Since the emergence of electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) in 2004, there is an ongoing debate on the benefits and harms of electronic cigarettes. Are electronic cigarettes safe for smoking? In the recent years, a lot of research has been going on to find out the answer of this question. Different scientists and experts have different opinions about electronic cigarettes. Some say that they are safe and relatively less harmful than tobacco smoking, while others say e-cigarettes are harmful like tobacco cigarettes and liquid nicotine in e-cigarettes causes nicotine addiction. But the harmful effects of e-cigarettes have not been proven yet. In today’s post, we will try to find out the answers of the following questions.
What are electronic cigarettes?
How do e-cigarettes work?
Are they safer than conventional cigarettes?
Can they help a person to quit smoking?
What Are Electronic Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are basically battery operated devices, emerged in 2004 as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, and are developed to deliver nicotine, flavors and some other chemicals in the form of vapors instead of smoke. In the last 5 years, e-cigarettes industry has grown enormously and today, more than 250 different brands of e-cigarettes are available out there in the market. They are being manufactured in various designs like traditional cigarettes, pipes or cigars and they can be designed like memory sticks, USB, pens and even like more fancy items of everyday use. Some e-cigarettes brands are disposable while others are refillable and can be used again and again.
How Do E-cigarettes Work?
Usually e-cigarettes are made of three basic components, including:
- A battery as a power source
- Vaporizer (as a heating device)
- A cartridge to hold a liquid solution having variable concentrations of nicotine, some other chemicals and flavorings.
Generally, in an e-cigarette, with the help of puffing activity, the battery powered vaporizer (heating device) gets activated that vaporizes the liquid solution (having nicotine and other chemicals) in the cartridge. This resulting vapor is then inhaled by the user, the process of inhaling or smoking e-cigarettes is known as vaping.
Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe for Smoking than conventional cigarettes?
This is the question many people want to know the answer. But unfortunately, this question is very hard to answer as less information is available on these relatively new products. It is generally believed that e-cigarettes are less harmful and a better choice than the conventional tobacco cigarettes. This is why there is an increasing trend of people towards e-smoking in the recent years. In 2013, only in the USA, more than 250, 000 non-smoker teenagers reported that they have used e-cigarettes for the first time.
Cigarette smoking has been the major preventable cause of serious illness and higher mortality rates for many years, and it causes more than 400,000 deaths in the United States every year. Cancers and heart diseases are the worst health consequences associated with smoking cigarettes and they are linked to inhalation of tar and some other dangerous chemicals produced as a result of tobacco combustion. The addiction, reinforcement and intense pleasure are the properties of cigarette smoking, which are produced by the nicotine present in the tobacco.
E-cigarettes are designed to give the appearance and feel like the conventional tobacco cigarettes. Puffing an e-cigarette produces delightful flavored vapors that give the feel of tobacco smoking by delivering nicotine, but with a little amount of other harmful chemicals produced by the burning of tobacco leaves in conventional cigarettes. As e-cigarettes deliver nicotine with less toxic chemicals without the burning of tobacco leaves, they are usually considered less toxic, safer and an alternate option to conventional tobacco smoke.
Can E-cigarettes help a person to quit smoking?
Many people, who want to quit smoking, believe that e-cigarettes can be helpful in quitting smoking by lowering the nicotine cravings. But at this point, we do not have an evidence to support e-cigarettes use as a smoking cessation aid. It is also possible that it could prolong nicotine addiction, instead of lowering its cravings. At the moment, a little data exists on the safety of e-cigarettes, but may be in future we might have a lot more information about the safety and therapeutic benefits of e-cigarettes and the health-hazardous effects of e-cigarettes compared to the conventional tobacco cigarettes.
Well, we have discussed different aspects of electronic cigarettes like their nature, composition, working, benefits and harms. Are electronic cigarettes safe for smoking? What do you think now? Please share your thoughts, inputs and valuable information in the comments section. Thank you for reading and please keep coming for more informative and valuable posts.