E-Cigarette: The Untold Story
Ever thought about inhaling tobacco smoke without the smoke? Then you are thinking about the battery-operated device that emits doses of vaporized nicotine called E-Cigarette i.e electronic cigarette. Over the years, the device has been tagged with different types of names, from e-cigarette to vape pens, e-cigs, e-vap and so on.
E-Cigarettes appeared on the Chinese market in 2004 for the first time as a way to help stop or cut down on smoking. And since then, it’s been taken by millions around the world. Between 2100 to 2015, E-cigarette use rose by 900 percent among high school students that “vaping” is now the most popular form of tobacco in the US among teenagers. Many adults who use e-cigarettes are current or former smokers looking to stop nicotine cravings, quit smoking, or cut down on tobacco cigarettes.
While E-cigarette is serving the purpose of helping existing smokers, there are worries and concern that younger people are starting to vape for its own sake, and not really to replace tobacco use. And for this reason, the U.S Food and Drug Administration is enforcing rules about the production, marketing, and sales of E-cigarette.
Special Features of E-cigarette you should know;
1. E-cigarettes are sold as aids to reduce or quit smoking and a lot of people find them quite helpful for this.
2. E-cigarettes are designed to resemble cigarettes, but this time without burning tobacco.
3. E-cigarettes research shows that they may not have a negative impact on health.
4. E-cigarette abuse, and misuse is on the rise among young folks with regulations from health authorities to tighten up and control the usage.
For clarity; what exactly are e-cigarettes?
An e-cigarette is described as a long tube that usually resembles a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar, or a pen. Most of the device are reusable, with replaceable and refillable cartridges, but others are disposable.
Back in 1963, there was a demand by Herbert A. Gilbert for a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”, but none was created until 2003, invented by a Chinese pharmacist called Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, working for Golden Dragon Holdings, which is now known as Ryan. At the moment, there are over 460 different brands of e-cigarettes on the market.
Here are the basic elements of e-cigarettes;
1. E-cigarettes have a mouthpiece or cartridge
2. E-cigarettes have a heating element
3. E-cigarettes have a rechargeable battery
4. E-cigarettes have electronic circuits
Further Description of E-cigarettes;
As the user sucks on the mouthpiece, a sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a flavoured, 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). The mouthpiece is a cartridge that is fixed to the end of a tube. A small plastic cup within the mouthpiece holds an absorbent material drenched in the liquid solution. The cartridge can either be refilled or replaced with another pre-filled cartridge when necessary.
The atomizer is a heating element that heats the liquid, causing it to vaporize. The solution can then be breathed in or inhaled.
The battery powers the heating element. This is normally a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery.
The sensor activates the heater when the user sucks on the device. An LED may show when it is activated.
The solution, also known as e-liquid or e-juice, is made by extracting nicotine from tobacco and mixing it with a base, usually propylene glycol, and flavoring. Propylene glycol is used in inhalers, for example, for asthma. There is a wide range of flavors to choose from, with names such as traditional, watermelon, menthol, and lava flow.
Some flavors, such as a combination of tobacco and menthol, try to resemble traditional cigarettes. A number of them claim to mimic specific brands.
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.
Others suggest they offer “modest” benefits for those who want to quit smoking, but “good potential” for those who are cutting down.
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.
An e-cigarette is noted “not suitable” as stated by the CDC;
- for those who have never smoked before
2. for young people
3.for those with pregnancyThere is an argument that it is better for young people to start vaping instead of smoking.
Marketing the activity as cool and safe, and offering a variety of flavors, manufacturers are keen to attract teens and adolescents.
E-cigarettes Possible Risks;
E-cigarettes are probably not risk-free, and in 2016, the Surgeon General declared e-cigarette use a “significant public health concern.” While the device helps some people quit or reduce quit cut down. There is also growing evidence that vaping may be harmful in some cases, and more harmful than avoiding smoking altogether.
Here are some reasons why the authorities are concerned;
- Those who use or who have used e-cigarettes are less likely to stop smoking altogether
2. People who seek to quit smoking will stop using conventional and medically monitored methods of doing so.
3. Potentially fatal poisoning has resulted from accidentally swallowing and from inhaling e-cigarette liquid.
4. Continued use of nicotine can make other drugs, such as cocaine, more pleasurable.
5. 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.
E-cigarettes reports and debates on-going states; The researchers found that the ability of lung cells to repair after exposure to e-cigarette smoke was significantly reduced. In addition, the smoke damaged the lungs, bladder, and heart in mice.
They conclude: “It is, therefore, possible that E-cigarette smoke may contribute to lung and bladder cancer, as well as heart disease, in humans.”
Meanwhile, a report published in The BMJ in February 2018, urged doctors in the United Kingdom to tell smokers that “E-cigarette is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.”
And the debate rages on, even as I write.
E-cigarette kits are available to purchase ONLINE. However, it is important to remember that they are a nicotine-based product, and no nicotine use is safe.
Until I know more, it is probably best to use them with caution.
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