Smoking as we all know is injurious to health and in spite of being written in bold in each and every cigarette pack, it is still difficult for smokers to call it quits. Smoking nicotine is such an addiction. An alternate to this dangerous habit is discovered in the form of electronic cigarettes. A survey showed that only two percent of the US smokers used them in 2010 but that rose to thirty percent in 2012. Research by ASH also shows that usage has grown threefold from 700,000 to 2.1 million users in the last couple of years.
What is electronic cigarettes?
They are devices which are battery -powered, contain nicotine and flavourings like chocolate, mint or bubble gum and they vaporize the liquid in it. Not containing tobacco they aren’t cigarettes in the actual sense. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or vaporisers are the alternate names and they are designed to look and feel actual. Since smoke is not produced, therefore it is marketed as less harmful.
The three categories of electronic cigarettes:
Disposable ones: the ones that are use and throw and cannot be charged.
Rechargeable kit: wherein the prefilled cartridge can be replaced.
The vaporiser with a reservoir: the cigarette is recharged when finished with the liquid nicotine from the tank.
How does it work:
They are made to resemble a cigarette and are often called ciga-like, have a light at the end that glows when a user draws on the appliance exactly like a lighted cigarette. There is propylene glycol and glycerine mixed with nicotine, the level varying in each. Most also contain flavourings. When you suck on the appliance, the liquid in the cartridge gets heated and evaporates. The sensor in the appliance detects this vapour, gives the user the feel of the nicotine. There is no smoke as such but sometimes when the smoker exhales some nicotine vapour is surely released in the air.
The safety quotient:
If you compare it with an actual cigarette then it’s definitely on the safer side but total safety cannot be guaranteed. Presence of toxins cannot be good for health but the levels are lower and not harmful as such. Different researches have proved that a little bit of toxin is well tolerated and the adverse effects are milder comparatively. The key is to wean yourself off nicotine by gradually lowering your doses.
Are the passive smokers affected by the vapour of an e-cigarette?
When you smoke an e-cigarette you don’t exhale smoke but a vapour which consists of propylene glycol and glycerine. Nicotine is also present but only about one tenth of a real cigarette. Most importantly you don’t smell this vapour, so a non smoker in the room might not even understand anything.
Are the e-cigarettes good enough for the real smokers to quit?
A study confirms that the likelihood to succeed in giving up nicotine is sixty percent more if you used an e cigarette compared to trying an anti nicotine patch or gum. Though most people think that an e cigarette could be a replacement, according to experts, if used in the correct form it can be a powerful tool to help you quit.
When you are a smoker and you want to quit completely it is not easy, so many have adopted a stop gap which is taking recourse to a vaporiser. Therefore most smokers are using them to give up smoking since it creates abstinence in them. Even if it is superficial, another effective feature of an e cigarette is reduction in craving for a puff, a symptom of withdrawal, which is good enough.
Advertising of electronic cigarettes should be regulated:
There is always a huge risk that inappropriate advertising at times glorifies and glamorises smoking, leading youngsters to venture out on wrong or half baked information. Questions are thus raised on pro-smoking messages. ASH has laid out a list of rules to be carried out by the manufacturing companies. No nicotine product can be advertised to promote smoking tobacco, should lower the glam-quotient and the youth and children should never be the target audience.
The toxic materials that we inhale when we smoke are associated with most diseases, especially cancer, so in comparison to that nicotine is safer and are a better alternative to smoking. Second hand smoking exposure is reduced since there is no smoke. But nevertheless nicotine is a highly addictive substance and most smokers are not certain about the amount they should consume might cause untoward incidents. Therefore the regulation of this product needs to be defined especially the advertising, the promotional campaigns and the sponsorship, so that the children and the youth don’t get addicted without full information. ASH still does not support the inclusion of this vaporiser under smoke free laws that would prohibit the usage in enclosed areas.
Below is a video on this subject