancy, and can result in low birth weight, preterm delivery and stillbirth. It can also cause sudden infant death syndrome.

The American Lung Association found nicotine has a negative impact on adolescent brain development.

E-cigarettes have become trendy for teenagers, with flavored options such as “Candy Crush” and “Gummy Bear” targeting youth. Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General found e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes.

Experts say that a puff of a traditional cigarette is more toxic than an e-cigarette. However, they are still dangerous and should be avoided to achieve ultimate health.

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About Sara Brown

Sara Brown is the Sampan health editor.
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One Comment

  1. This is one of the worst articles on ecigarettes I have seen. It’s full of misinformation and ignorance. I would very much like to know who furnished the author with this information?

    The ingredients in ecigarettes are Propylene Glycol and/or. Vegetable Glycerin, Flavourings and Nicotine, although some don’t contain nicotine at all. These four ingredients are also in pharma’s nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), plus around another 10. Ecigs do not contain Diethylene Glycol, or do they contain Tetramethylpyrazine. Any nitrosamines are far below stipulated safety levels and are proven to be akin to the levels in pharma’s NRT. In the UK, ecigs are recommended by the NHS for women who smoke.

    Nicotine is quite a benign substance in the quantities used by vapers, akin to caffeine. It has never been proven to be addictive in humans and in animal studies, they had to be manipulated to take it. Real experts who work with it daily say it isn’t addictive, so therefore no gateway to lit tobacco. Dr. Paul Newhouse, of Vanderbilt University, runs clinical trials to treat never smokers with high strength nicotine patches, for six months at a time, for cognitive diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia and also for Ulcerative Colitis. Nobody became addicted or started smoking. His trials were cited by pharma when they applied for long term and concomitant use of their NRT, alongside other nicotine containing products, including cigarettes. FDA gave approval with no concerns for safety or abuse (addiction). Many ex-smoking vapers lose their previous tolerance to nicotine and have to reduce the amounts used.

    Nicotine can also be prescribed to 12 year olds, that’s how safe it is. It’s been available over the counter for dilution in 72mg/ml for decades. NRT is available in supermarkets. It’s used to treat diseases – it’s beneficial. Everyone, including babies, tests positive for it as a variety of vegetables and tea contain it.

    The numbers of youth Ecig users put out by the CDC are junk. They count even one or two puffs in the past 30 days as a daily user. They called ecigs tobacco products (even though they contain no tobacco) so they could fudge the numbers and make it look like there’s a problem. In actuality, negligible numbers of never-smoking youth vape on a regular basis and most don’t use nicotine. Those that use ecigs more regularly are shown to be youths who were smokers. Youth smoking is now at an all time low thanks to ecigs. Teens experiment, it’s what they do. However, good vaping companies have had an 18+ only rule, long before it became law and in some states, even though it isn’t the law. Youth use is so low, that if left to only them to demand certain flavours, they wouldn’t be worth making. Demand = supply.

    NRT has a failure rate of 93-98.2%, it’s no better than a placebo. Pharma’s cessation pills, in just a five year period in the USA, caused 500 suicides, 1,800 attempted suicides, 10,000 serious adverse events, such as severe psychosis, with 3,000 lawsuits settled by Pfizer so far. Last year they were testing this poison on 12-19 year olds in clinical trials. They don’t care about our health! They lie about nicotine addiction because they need smokers to believe in it in order to sell patches, gums and pills and the “highly addictive” message is self reinforced every day, until the smoker fails yet again.

    Vapers finally, for the first time, have a viable and much easier way to switch away from lit tobacco and we have a great deal of support from public health, politicians, health charities, scientists and some in Tobacco Control. . However, there are others fighting vaping who benefit massively from the trillion dollar smoking economy – cigarette taxes, the Master Settlement Agreement payments, as well as billions in pharma funding. Then there are pharmaceutical companies, who see vaping as competition to their NRT and smoking related diseases treatments. The opposition includes, world wide governments, the FDA, CDC, NIH, US health charities, the World Health Organisation and certain researchers, scientists, etc., who are all doing pharma’s bidding. They are well looked after in money, treats and even jobs which are incestuous between the different organisations. This all results in protecting the cigarette trade and trying to remove the best and only real competition it’s ever had. Then there are many organisations and individuals who are heavily invested in tobacco shares.

    It’s called harm reduction, just like car seat belts, helmets, clean needles, condoms, etc. If ever smoking prevalence is going to be lowered for real, it’s by allowing smokers this 95-99%+ safer alternative to smoking which, by the way, is of no harm whatsoever to bystanders. Many millions of smokers have already switched, but there are many millions more who probably would if they were given truthful information in the press, instead of the type of propaganda the above article contains.

    Royal College of Physicians
    Public Health England.
    Clive Bates The Surgeon General’s Report.
    NHS Ecigs & Pregnancy
    Ecigarettes Research.
    Is Nicotine Addictive?
    Expert Quotes.
    What are ecigarettes?

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