Regardless of the numerous success stories of people being able to cut down or even quit entirely with the help of e-cigarettes, there are still some concerns that these devices will not reduce smoking rates substantially and may pose their own health risks taking into account the lack of long-term scientific studies.
If you ask an ecig enthusiasts or often referred to as a ‘vaper’ about these gizmos you will hear positive stories of the experience, of people being able to cut down on tobacco s and sometimes of giving up smoking for good when other quitting alternatives had failed. However, anti-tobacco advocates and the medical society are likely to give you a less enthusiastic response about these personal vaporizers. Their opinions vary broadly about e-cigs, and what role they may play in the endless fight against combustible tobacco consumption.
Here are some realistic e-cigarette facts and some words about them:
- Some electronic cigarettes look like a real tobacco combustible and allow users to mimic physical act of smoking without exposing themselves to thousands of chemicals, tar and ash;
- Ecigs are smoke-free and tobacco-free, but not all are nicotine free;
- E-cigarettes are made up of a cartridge containing a nicotine based e-liquid, a vaporization chamber that heats and atomizes the nicotine, and a rechargeable battery;
However, because they do contain nicotine they cannot be legally sold in some countries like Canada or Australia because the competent authorities responsible for ensuring the safety, quality, and effectiveness have not approved them yet.
Nevertheless, nicotine free ecigs are available all over the globe, from a number of online retailers and shop fronts, who are selling the devices along with a wide variety of flavored liquids, from ‘candy crush’ to ‘freshly baked muffin’, most commonly made from a base of propylene glycol and glycerin.
They have become increasingly popular across the glove, with a 2012 survey finding that 7 per cent of adults in the EU and the United States had tried e-cigarettes. That’s a 6.2% increase from the previous year.
One of the biggest unanswered questions about electronic cigarettes is whether they actually help smokers quit, and how effective are they as opposed to existing nicotine alternative products, such as patches or gum. Well, health expert Associate Professor Chris Bullen began trying to answer this question since they hit the market and in 2010, he published the results of his study. This showed that the ecigs were as good as a nicotine inhaler at delivering nicotine, they reduced cravings and withdrawal, but most interestingly, people found them more appealing.
A second, larger study covering 657 people randomized either to electronic cigarettes with nicotine, electronic cigarettes without nicotine, or nicotine patches, found ecigs (both with and without nicotine) were on a par with the patches in terms of aiding smoking cessation for six months.