Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices used to transform a nicotine based substance called e-liquid into thick clouds of vapor that users inhale. The process is referred to as vaping and it’s similar to smoking but without the hazardous health concerns and carcinogens. These devices became very popular as the years went by, from their first introduction to the market about a decade ago. From a very small community and very few devices to choose from, now the industry has evolved into a $2 billion worth global movement that attracts new fans every day and offers a healthier alternative to traditional smoking.
With a constant decrease in sales, even the big tobacco companies started joining the trend and buying some of the more successful brands on the market or even going into the e-liquid manufacturing business.
But of course, every new trend has its opposition and there are some myths about electronic cigarettes. Some people argue that even though there is no smoke and dangerous substances, the long term effect on the human body is not yet documented while others are easily mislead by aggressive campaigns aimed at getting the industry down on its knees.
The first myth is that ecigarettes create hazardous second hand smoke. With all of the recent public ecig bans in cities such as NYC and Chicago, you might assume that these devices create toxic secondhand smoke, but let’s get the facts straight. Maciej L. Goniewicz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Department of Health Behavior at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York is the co-author of two studies that analyzed secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapors in a laboratory. These studies concluded that bystanders are exposed to very low levels of nicotine from e-cigarette vapor, but none of the other harmful substances found in tobacco smoke, which most experts agree that are hazardous to human health.
The second myth is that vaping leads to smoking, especially when it comes to the younger crowd. This is where Dr. Theodore Wagener came along with a recent study. The assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center conducted a study on 1,300 college students about their tobacco and nicotine use. From the 1,300 only 43 of them said their first nicotine product was an ecigarette (3.3%). Out of these, only one person admitted to have smoke real cigarettes afterwards.
The last myth is that e-cigarettes contain the same cancer causing chemicals as tobacco cigarettes. Several years ago, the FDA released a statement claiming to have found trace amounts of carcinogens in electronic cigarette cartridges. However, they didn’t provide any supporting data since the amount was too low to accurately measure. Since then, many follow up studies from third party research labs have proven that the e-liquids are made only with propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings and nicotine, none of which having any proven negative effects on human health.
Therefore, always be careful in getting your facts straight and try to read as much as possible on the subject in order to have your own objective opinion.