What You Should Know About E-Cigarettes
These days there are e-cigarettes everywhere. They are targeted to individuals who are attempting to quit smoking and are becoming increasingly popular as a useful fix for getting over cravings and achieving the goal of having a life free of nicotine. Although e-cigarettes are a fairly new solution of the ‘quitting’ market, you can find them practically everywhere, ranging from trains, to the beach, hotels and bars.
However, what do we really know about e-cigarettes, and are parents informed enough about them to have discussions with our children about these devices and their potential risks? We have compiled a list of questions about e-cigarettes for parent and children as well as some of the findings that have been discovered.
What is nicotine?
It is a toxic, oily, colourless liquid which is the main component of tobacco. When nicotine is inhaled as smoke it gets absorbed via small air sacs inside of the lungs. This is highly addictive and may cause lung and heart problems as well as increased blood pressure.
What are e-cigarettes?
These are battery powered devices that have been designed to mimic the smoking process through heating up a nicotine liquid that is transformed into a vapour that is inhaled by the user.
How are e-cigarettes used?
A cigarette is simulated and the user inhales vapour via a replaceable cartridge. Inside of the cartridge there is nicotine combined with artificial flavourings like a chemical called Propylene Glycol (PG) and menthol. As the liquid is inhaled as an odourless vapour and exhaled through using the e-cigarette the process is often referred to as ‘vaping.’
What is Propylene Glycol?
This is the main chemical contained in e-cigarettes; it is a type of alcohol and mineral oil. There are many different forms of PG and you can find in everything ranging from snack foods to antifreeze. At its industry grade or highest concentration it is used in engine coolants, enamels, and paints. However, far less concentrated levels are used in pharmaceutical grade which can be found in food products at times as well as topical drug products and ointments.
Why are e-cigarettes used by so many people?
For many individuals who are attempting to quit smoking, the hardest thing is breaking the habit. Since e-cigarettes are able to replicate the smoking process, it addresses both the behavioural and physiological aspects involved in smoking addiction. There is also not any tobacco contained in e-cigarettes or chemical like tar that are associated with cigarettes. Also, since the vapour is breathed in by the user, is also reduces second hand smoking risk. Recent studies, in fact have indicated that 80-84% of users of e-cigarettes viewed them as less harmful compared to traditional cigarettes.
Do e-cigarettes work?
At the moment there isn’t any evidence that proves that e-cigarettes are effective in helping smokers to quit. Research conducted in Australia, Canada, the USA, and UK of 6,000 former and current smokers found that users of e-cigarettes were much more like to decrease their intake of cigarettes, but not any more likely to quit smoking.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
Using nicotine in any kind of form is very additive. Also the vapour that is inhaled from an e-cigarettes not only contains water, but there are many different toxins that are inhaled by the user as well. Since e-cigarettes are fairly new in the marketplace, there have not been any long term studies conducted yet, so we don’t yet know what the long risks are of inhaling Propylene Glycol regularly. When it comes to e-cigarettes being appealing to children, they are marketed in a way that might attractive young people. They are viewed as sleek, cool, and glamorous, and come in many flavoured shortfill e-liquid, including cola, banana split, and vanilla. So there could be a definite appeal to young people to use e-cigarettes that could be potentially harmful.