E-cigarettes: A foggy future?

“E-cigarettes are probably about as safe as drinking coffee” said Director of Tobacco Studies, Professor Robert West. Therefore, there is no surprise why global usage of e-cigarettes has increased rapidly. The main reason people used e-cigarettes was because it help them to quit smoking since e-cigarettes provide the smoker with sufficient amount of nicotine to satisfy their craving for conventional cigarettes. Absence of tar and tobacco also benefit the smoker. However, what impact will e-cigarettes have in the future

E-cigarettes are the future

E-cigarettes is the future of smoking. E-cigarettes can be an effective replacement of the current conventional cigarettes because they are most probably less harmful and less lethal to human. Cigarette smoking can cause serious and dangerous addiction among smokers due to its large amount of nicotine. In contrast, e-cigarettes contain less amount of addictive nicotine substances but they are healthier on the whole as no smoke was inhaled with it. Mostly, e-cigarette consists of a cartridge of fluid, typically known as e-liquid.  The e-liquid which are made up of flavourings dissolved in propylene glycol and glycerol which is then superheated by a battery-powered vaporizer, converting it into mist which is inhaled.

An International Journal published by International Research and Public Health in 2013 revealed that the majority of e-liquid were found to have no adverse effect on cardiac cells. Shockingly, the effect is 3 times less toxic than conventional cigarettes. An expert independent review published by Public Health England led by Professor Ann McNeill (King’s College London) and Peter Hajek (Queen Mary University of London) concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less dangerous to health than tobacco. The key findings of the review states that current the best estimate is that e-cigarette is about 95% less harmful than smoking and nearly as much as half of the population don’t realise about this situation. The review also includes that there is no clear evidence so far that the e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers.

In addition, Researchers at University College London found levels of cancer-causing toxins fell by up to 97 per cent in vapers six months after they switched from cigarettes. The study of 181 people found using the devices were as beneficial for health as taking up nicotine replacement therapy. Researcher Dr. Lion Shahab said, “Our study shows that e-cigarettes and nicotine-replacement therapy are far safer than smoking, and suggests that there is a very low risk associated with their long-term use.”

One of the reasons that makes e-cigarette exciting is due to the fact that it does not give out the kind of ominous and unpleasant scent reminiscent of tobacco cigarettes. Electric cigarette derives their smell from the flavour part of e-liquids instead of combustion of tobacco that produce undesirable smell. Typically, it produces more of an aroma really; a sweet aroma or even a fruity or exotic musk. Hence, ditching smoking for vaping affects someone’s olfactory to have a better sense of taste and smile. When making the switch, one will be more aware of the improvement of the olfactory as smoking e-cigarette will not form a layer of tar coating the teeth which reduced the ability to taste things.

So why not get yourself an e-cigarette as an alternative tools to smoking cigarette?

Vape, cigarette in disguise?

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are publicised as the future of smoking. They were advertised as the new ‘safer’ alternative to traditional cigarettes.

 

Two biggest factors that made people switched from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes are the fact that they are safer and can help people to quit smoking. Nevertheless, how safe are they? Public Health England (PHE) claimed that vaping was 95 percent safer than smoking. This quote has been used over and over again by the e-cigarettes manufacturers and distributors. They failed to disclose the fact that it is much better to just quit completely than switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes. In fact, the risks of vaping in the long term is still not clear to the society. This is pretty similar to the cigarette commercial back in 1960s where the risks of smoking were still not exposed to the society. Some even suggested that it is good for health. The fact that it is unknown what kind of disease e-cigarettes could develop in few years is a pretty solid reason to just quit smoking completely rather than using e-cigarettes as an alternative to regular cigarettes.

 

Quit smoking is easier said than done. When e-cigarettes became the new trend, the main reason they rose in popularity were due to the fact that they could help smokers quit. In spite of that, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found any e-cigarettes to be effective in helping smokers quit. E-cigarettes uses fluid known as e-liquid as a replacement to tobacco leaves. While some of the e-liquids were advertised as free of nicotine, substance that causes addiction, study by FDA in 2014 showed that there is discrepancy between recorded and actual nicotine levels in these products.  In fact, they even attract the non-smokers to try the e-cigarettes as they are promoted as harmless compared to conventional cigarettes. Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California-San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research claimed that e-cigarettes are definitely encouraging youth to smoke.  While vaping might be safer for the regular smoker, it still imposes health risks for the non-smoker.

