An increasing amount of former smokers is turning to e-cigarettes (or simply e-cigs) to get their nicotine fix on a daily basis. In fact, ‘vaping’, as the pastime is commonly referred to, has become something of a trend in the past few years. Although smoking has long been socially unacceptable, hundreds of vape lounges are opening their doors all over the country and celebrities like Johnny Depp or Leo DiCaprio often boast this movement.
However, despite the increasing popularity, many people are concerned about the potential negative health effects of constantly puffing on ecigs and worry that vaping in general might prevent smokers from kicking the habit.
According to the National Health Service’s online page, most electronic cigarettes are made of three individual things: a battery, an atomizer and a replaceable cartridge or a refillable tank. The tank contains a nicotine based e-liquid having either a propylene glycol or glycerin base and water and when a vaper puffs on the device, the e-juice is heated up and turned it into clouds of vapor.
‘In the United Kindom, ‘vaping’ is the general term for using e-cigarettes,’ according to Dr Nitin Shori, Medical Director of the Pharmacy2U Online and HuffPost UK blogger. ‘Almost all e-cigs produce vapour because the aim is to reproduce the smoking experience as closely as possible.’
‘In the USA however, there is a subset of users which specifically modifies the e-cigarette to produce as much vapour as possible and this subset could be termed true vapers.’
Electronic cigarettes are usually regarded as much a healthier choice than tobacco cigarettes, which are known for their harmful carcinogenic chemicals. However, now the ecig industry is not regulated, and so there are no long-term studies to ensure vapers about the general safety of the products.
‘Rather than insisting that these products be regulated in the same way as other nicotine-containing products such as patches and gum, the public health establishment actively chose to ignore them, on the basis that as an untested product of somewhat questionable safety, e-cigarettes should not be available for sale at all,’ said John Dicey, worldwide managing director and senior therapist for Allen Carr’s Easyway in a statement.
‘This strategy has allowed marketers of e-cigarettes to operate in a regulatory grey area and sell an addictive product completely free of age-restriction, safety and efficacy regulations and with no marketing or advertising restrictions whatsoever.’
However, there is no doubt that a large numbers of patients have given up smoking with the help of e-cigarettes. ‘E-cigs are a nicotine replacement therapy and in the same way as other NRT, their use should be slowly reduced until e-cig free. It is true that, as with other forms of NRT, a subset of patients can become addicted to the replacement devices’ said Dr Nitin Shori.