Past decade has seen an exponential increase in smokers worldwide. For many, smoking has been a way to relieve stress, a hobby, and sometimes even a practice undertaken to show off ‘cool’.
How widespread smoking is?
As per World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2016 report, over 1 billion people smoke world-wide. This number is triple the USA’s current population. To show it in a simpler statistics, three out of every ten men (33%) and one in every 20 women (6%) smoke regularly. This is surprising proportion, but a comparison with the scenario from twenty years back suggest that the proportion of smoking men and women has considerably reduced.
In 1980s, on an average, 41% of men and 10% of women used to smoke. Definitely, smoking awareness campaigns and the rise of alternative smoking options has reduced the number of smokers worldwide. Many smokers have either quit smoking due to associated health hazards or moved onto alternate options such as e-Cigarettes.
But are e-Cigarettes safe?
E-Cigarette is nothing but an electronic device that converts a flavored liquid into vapor that the user can inhale. The process of inhaling the e-Cigarette is referred as Vaping.
How widespread Vaping is?
Since the introduction of e-Cigarettes in the market in 2004, the proportion of e-Cigarette users, also called Vapers, has increased exponentially. As of 2016, 2.8 million adults consume e-Cigarettes in Great Britain. A rather old survey, carried out by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, suggest that around nine million vapors vape regularly in the USA.
These figures are surely astonishing and the trends are visible, but again are e-Cigarettes safe? Since 2004, there have been several studies on “Are e-Cigarettes safe?” Well, there is no definitive answer to this question, but the advantages of e-Cigarettes over traditional cigs are undoubtedly more. A more common answer you may find elsewhere would be “Well, it depends!” Why so uncertain of e-Cigarette safety? Let’s find out.
How does e-Cigarettes function?
E-Cigarettes are battery operated electronic machines. The vapor is basically a product of liquid, popularly known as Vape Juice or e-Liquid or e-Juice, combustion. The contents of the Vape Juice are very important in determining relative safety of e-Cigarettes, studies suggest. Vape Juice generally contains Nicotine, artificial flavors, and other chemicals. But the choice of Vape Juice is personal. The electronic device, as such, is not harmful, but minor issues, mainly to do with battery functioning, have been reported with e-Cigarettes so far. A branded e-Cigarette is all you should look for to avoid battery issues and ascertain e-Cigarette safety.
1. Are e-Cigarettes safe? Carbon-Monoxide (CO)
The best part of e-Cigarettes is that they offer Carbon-Monoxide free alternative to smoking. This means reduced risk of several diseases. Since e-Cigarettes use a special device to heat up the Vape Juice so as to convert it into vapors, there is no burning, and obviously, no smoke. An average smoker, smoking one cig per day, has CO level of 20 parts per million. Although this sounds like a minute quantity, its long-term effects are bad.
During smoking, CO enters in the blood through lungs and combines with Hemoglobin. This reduces Hemoglobin’s capacity to carry Oxygen resulting in cell death due to Oxygen starvation. It does not stop here, due to lowered supply of Oxygen, the heart works extra and hard to distribute Oxygen throughout the body which may accelerate the risk of heart attacks and atherosclerosis. Passive smoking also has similar consequences, albeit milder, but similar consequences. In short, Carbon Monoxide kills. A CO free option for your hobby or stress relief is what is e-Cigarettes.
2. Are e-Cigarettes safe? Carcinogenicity
A major concern of many medical studies has been to understand the cancer risk with traditional Vs. e-Cigarettes, resulting into the same old question – Are e-Cigarettes safe? A study on carcinogenic profiles imparted by traditional Vs. e-Cigarettes, appeared in The Laryngoscope, suggests that the e-Cigarettes cause a relatively lower potential disease burden than traditional cigs.
Another study, appeared in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, compares toxicants emitted by traditional Vs. e-Cigarettes and concludes that toxicant consumption through an e-Cigarette is significantly lower than a traditional cig.
