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Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes?

The key difference between conventional and e-cigarettes is that e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco. But, it isn’t just the tobacco in cigarettes that causes cancer. Conventional cigarettes contain a laundry list of chemicals that are proven harmful, and e-cigarettes have some of these same chemicals.

Nicotine is one of the chemicals found in both conventional and e-cigarettes. It is highly addictive and has been shown to reduce bone health.5

An analysis of e-cigarettes by the FDA in 2009 found that they “contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could be exposed.”6 For example, in e-cigarette cartridges marketed as “tobacco-free,” the FDA detected diethylene glycol (a toxic compound found in antifreeze), tobacco-specific nitrosamines which are carcinogenic to humans, and other toxic tobacco-specific impurities. The body’s reaction to many of the chemicals in conventional cigarette smoke causes chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to chronic diseases like bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease.7 Since e-cigarettes also contain many of the same toxic chemicals, there is no reason to believe that they will significantly reduce the risks for these diseases.

You may have also heard that free radicals produced by the smoke from cigarettes can damage veins and arteries and lead to heart disease. It is possible that the vapor from e-cigarettes may contain fewer free radicals because it is not smoke. This does not mean, however, that smoking e-cigarettes is safe for your heart.

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The Pros and Cons of E-Cigarettes Is the Electronic Cigarette a Safe Stop Smoking Aid?

The Upside to E-Cigarettes

Unlike tobacco products, there are no current laws in effect prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Case in point, I work in a hospital and a fellow nurse smokes them right there in the nursing station.

Here’s what current research says about the positive aspects of this product:

  • In a study of 40 tobacco-dependent smokers, researchers concluded that smoking e-cigarettes alleviated the desire to smoke (after abstaining from smoking overnight), was well-tolerated, and pharmacologically more like a Nicorette inhaler than tobacco.
  • Another study of 50 smokers who wanted to reduce the health risks associated with smoking, but not quit completely, concluded that the Eclipse brand of e-cigarettes dramatically decreased the consumption of cigarettes without causing withdrawal symptoms. In addition, when participants smoked Eclipse, the nicotine concentrations in their blood remained fairly stable and their desire to quit altogether remained intact. However, the study concluded that because the Eclipse increased carbon monoxide concentrations in the blood, it may not be a safer choice of cigarette. On the other hand, it caused few, significant adverse events.
  • In a case study series, the e-cigarette was found to help three study participants — who all had a documented history of repeated failed attempts at smoking cessation using professional smoking cessation assistance methods — quit smoking and remain abstinent for at least 6 months.
  • During an online survey conducted in 2010, researchers polled visitors of websites and discussion forums dedicated to the use of the e-cigarette and smoking cessation. Of the 3,587 participants, 70% were former smokers, 61% were men, and the median age was 41 years. On average, participants used the e-cigarette for approximately 3 months, drew 120 puffs/day, and used 5 cartridges/day. Almost all of them used cartridges that contained nicotine. Ninety-six percent said that the e-cigarette helped them quit smoking, while 92% said that it made them smoke less. A majority of the participants said the e-cigarette helped them fight cravings, cope with withdrawal symptoms, and avoid relapsing on cigarettes.

The Downside of E-Cigarettes

If you are a savvy consumer, both positive and negative aspects of the the product you are considering should be scrutinized before you purchase it. The e-cigarette is no exception. Take a look at what some of the research says about the negative aspects of the e-cigarette:

  • A 2010 research paper published in Tobacco Control suggests that the e-cigarette lacks important regulatory factors, such as essential health warnings, proper labeling, clear instructions on how to use them, and safe disposal methods. The authors of the study also found that some of the e-cigarette cartridges leaked, which could cause toxic exposure to nicotine.
  • A study published in the December 2011 issue of CHEST found that the e-cigarette caused acute pulmonary effects after smoking it for only five minutes, although study authors pointed out that these effects may not be of clinical significance. During the study, 40 healthy non-smokers (30 experimental/10 control) were asked to smoke the e-cigarette ad lib for five minutes. The experimental group used the e-cigarette with the nicotine cartridge in place, while the control group smoked it with the nicotine cartridge removed.After five minutes, lung function was assessed using a variety of tests. Results showed that smoking the device for just five minutes caused an increase in impedance, peripheral airway flow resistance, and oxidative stress in the lungs of healthy smokers (smokers who are not diagnosed with lung disease or chronic health conditions.) They also pointed out that the study only measured results from smoking the e-cigarette for five minutes — because the average consumer is likely to smoke the e-cigarette many times a day, this might increase the risks. However, the authors suggested that it is possible that if the e-cigarette were used as a short-term bridge to smoking cessation, the benefits might outweigh the risks.
  • On their website, the FDA states that states that “E-cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe.” They also suggest that because e-cigarette manufacturers are not required to submit clinical study data to them, the public has no way of knowing “whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use, what types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals are found in these products, or how much nicotine they are inhaling when they use these products.” The FDA is also concerned that the marketing efforts of e-cigarettes may increase addiction to nicotine, especially in young people, encouraging them to experiment with real tobacco products.

