Due to the increase in the awareness about adverse effects of smoking, more and more people are shifting to electronic cigarettes or e cigarettes as they are commonly called. Claiming not to be harmful like regular cigarettes, in the last couple of years, the electronic cigarettes manufacturers have been advertising viciously about their products. They are campaigning based on the claim to provide the same feel, taste and experience of the regular cigarettes without the adverse and negative effects of them. The claim is very enticing and people are falling for their advertisements. In a short time there has been a huge surge in the e cigarette market and its consumption has been increasing ever since.
However an intelligent person might ponder that how a product can be so miraculous as to provide all the benefits and enjoyments, that the extremely harmful cigarettes were providing and yet have no opposing effects. The truth is on the contrary. While it is approved that electronic cigarettes are not that harmful as regular cigarettes they do have their bads. E cigarettes work by people inhaling flavored liquid that is vaporized. This is also called vaping. Is vaping harmful or not depends upon whether the liquid you are using is good or bad. While there are products that give a harmless vaping experience in e cigarettes the liquid used for vaping or the e-liquid as it is called, is essentially a combination of nocitine, glycerine, glycol, propylene. Along with these components, flavorings are added to get a variety. Adding flavors also increases the commercial benefits as people want to try out more than one flavors, and thus increasing the sales of the cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes and nicotine
Electronic cigarettes might look cool in your hands but the benefits just end there. No matter which electronic cigarette you are using, nicotine is one of its component. Nicotine is known to be highly addictive. There are 4000 different chemicals that are found in tobacco. Nicotine is one of them. Although the main harmful chemicals in the cigarettes are those that contain carcinogens. Nicotine is not one of the chemicals that contain carcinogens but because of its highly addictive properties it will be very difficult to lose its use if once started.
A regular smoker can try to satisfy his cravings by consuming the e cigarettes but if a person is not a smoker then this habit, even if started as a one time things can make him addicted. And losing its addiction is as difficult as losing the addiction of normal cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that can look like a real cigarette or pen. Some with refillable tanks look a bit different. There are hundreds of brands, and they’re sometimes marketed as a way to get your nicotine fix without the danger of cigarettes.
They all work the same basic way:
- They have containers filled with liquid that’s usually made of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
- A heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag.
Nicotine is bad for people who have heart problems. It is also bad for children with developing brains. It cause harm to the fetus so pregnant women must not use ecigarettes at all, just like they should avoid normal cigarettes. Following are main side effects of nicotine as listed by the MedLine Plus
- Decreases appetite
- Boosts mood
- Increases intestinal activity
- Creates more saliva and phlegm
- Increases heart rate
- Increases blood pressure
- May cause sweating, nausea and diarrhea
- Dims memory and alertness.
The main risk with e-cigarettes is that people think they are harmless. This is certainly not true. Although it may be less harmful than the cigarettes it is still bad. Kids and teens try them out just to look cool or to experiment with something new. Then they get sucked into being addicted to nicotine. Also vaping would make them more comfortable to smoking so if your child is addicted to e cigarettes, it is more likely that he would end up trying cigarettes too than the kids who have never tried cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes with batteries that blast
Another big controversy surrounding the e-cigarettes is the blasting of its batteries. Many cases have been reported where the e cigarette bursted and the person smoking sustained serious burns on the face and hands. Why does this happened? Well most cigarettes used lithium batteries. A little misuse of these can cause them to catch fire. According to Wikipedia reports some batteries are not well designed, are made with poor quality components, or have defects. Major injuries have occurred from battery explosions and fires. A man endured a unilateral corneoscleral laceration with prolapsed iris tissue and hyphemato to the eye area when an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth. A young man endured bilateral corneal burns to the eye area when an e-cigarette exploded near his chest E-cigarette explosions have resulted in burns, lost teeth, neck fractures, and battery acid contact to the face, mouth, and eyes. A man died when charging an e-cigarette blown up and caught on fire next to oxygen equipment. House and car fires and skin burns have resulted from some of the explosions The explosions were the result of extended charging, use of unsuitable chargers, or design flaws. There is a possible risk to bystanders from e-cigarette explosions. There is also a risk of property damage as a result of flammable materials catching on fire from an e-cigarette explosion. The US Fire Dept, said that 25 fires and explosions were caused by e-cigarettes between 2009 and August 2014. In the UK fire service call-outs had risen, from 43 in 2013 to 62 in 2014.
After looking at all the pros and cons one can safely say that if you want to try to quit smoking, just quit it. Vaping is a new kind of addiction and is not the solution to the problem.
Do you think e-cigarettes are harmful? Discuss in the comments below.