Electronic cigarettes are praised by many smokers for their reduction of personal nicotine intake. But are they any safer than traditional cigarettes?
E-cigarettes vaporize nicotine instead of burning it, a process called “vaping.” Vaping conventions are motivating a cultural shift to electronic cigarettes as more than a trend or an aid to quit traditional cigarettes. Though many see benefits, others question the overall health of long-term e-cigarette use.
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These questions are often related to the product’s manufacturing and packaging. Many of these quandaries have been valid because of:
1. Failure to label: Batteries, atomizers, cartridge wrappers and packs haven’t listed important information about e-cigarette content, use and warnings.
2. Cartridge leaks: Leaking cartridges expose nicotine, which can be a dangerous chemical, to children, animals and the environment.
3. Lack of proper disposal methods: Improper disposal could lead to potential nicotine contamination of the water and soil.
4. Unregulated manufacture, quality control and advertising: Who do e-cigarette manufacturers answer to when there are little or no standards?
How Do Electronic Cigarettes Compare in Safety to Conventional Cigarettes?
So, what’s the verdict? The good news is that with more users and more manufacturers, standards of production and quality control are higher. Electronic cigarettes are found to be safer than conventional cigarettes in emerging studies:
1. In 2013, a study in Tobacco Control looked at twelve different e-cigarette brands found in Poland and discovered that “the levels of potentially toxic compounds in e-cigarette vapour are 9–450-fold lower than those in the smoke from conventional cigarettes, and in many cases comparable with the trace amounts present in pharmaceutical preparations [of nicotine]."
2. A new study of American and British e-cigarette brands found that the study results support past researchers’ confirmation that electronic cigarettes potentially reduce exposure when compared to regular cigarette smoke in ambient air.
Machine puffing was used to compare delivery of nicotine and evaluate chemical constituents in leading e-cigarette brands. Smoke analysis confirmed that traditional cigarette smoke delivered “1500 times more harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs)” than e-cigarettes.
The yields of nicotine for e-cigarettes were 85 percent lower than traditional cigarettes, and that questionable substances in e-cigarette aerosol were about the same as traditional cigarettes.
Vaping Is Trending Because It’s Healthier and Speaks to the Individual
The e-cigarette can be customized to the individual: For every person there is an e-cigarette to match his or her taste.
Choose your flavor: Apple, pineapple, red tobacco, strawberry banana, vanilla custard and cherry cola flavorings allow for versatility in taste.
Many use smoking as a tool to relax, but there’s an entire culture around smoking. Not even a century ago, both men and women retired after dinner in groups to discuss gossip, business and other topics. Smells of certain cigars and the styles of various pipes evoke nostalgia for the observer. A proper etiquette for vaping is even emerging.
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Vaping is not popular just because it’s a trend. Electronic cigarettes are a healthier choice for nicotine delivery than traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes can also be customized to the individual and his or her personal style. It’s all a matter of taste.