The Best Way To Quit Smoking

How you choose to quit smoking is a matter of personal choice. The best method is the one that works for you. With this in mind, doing whatever it takes to be successful — and safe — is how many people ultimately approach it.

Consult your health care provider about different stop smoking aids, including nicotine replacement therapy, quit smoking medications such as Clonidine and Wellbutrin, quit smoking support groups, and educational materials.

If you decide to try the e-cigarette, be sure to discuss this with your doctor and do your homework. Understand the pros, cons, and safety concerns, and then make an informed decision. The most important thing to remember is, no matter how you do it, you are making the best decision of your life when you finally decide to quit smoking, especially if you have COPD.

If you’re interested in purchasing an e-cigarette starter kit, compare prices here.

 

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What is the electronic cigarette?

A recent invention…
The first electronic cigarette was created in 2003 by Hon Lik, a Chinese
pharmacist who filed a patent with WIPO in 2005. The technology used at the time
was the “ultra-sonic” which has nothing to do with nowadays technology based on
a simple resistance and not intended to produce smoke, but to deliver a vapor with
nicotine.
The main idea of creating a device that reproduces the sensations of smoking was
born.
Performance:
The device looks like a small metal cylinder barely longer than a real one. The
filter contains a replaceable cartridge filled with a flavored liquid added with
artificial flavors and nicotine (optionally). When the cartridge contains nicotine, its
dosage may vary as copying volumes delivered by a conventional cigarette
(Dosages range from 0mg/ml to 19.9mg/ml).
After aspiring, the electromechanical device activates an atomizer that mixes the
liquid with the inspired air (a simple resistor with holes). This mixture is propelled
as a vapor and is inhaled by the user. The evaporation gives the visual impression
of the real smoke produced by a cigarette while a light emitting diode located at the
end simulates the combustion. The device does not only simulates the act of
smoking but delivers vaporized mixture at a temperature of 50-60 ° C, comparable
to that of a conventional cigarette smoke but without combustion.
The design of the electronic cigarette differs depending on the proposed models,
and can range from a simple cigarette size, a cigar’s or pipe’s while combining
several colors. Some models stand out by adopting innovative designs.
The electronic cigarettes benefits and health effects:
The operation of the electronic cigarette is simple: like any conventional
cigarette, you inhale droplets of nicotine and tobacco flavor, imitating the
process of smoking.
The scientific research showed that the cigarette’s smoke contains more
than 4,000 chemicals harmful to the human body and that cause many
diseases, due to the carbon monoxide, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
and nitrosamine; these substances are considered as the most dangerous.
The electronic cigarette reproduces effectively the sensations of a cigarette
that does not contain these 4000 harmful substances.
It releases only water vapor with no risk of any kind of pollution.
Forget your matches, lighters, ashtrays and enjoy the feelings of smoking a
cigarette without suffering of smoking damages.
It should be noted that the electronic cigarette is not yet considered as a
smoking cessation instrument, unlike England.
The AFSAPS recommends the use of electronic cigarettes because of the
lack of long term tests. AFSAPS also launched a study on the electronic
cigarette that its results are expected in a few months. However, AFSAPS
does not accidentally point out that a liquid without propylene glycol exists
here. Moreover, we offer our customers on our site the RED OAK range
without propylene glycol therefore a 100% vegetable glycerin.
The USA had the same debate a few years ago in order to make it legal at
the end. Once again, France once again took it well behind.
The debate could take much more hours.
Good VAPOTE to all.