Over 40 million Americans still smoke despite the knowledge made available about smoking tobacco. Information like how smoking cigarettes can damage every organ in the body or that 1 out of every 4 deaths are due to some smoking-related illness. And with seventy-percent of American smokers surveyed stated they want to quit, over 40 percent say they have tried in the past 12 months.
Cigarette sales dropped by 10% in 2009 after the federal cigarette tax increased, an indication that cost was a part of why the habit of Americans changing. Another factor contributing to the decrease in sales has been credited to the electronic cigarette industry.
Electronic cigarettes, aka e-cigarettes or e-cigs, saw global sales of almost $3 billion, including smokeless inhalers. It has been reported that up to one-fifth of all tobacco smokers have gone this route in the attempt to kick the habit.
The e-cig industry was developed in China and it would be 2007 before Americans would see them on the market. Many of these devices have very similar appearance to the “real thing”, but once you see what’s inside, you’ll find that instead of burning tobacco, they are actually vaporizers. They heat up a flavored liquid which turns into vapor and the user inhales that vapor.
There are arguments that e-cigs offer health advantages over the traditional cigarettes. But some health experts and regulatory agencies aren’t convinced. Here we offer the following 5 pieces of information for your consideration before you take up the e-cig habit:
Nothing Is Burning
E-cigs use a lithium battery, so the need to keep up with a lighter or matches is gone. E-cigs contains a cartridge where you put the flavored liquid and a vaporization chamber. The battery provides power to the device that heats up the liquid when puffed on. Some e-cig have a LED tip which glows when you take a puff to give it a more ‘real’ appearance. Since there isn’t any tobacco burning, there isn’t any carbon monoxide, odor, or smoke because what is being inhaled is vapor.
While e-cigs are smoke and tobacco free, they are not nicotine-free. The liquid used in them are usually a mix of nicotine, flavoring, propylene glycol, and other additives. The percentage of nicotine varies based on the mixture in liquid-nicotine cartridge. Some e-cig products contain a comparable amount of nicotine to full strength tobacco cigarettes and others are closer to what light or ultralight tobacco cigarettes. You can also find flavored liquids that do not have any nicotine if you are looking for the sensory experience that smoking a cigarette provides and not worry about any possible harmful effects.
They Are Toxic
Of 7,000-plus chemicals contained in a cigarette, 69 of them are known carcinogens, making regular cigarettes toxic. However, e-cigs are not necessarily healthier. That liquid nicotine we discussed earlier is comes from tobacco. Where traditional cigarettes have tobacco leaves, the liquid nicotine is e-cigs can be lethal. The liquid nicotine is harmful when inhaled and even more so when absorbed into the skin or ingested. It takes less than one tablespoon of an e-liquid to kill an adult. It take less than one teaspoon to kill a child.
From September of 2010 to February of 2014, it is report that poison control centers saw an increase in the number of calls each month regarding e-cig nicotine-infused liquids. Over 51 percent of the calls were accidental poisoning of kids. Some test results have found that the nicotine isn’t the only danger. Some e-cig devices have been found to release metal while using them and other impurities that are carcinogenic or toxic.
Quality Control Lacks
Regardless of being available on the market for a few years, the safeness of e-cigs is still questionable by several health experts and regulatory agencies. Two of their biggest concerns being:
- Ingredients are not required to be disclosed
- Health and safety claims are missing
For example, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) discovered in 2009 that some of the liquid nicotine cartridges contained approximately 1 percent of the toxic chemical DEG (diethylene glycol), This is the same toxic chemical ingredient found in antifreeze.
And adding to their concern, it has been found that the amount of nicotine stated on a cartridge label doesn’t always match what the actual amount is. The difference found by the FDA in random tests found differences ranging from almost 27 to over 43 micrograms nicotine per 100 milliliter puff. Lab testing found that even the nicotine-free cartridges have a low dose nicotine.
Many tobacco products are regulated by the FDA such as traditional cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, as well as smokeless tobacco. In 2014, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was proposed by the FDA. This regulation states that the manufacturers be required to completely disclose their products ingredients and request approval from the FDA before marketing them. In addition, e-cigs cannot be sold to minors and health warning labels must be placed on the products. The act also prohibits any distribution of free samples and sales via vending machine are prohibited.