E- CIGARETTES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
E-cigarette use has increased in recent years, especially among youth and young adults, who use e-cigarettes more than any other age group. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth.
Lighting a traditional cigarette causes the tobacco to burn, releasing smoke that contains nicotine. The user breathes in the smoke to deliver nicotine to the lungs. An electronic cigarette doesn’t rely on this process of combustion. Instead, it heats a nicotine liquid and converts the liquid to a vapor, or mist, that the user inhales. Depending on the e-cigarette, the user may simply inhale from the cartridge to begin the vaporization process, though some devices have a manual switch that activates the vaporizer inside. The nicotine liquid or e-liquid, typically include nicotine, flavoring and a humectant, such as propylene glycol, to retain moisture and create an aerosol when heated.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems go by many names. The most common name is “e-cigarettes,” but others such as e-cigs, vapes, vape pens, mods and tanks are also common terms. Some e-cigarettes are designed to resemble regular cigarettes, while others look more like cigars, pipes, pens and even USB flash drives
Many of the flavorings and humectants used in e-liquids have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for oral consumption, but not for inhalation, due to the lack of research regarding the safety of these compounds when inhaled.
While using an e-cigarette is often called “vaping,” the devices produce an aerosol, not a vapor. Unlike vapor, which is simply a substance in gas form, the aerosol from an e-cigarette can contain tiny chemical particles from both the liquid solution and the device (e.g., metals from the heating coil). This is why you can see what’s being released from a vape cigarette.
Not all e-cigarettes are the same, but they all contain toxins and harmful chemicals.
Nicotine is an addictive substance, but its level of addictiveness can vary substantially depending on its mode of delivery. Nicotine delivered by tobacco combustion is the most addictive form. The rise in the popularity of e-cigarettes that can deliver levels of nicotine similar to combustible cigarettes is causing concern about the potential risk for addiction.
Some people believe e-cigarettes may help lower nicotine cravings in those who are trying to quit smoking. However, e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved quit aid, and there is no conclusive scientific evidence on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for long-term smoking cessation. It should be noted that there are seven FDA-approved quit aids that are proven safe and can be effective when used as directed.
E-cigarettes haven’t been thoroughly evaluated in scientific studies. For now, not enough data exists on the safety of e-cigarettes, how the health effects compare to traditional cigarettes, and if they are helpful for people trying to quit smoking.