Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous?

 E-CigaretteMany believe that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than smoking tobacco, as their vapors doesn’t contain the chemicals that are found in regular cigarette smoke; however we do not know much about the safety of these products, leading to the question: Are e-cigarettes dangerous?[1]

E-cigarettes create an inhalable nicotine vapor by heating a liquid nicotine solution.1 When the e-cigarette is puffed, the heater vaporizes the solution which then goes into the chamber and is inhaled into the lungs.1 Most look like cigarettes and some even have a tip that lights up.1

However, not all e-cigarettes are the same.1 While they were invented by a pharmacist in China, many continue to be produced there but have different designs.1 More recent designs are able to get the nicotine deeper into the lungs with a quicker absorption into the blood stream.1 However, this also makes them more addictive.1 Are smokers trading one addiction for another?

Many people purchase e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking, but there is not much evidence that people are able to quit smoking completely by using e-cigarettes.1 In fact, some people will smoke regular cigarettes and then smoke e-cigarettes where regular smoking is not allowed.1 However, e-cigarettes are completely unregulated, and as there are a lack of studies regarding their safety, many public health officials are reluctant to tell people to use them.1 As each device is of different quality and comes with different e-juice, it is hard to tell how each one works and what the user is actually inhaling, especially if the e-juice is flavored.1 In e-juice, propylene glycol is an ingredient, and there is little information about the safety of these heated vapors when compared with eaten or used on the skin.1

Smokers who are considering using e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking are left to make a personal choice.1 Public health officials will not be issuing a statement endorsing e-cigarette use for stopping smoking anytime soon.1

People who use e-cigarettes at the same time they are smoking cigarettes are unlikely to lower their risk of heart attack, cancer, or chronic lung disease.1 There are other forms of nicotine replacement therapy that have been used for over 17 years to help smokers quit, and they are known to be successful.1 Until more is known about e-cigarettes, their safety is questionable.1 E-cigarettes may be dangerous.

[1] Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. (2014, April 2). E-cigarettes: No smoke, no danger?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 8, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402111556.htm

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