What is the electronic cigarette?
The electronic cigarette is a device that works with batteries, and converts the liquid nicotine into a vapor which the smoker inhales. Many of the electronic cigarettes resemble real cigarettes. Some have a light on the tip, which illuminates when inhaled.
How does the electronic cigarette work?
The electronic cigarette has three main parts:
- The mouthpiece contains a cartridge. The cartridge contains the nicotine solution.
- A heating system converts the solution to vapor during inhalation.
- The batteries provide power for the operation of the heating system.
The nicotine in electronic cigarettes is sold in various flavors like chocolate, cherry, regular etc. A chemical makes the vapor white when the electronic cigarette is used, so the steam looks like smoke of a real cigarette. There are also available electronic cigars and electronic pipes.
It is safe to use electronic cigarettes?
Firstly, the cartridges contain various levels of nicotine. So, in theory at least, one can reduce the craving for smoking, by gradually reducing the nicotine contained in the cartridges. This is the main way that many smokers resort to the solution of the electronic cigarette as a way to quit smoking. However, what should also be noted, is the fact that cartridges contain not only nicotine, but also other substances and excipients.
The official position of the European Union Respiratory (ERS) is that the use of all tobacco and nicotine products like chewed tobacco, and other new products, including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), the snuss ( Intraoral Swedish tobacco product), the soluble tobacco and hookah, is contrary to international medical guidance.
In response to the successful growth policies against the cigarette, the tobacco industry has developed these new products, allowing consumers to get the nicotine without using a real cigarette. In many cases, these new products are considered “products that reduce the harm caused by smoking” or that are safe alternatives to conventional cigarettes. However, there is no credible scientific study to substantiate this hypothesis.
Instead, studies have shown that these products pose significant risk to the health of smokers, putting them on an ongoing high risk for illness and having negative effects on health. There is a growing concern about possible health risks associated with use and exposure to the electronic cigarette. In one recent sample of the product, it was found to contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used as a material defrost. Moreover, in U.S.A. conducted tests of FDA, found that not all the cartridges contained the correct amount of nicotine as indicated therein.
The European Respiratory Society argues that smokers “should not exchange one carcinogenic product with another.” In addition, the European Respiratory Society fully endorses the guidelines of Article 14 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and therefore argues that the best health advice for smokers is to quit smoking according to scientifically based methods.