Electronic or E-cigarettes are what you use if you are attempting to quit smoking. Also called vape cigarettes, these were first invented fifteen years ago and have steadily increased in popularity with each passing year.
Consider this for a moment- In the year 2014, the Oxford Dictionary named “vaping” the “Word of the Year.”
Vaping, as some of you know, is the term in which you use an e-cigarette to inhale the vapor created by heating a liquid. Your average e-cigarettes are not cigarettes, but battery-powered devices with cartridges like you have in fountain pens. These are filled with a liquid mixture of nicotine, chemicals, and flavorings if your aim is tobacco cessation. When this liquid is heated in the vaping cigarette using a battery-operated coil, it produces vapors. You inhale the vapors. This is why using an e-cigarette is also called “vaping.”
Why Have E-Cigarettes Become So Popular?
E-cigarettes have been embraced by millions globally because they are thought to help in tobacco cessation. This common language means trying to give up regular nicotine cigarettes. Many people believe vape cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking normal cigarettes. But this may be the biggest vape myth of the century.
10 Myths about E-Cigarettes
Because e-cigarettes are seeped in mythology and have been canonized for a long time, it is imperative that we clear the air about them so that the vapors of truth can blow in.
Here are 10 e-cigarette myths that need to be busted and fast because everyone should know the reality of vape cigarettes. So here we go.
- People Think They Are Inhaling the Vapor Created by Heating Water
The fact actually is that what you inhale while using the vape cigarettes is not a vapor but an aerosol. Vaping actually has nothing at all to do with a vapor, irrespective of the name. Aerosols are dangerous to your health and the human race, both.
This is why the advertisements never mention the word “aerosol” when advertising vape cigarettes. They always use “vapour” so that people like you feel that they are inhaling a water vapor formed by merely heating H2O. This is a lie.
A vapor is formed when a liquid is turned into a gaseous form. An aerosol, on the other hand, contains tiny suspended particles in it. You can’t see them but they still harm your lungs a lot.
Scientists warn that there is very little water vapor in a vape cigarette. It’s actually a chemical called propylene glycol. And as this goes down your mouth, into your throat, airways, the esophagus, the stomach, and the lungs, it causes innumerable deleterious changes that lead to serious diseases like lung cancer.
The liquid vaped in an e-cigarette contains a mixture of nicotine, water and a solvent like propylene glycol, apart from containing flavoring agents. This is the fact that you need to focus on.
- Vaping is Safe and Benign
Vaping is not safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. This is a blatant lie that you have been fed from day one. This is a classic ploy to sell e-cigarettes as a healthier, safer alternative to nicotine.
Experts claim that there may be a few benefits as these e-cigarettes contain lower concentrations of dangerous chemicals that cause lung cancer as compared to regular cigarettes. But the chemicals are still there. Another fact that needs to be outed is that numerous studies have shown that certain brands of e-cigarettes deliver more of a particular carcinogenic chemical in their aerosol than regular cigarettes.
- Vaping Doesn’t Lead to Serious Diseases Like Regular Cigarettes
This is a cooking of the facts as e-cigarettes have their unique health risks.
Studies have found that certain organs in your body that happen to be immune to the effects of regular cigarette smoke, can be deeply harmed by the aerosols emitted by e-cigarettes.
These aerosols contain propylene glycol as mentioned. What happens when it enters your bloodstream is that it gets metabolized by the liver into propionaldehyde. This product is related to formaldehyde, a potent or Type-1 carcinogen.
When propionaldehyde accumulates in your system, it increases the potential for liver damage. And that’s not all. This dangerous chemical substrate also accumulates in the retina of your eye and causes retinal damage and potential blindness.
The American Lung Association has already warned that several brands of e-cigarette products may also contribute to lung air sacs scarring, also called “popcorn lung”. This results typically in the thickening and narrowing of the airways in the lungs and reducing your lung capacity.
This just illustrates that e-cigarettes are not as natural or healthy as they are deemed to be.
The fact also is that the more flavouring , the more dangerous vape cigarettes become because of the presence of a chemical called diacetyl linked to the popcorn lung syndrome. This serious lung disease causes coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Vaping Is The Best Option If You Want to Quit Smoking
E-cigarettes do not help you quit smoking, irrespective of the information you have been fed. Several studies looking at whether or not using e-cigarettes do help you kick the butt have had mixed results at best. A few studies have found that people who have tried e-cigarettes wound up smoking fewer regular cigarettes, but they are not likely to give up smoking completely.
Overall, scientific evidence suggests strongly that e-cigarette use is not associated with successful tobacco cessation.
On the contrary, there is some evidence that these cigarettes may get non-smokers hooked on tobacco/nicotine as one-third of young e-cigarette users have never tried regular cigarettes before.
- E-Cigarettes Are Nicotine-Free
E-cigarettes do contain nicotine, and quite a few e-liquids used for vaping contain high concentrations of nicotine.
For example, one individual cartridge of e-liquid contains the same amount of nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes.
- You Can Not Get Addicted to E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes can be just as addictive as normal cigarettes.
This is because most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.
Youth is more susceptible to nicotine as the brain is still maturing at this time of adolescence. But regardless of this fact, people at any age can develop an addiction to nicotine.
- E-Cigarettes are Regularized
This is a myth. There is huge variability among several brands of e-cigarettes tested. Some aerosols have higher levels of formaldehyde compared to a few other brands. This means the risk is variable, though it is there.
This risk increases a hundredfold as users can increase the voltage of an e-cigarette delivery device. This results in a dense, more nicotine-rich vapour containing more harmful chemicals.
The higher the voltage and the temperature, the levels of harmful chemicals increase. And what’s worse there is nothing that the regulators can do about this.
The e-juice or liquid is also not regulated. And neither is the vape device’s delivery system regulated. Recent studies have identified impurities ranging from heavy metals to formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosols.
- E-Cigarette Liquids Are Not Poisonous
The liquid nicotine that is used for vaping is extremely toxic when swallowed. infants and children have accidentally ingested this liquid and lost their lives.
What’s worse, doctors warn us that the chances of this happening may increase with flavored liquid nicotine. This variety comes in enticing packaging and smells tempting. Many kids can thus drink it thinking it’s something tasty like a soft drink.
Liquid nicotine has a reputation for being safe because it’s purchased over the counter, but it is fatal if ingested in high doses. A teaspoon of liquid nicotine would be enough to kill a person who weighs 90 kilograms.
- E-Cigarettes Don’t Give Out Second-Hand Smoke
A main selling point of these vape cigarettes is that they don’t give out second –hand smoke and can be used anywhere as they don’t put others at risk. But breathing in second-hand vapor or “passive vaping” is not risk-free either. It still has shit loads of toxic chemicals linked to several human cancers.
The suspended particles in the second-hand aerosol are also smaller than that in second-hand smoke. The second-hand aerosol also contains heavy metals and other substances that can damage the lungs permanently and can also be fatal.
- E-Cigarettes Stop Youth from Getting Hooked to Regular Cigarettes
Several studies have documented that youth who first used e-cigarettes were more likely to try regular cigarettes. This is also called the “gateway” effect.
Clearly, the need of the hour is more regularization of e-cigarettes globally and a more realistic picture to be presented about e-cigarettes via advertising all over the world. Hope this happens soon before an entire generation is hooked to a dangerous habit, being sold as harmless and healthy.