Electronic cigarette smoking, or e-cigs, have been on the market in the U.S. since 2008 and have gained wider use in recent years. Now, data is starting to emerge on e-cigs’ short-term effects, and their negative and positive effect on people’s health. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid — usually comprising nicotine blended with the chemicals propylene glycol and glycerin, and often flavorings ranging from bubble gum to watermelon — into a vapor that users can inhale. They deliver nicotine, an extremely addictive drug, to your body without producing any smoke cigarettes.
This month, the U.S. Food and Medicine Administration announced that its expert to regulate cigarette products will now stretch to add e-cigarettes. The devices — along with cigars, hookah and pipe cigarette — will now be controlled similarly to conventional smokes. The new guidelines, which take effect on Aug. 8, also restricted the sale of these products to people under era 18 both in stores and online.
But because e-cigs are relatively new nicotine-delivery products, there are extensive unanswered questions about their safe practices and health impacts, including questions about their long-term use and success in helping traditional smokers to give up. What, exactly, is within an e-cigarette, and just how do these chemicals affect the center and lungs as well as a person’s general health?
Live Technology asked two cigarette experts for their understanding into these questions, and this is what.
What’s known about e-cigs
“There is absolutely no question a puff by using an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a typical cigarette,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medication and the director of the guts for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the School of California, SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA.
- Because e-cigarettes make a vapor rather than produce a tobacco smoke, they generally deliver less nicotine to users than cigarette smoking do.
- However, this won’t mean the devices always signify a safer step down from smoking. Actually, one of the very most dangerous reasons for having e-cigarettes is the fact that they may keep people smoking classic cigarettes longer, alternatively than cause them to become attempt to leave.
- Although quotes vary, anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of e-cigarette users are “dual users,” indicating they continue steadily to smoke regular smoking cigarettes after they get started vaping.
The unknowns about e-cigs
Studies assessing whether e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking have been inconclusive, corresponding to an assessment of studies printed in the journal Tobacco Control in May 2014.
Furthermore, the long-term health effects in people who get nicotine in a vaporized form over time aren’t known, Siegel said. It is also unclear whether propylene glycol, a known irritant to the respiratory system, could bring about lung problems after years of vaping, he said.
And because e-cigarettes have been on the marketplace for only about 10 years, there have been no long-term studies of folks who have used them for 30 to 40 years. Therefore, the entire magnitude of e-cigs’ results on heart and soul and lung health, as well as their cancer-causing potential, as time passes is as yet not known, Glantz told Live Science.
The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, he added.