Though still under study electronic cigarettes seem to be much saferAre electronic cigarettes safe?



It is a relevant question about a relatively new product that many do not know very much about.



Their function is simple: a battery operated atomizer heats the liquid inside until it turns to vapor, which can be inhaled just like regular smoke. Unlike regular smoke, the vapor these smokless cigarettes release is odorless and does not leave behind any residue.



They are reusable and rechargeable, which makes them a more affordable long term option than traditional cigarettes. The liquid in the e-cartridges is mostly water, with one or two additional ingredients for flavoring purposes, and either vegetable glycerin, polyethylene glycol 400, or propylene glycol.



These personal vaporizers lack the ingredients of traditional smokes, with the exception of nicotine. Regular tobacco products have a multitude of tar related substances that can prove to be toxic.

 

There is the potential for undiscovered risks, but the ingredients in the e-liquid currently have been used in other edible products for longer than e-cigs have been around. For example, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed propylene glycol as generally being recognized as safe.



In Europe they are labeled as a drug or medical device, rather than a tobacco product, which places constraints on their sales and marketing that may make consumers wonder: are electronic cigarettes safe? Some places, like Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong have bans on the e-liquid cartridges, which also raises the question: are electronic cigarettes safe?  And if they are, why would these countries be banning them?



Specifically, they are prohibited from advertising and retail space in these countries, but the ban is unrelated to health dangers. Their main concern is not are electronic cigarettes safe, but whether or not they are marketed to youth since they do not have to carry the same warning labels and restrictions as regular cigarettes.  Some e-cigs are available without any nicotine content; the apprehension that the flavored vapor in a form that provides the look and feel of the real thing would prove enticing for youth makes some countries unenthusiastic about their unregulated sale.



Although the concept was created in the early 1960’s, they were first introduced to the market in 2004, and received an international patent in 2007. Since that time they have become more sophisticated, but the second generation of these personal vaporizers has only been around since 2008.



Like many products and food additives on the market today, long term health impacts are still unclear, as the current studies have not had the lifespan to determine these. Their new status means that there are limited amounts of studies currently available, but more are being conducted all the time, and some are currently in progress. The World Health Organization has ensured that further testing will be done by requesting that studies be performed.



In August of 2012, research administered in Germany has addressed the query of: Are electronic cigarettes safe for the heart? 



Results have determined that they do not harm heart function. Tobacco users in the same study were found to have increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as decreased heart function.  Users of e-cigs were only found to have slightly elevated blood pressure.

 

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017

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