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While the chemical substances in the e-cigarettes could kill you slowly, the batteries for the e-cigarettes could do a quicker job. For instance, a father from Idaho burnt his cheek and lost seven teeth after the battery overheated and exploded in his face.

As a matter of fact, few countries such as Brazil, Singapore, Norway, Uruguay, and the Seychelles have banned e-cigarettes entirely while others prohibited them to be sold.

At the end of the day, there is still so much to learn about e-cigarettes. What kind of risks could they impose in the future? Could they develop new chronic disease that would be far worse than cancer? Time will tell.

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13 thoughts on “E-cigarettes: A foggy future?

  1. I am a heavy smoker before but thanks to e-cig for effectively reduced my addiction to nicotine. I love this article btw, useful to stand e-cig in the future as harmless.

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  2. It’s down to independent retailers here making a profit, not considering health effects. E-cigs should be properly controlled to ensure safety from exploding Li-Poly batteries, and the liquids sold by pharmacists only, to ensure guidelines are enforced, if the retailers are unable to be trusted to do it themselves (i.e. only smokers or ex-smokers allowed nicotine liquids, and no under 18’s)
    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39523857

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  3. While it helps conventional smokers to quit, the concerns are to the ones that did not smoke before. Some people start smoking e-cigarette to follow the trend, which in a way encourages non smokers to smoke and bubble their money. As I was reading through the article I cant help to think of the battery explosions that causes injury which happens a lot of time in various places. However, way to go great discussion!

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  4. Time will tell,is indeed a statement that need to be in our thoughts.E-c is a new trend hence it is difficult to claim that it can be a positive way to replace the conventional cigarettes.May be it is a way but a good way is very hard to say.We have heard of the menace of this.And We also have to think of the reasons why most countries ban e-c while others prohibited it.

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  5. I stopped smoking 27 years ago after which the smell of cigarette smoke irritated me immensly, however e-cigarette smoke doesn’t have the same effect. If it is truly 95% safer than actual cigarretes then it would be a good alternative for smokers who can’t kick the habit. Having said that, stopping smoking completely would ofcourse be much better.

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  6. Premature to highlight pros and cons until enhanced studies are widen to support conclusive findings. Research have seen e-siggy smokers turn back to cigarettes in no time. Prevention is safer than cure.

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  7. Everything has pros and cons. In my opinion..

    Pros:
    1. A good way for people to slowly quit smoking
    2. Safer than conventional cigarettes (no tar)

    Cons:
    1. May encourage the non-smokers to start smoking
    2. New danger arises such as exploding batteries of the e-cigarettes and diseases that can be developed for long term e-cigarette smokers that are yet to be discovered

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  8. It’s not safe to say that switching smoking cigarettes to e-cigs will help to solve the issues. This thing is a new smoking device that is not old enough to conclude that it is safely can replace the cigarettes. Even the cigarettes was considered to be safe back then but after few years later only the scientist discovered the bad consequences of smoking. I would say that both have its own implications.

    Anyway, it is such a good article to read.

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  9. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, e-cigarettes indeed has a foggy future.

    1) While theoretically it can help smokers to quit smoking, there are neither study nor significant evidence that can prove this to be true. By WHO definition, smoking is an act of inhalation of smoke. Hence for smokers to be considered as quit smoking, one must have to stop this activity. Most smokers who change from conventional cigarette to e-cigarette tend to continue their smoking habit even years after that. The only difference is that they are using something so called ‘less harmful’. Rather then labeling it as “quitting”, a “change of method” would be more appropriate.

    2) Up to this date, there are no regulations or acts implement to standardize and monitor the chemical contents inside the e-liquids. Sellers can mix anything inside without any safety limits. Overdose and poisoning are of concerns.

    3) Conventional cigarettes carries a stigma together with it but that is not the case for e-cigarettes. Society perceive it as a trend. As a result, people a more likely to start becoming a social smokers.

    There are some other points which has been highlighted on the article above.

    It is still too early to conclude the overall effect of e-cigarettes to current modern world. More studies are needed to prove what has been claimed.

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  10. Theres a lot of benefits comparing the e-cig with typical cigarettes. However, their long term effect are not yet understood. Thus, people should know the risks of unknown they are involved in. Cheers. 🤞

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  11. as said in the article, quit smoking is easier said than to be done. e cigs definitely will be a good alternative for the smokers to quit smoking. i would agree that they are probably safe than those conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products. Experts also believe that e cigarettes has a potential for public health benefits. however, that does not make them a healthy choice.
    good article 👍🏻

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