Created by Chinese druggist Hon Lik in 2003, the e-cigarette has gained popularity among smokers and non-smoker worldwide with many different brands marketing it as an alternative to normal cigarette smoking and claiming to that they can help one to kick the habit. Although similar in size, shape and general appearance, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco. Instead, the device is made of a heater, a battery and a cartridge that contains different flavors of liquid nicotine that can be inhaled once heated and turned into vapor. The smoker gets the same kick/rush as that of smoking a normal cigarette without the worry of getting lungfuls of the harmful substances such as tar, tobacco and carbon monoxide that are characteristic of normal cigarette inhalation. There is no yellowing of teeth or bad breath as well.
One would think it would be the Holy Grail for smokers worldwide, wouldn’t they? Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. So, are there any side effects with smoking electronic cigarettes? Unknown to many e-cig smokers, there are a number of side effects that make smoking e-cigs as harmful as smoking regular cigarettes.
The little-known facts
· Electronic cigarettes contain a substance known as Diethylene Glycol which is a brake fluid and antifreeze component that is toxic to human beings.
· E-cigs also contain some cancer causing compounds such as nitrosamines. Both of these toxic compounds are present in e-cigs and smokers are exposed to the dangers they pose.
· Particles of certain metals such as silver, aluminum, iron, and silicates as well as nanoparticles of chromium, tin and nickel are also present in electronic cigarettes, much in the same quantity present in the conventional cigarette.
· They also have nicotine, the core ingredient in each and every cigarette. Therefore, the claim that e-cigs help one to kick the smoking habit cannot be entirely true since the addictive compound is found in both types of cigarettes.
Trying to quit smoking by switching to e-cigs is futile. Furthermore, one will experience the exact same withdrawal symptoms as those trying to quit regular smoking.
Electronic cigarettes are not licenced or regulated. Due to the fact that e-cigs do not contain tobacco, they are not regulated by the United States tobacco laws and therefore, have not undergone adequate and proper research trials to prove and verify they are safe for use.
Side Effects of inhaling the smoke from electronic cigarettes
Although there is little documented research into the possible side effects of smoking electronic cigarettes, the chemical diethyle glycol is currently classified as a poison by the WHO (World Health Organization) and is known to cause nerve dysfunction, kidney damage and respiratory failure at high quantities. The metallic particles and nano-particles are also known to cause respiratory disease and distress. Additionally, research has noted that those who use electronic cigarettes tend to suffer from mood disorders, lack of concentration, depression, increased appetite and high levels of anxiety.
In conclusion, electronic cigarettes have not yet gone through proper and adequate research trials to prove that they are a safer or healthier alternative to conventional tobacco smoking. However, due to the fact that they contain harmful chemicals, particles and nano-particles of harmful metals, side effects such as respiratory distress and psychological problems such as depression and one’s incapability to concentrate are some of the side effects caused by inhaling the substances present in e-cigs.