Even more explicit research published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggests that e-Cigarettes are perhaps a better alternative to smoking. With e-Cigarettes, the possibility of passive or second-hand smoking is null, which is a great advantage over traditional cigs.
As Dr. Crotty Alexander, a faculty at UC San Diego, puts it – ‘The vapor does not appear to be benign, but it does seem to be the lesser of two evils when compared to (traditional) cigarettes’. So, again, Are e-Cigarettes Safe? As I mentioned above, the risk of carcinogenicity depends upon ingredients of the Vape Juice. If you are using Nicotine free Vape Juice, there is no risk of Nicotine-related carcinogenicity.
3. Are e-Cigarettes safe? What People believe?
There is a general perception that e-Cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigs. The latest study published in The Journal of American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that in their survey, 88% respondents stated that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
Another report by Public Health London concluded that there is an urgent need to publicize the current best estimate that e-Cigarettes are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes and smoking. Even I am of an opinion similar to that of these studies. There is a need for e-Cigarette awareness among youth and adult regular smokers. When it comes to e-Cigarette safety, people have a positive viewpoint.
4. Are e-Cigarettes safe? The bad and the ugly part
Every coin has two sides. Every technology comes with pros and cons. I think e-Cigarettes are not an exception. The e-Cigarette safety concern is mostly to do with how it is used and its possible impact on social life. The e-Cigarettes safety has been questioned several times by several researchers, mainly because there is inconsistency in information, as reported in a review published in The American Journal of Medicine.
Logic says the ingredients that we eat are may not be the same if we boil them and inhale. This is 100% true.The American Cancer Society says, “Inhaling a ‘safe edible’ substance is not the same as swallowing it. There are questions on how safe it is to inhale some substances in the e-Cigarettes into the lungs.”
Few adverse effects of short-term use of e-Cigarettes have been reported, but it is found that these effects decrease over time. Currently, there is no data available on long-term adverse effects of e-Cigarettes, but there are several studies ongoing, which will answer ‘Are e-Cigarettes safe?’
Personally, I agree with Dr. Crotty Alexander that we know how bad smoking is and to avoid ill effects of it, e-Cigarettes are, given the current knowledge, best alternatives available in the market.
5. Are e-Cigarettes Safe? The future is bright
e-Cigarettes were introduced as an alternative to harmful traditional cigs and I believe that they are effective in reducing disease risk. I am certain that detailed studies on adverse effects of e-Cigarettes and remedies on it will surely help us making flawless and vaper friendly e-Cigarettes.
In a recent e-Cigarettes Summit 2016, held at London, Louie Ross (Stop Smoking Service Manager, Leicester City Council) expressed that the evidence will show that as e-Cigs rises, smoking prevalence falls. At the same summit, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos says that “We will see interesting developments in regard to bad quality e-cig studies in 2017”.
We, at Vaping Zone, are on it. We all can definitely do better with the current technology and we will do it, I am sure of it. Richard Hyslop, Chief Executive Independent British Vape Trade Association, feels that despite many challenges there are reasons to be optimistic. There is no denying that the future looks bright. I believe e-Cigarettes hold the key to a smoke-free, and hence, disease-free world.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? A question, often asked, but rarely answered. The solution to this question, which many hesitate to express, is it depends!
Are e-Cigarettes safe? As per several research studies published in prestigious medical journals, e-Cigarettes are 95% safer than traditional cigs.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? e-Cigarettes are smoke-free and hence there is no possibility of inhaling Carbon Monoxide which may cause cell death due to oxygen starvation.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? Nicotine free e-Cigarettes are the safest as there is no possibility of Nicotine consumption. Even otherwise, with e-Cigarettes vapers inhale the lesser amount of toxicants than smokers.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? There is a huge community that believes that vaping is much more harmless than smoking and there are reasons for it.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? There seems to be some cons of vaping, but due to inconsistency in data, these claims need to be verified.
Are e-Cigarettes safe? There are ways to make vaping even safer with understanding the ingredients to use and by ensuring a branded vaping device is in your hands.
Vaping holds the key to smoking-related disease-free world.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please comment if you have any queries.