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Are e-cigarettes safe?

An e-cigarette is a battery operated device. They emit vaporized nicotine or non-nicotine solutions to be inhaled by users. It aims to provide a similar sensation to inhaling tobacco smoke, without the smoke.Most are reusable, with replaceable and refillable cartridges.

How they work?

Most e-cigarettes have:

  • a mouthpiece, or cartridge
  • a heating element
  • a rechargeable battery
  • electronic circuits

As the user sucks on the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a flavored, liquid solution held in the mouthpiece. The person then “vapes,” or inhales, the aerosol solution.

The nicotine content varies from zero to “extra-high,” or 24 to 36 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (ml).

nicotine in any form is a highly addictive drug

Marketing

They are marketed as a way to stop or cut down on smoking.While it may help existing smokers to give up, there is concern that young people are starting to vape for its own sake, and not to replace tobacco use.

Any benefits?

E-cigarettes claim to bypass many of the health risks of tobacco smoking, and to offer a more healthful alternative to cigarettes and other conventional forms of nicotine intake.

Some studies have found that using e-cigarettes can help some smokers quit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conclude that e-cigarettes can benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant, as long as they completely replace any other nicotine or tobacco products.

However, in 2015, 58.8 percent of adult users continued to smoke regular cigarettes. They did not use vaping as a complete substitute for tobacco.

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The CDC add that vaping is not suitable:

  • for young people
  • for those who have never smoked before
  • during pregnancy

However, research shows that they may have a negative impact on health.

Risks

While e-cigarettes may help some people quit, there is growing evidence that vaping may be harmful in some cases, and more harmful than avoiding smoking altogether.

Here are 10 reasons why the authorities are concerned:

  1. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive and triggers changes in the adolescent brain. It is hazardous during pregnancy as it can affect fetal development.
  2. The aerosol contains solvents, flavorings, and toxicants, which the Surgeon General describes as either “harmful” or “potentially harmful.”
  3. E-cigarettes expose the lungs to different substances. One of these is dicetyl, which can cause “popcorn lung,” a severe and irreversible lung disease.
  4. Potentially fatal poisoning has resulted from accidentally swallowing and from inhaling c-cigarette liquid.
  5. People who seek to quit smoking will stop using conventional and medically monitored methods of doing so.
  6. Those who use or who have used e-cigarettes are less likely to stop smoking altogether.
  7. Teens who use e-cigarette products are more likely to start using regular tobacco as well.
  8. Continued use of nicotine can make other drugs, such as cocaine, more pleasurable.
  9. The flavorings, the marketing, and the concept that it is not harmful all tempt teenagers to start vaping. There is concern that this increases the chance that they will smoke conventional cigarettes later.
  10. Second-hand smoking is not eliminated by vaping, as vaping releases carcinogenic emissions.

In addition, experimental use of vaping materials may put teens at higher risk.

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