Which would you rather inhale; smoke-filled with nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, and dozens of other chemical compounds or vaporized FDA approved chemicals with nicotine and who knows what?
The embattled tobacco companies formerly known as “big tobacco,” have a little bit caved to the pressures of anti-smoking movement and yet hundreds of thousands still die every year from smoking-related diseases and cancers.
Now we go to the new, young heavy weight under nicotine delivery system scene, the e-cig. But this relatively unknown quantity might not be the savior that some are claiming. E-cigs were invented by a pharmacist in China in 2003. Now device is everywhere. It’s marketed as a brand new way to enjoy your nicotine fix and occasionally as an alternative path to quitting smoking.
It’s a simple little device containing a battery, a heating element, and nicotine liquid. They are usually called e-cigarettes or vapes, short for vaporizers. People inhale or flip a switch to activate that heating element, vaporing a liquid and allowing the nicotine into the lungs for absorption. The ingredients of the liquid some inside the e-cig very commonly is propylene glycol, and FDA-approved additive that you use in food. There are different flavors like tobacco, cherry, chocolate, mint, or menthol and of course the nicotine extract.
There is a lot of controversy around e-cigs but there selling with little or no regulation or control. With no long-term studies completed and many still ongoing, the benefits or drawbacks of the e-cigarette are still pretty much a mystery.
A recent study published shows that e-cigarettes are just as likely to decrease smoking rates as a nicotine patch or nicotine gum. But the controversy isn’t really about the benefit; it’s about the lack of regulation. The FDA cease the product as it entered the U.S. border claiming it was a drug-delivery system but the court overturned their objection and vapes hit the shelves.
Now according to the CDC, 1.78 million children and teens have tried e-cigarettes as of last year, with that number doubling from the year before. There is no law saying they can’t be sold to children. And so, according to the study, U.S. children in grades 6-8 are getting their hands on these nicotine vaporizers where a very small percentage of them saying that they use it once a month.
We are well aware of the dangers of smoking thanks to decades long fighting against it. At this point, it would seem to anyone that if you smoke, you know the risk. But with e-cigs, we are sure. That’s just not the case. A rather controversial study was done in France by a magazine called 60 million consumers that tested 10 different vape models and they assert, depending on the model, these “safer cigs” contained nearly as much formaldehyde as a traditional cigarette. Also they found “a significant quantity of carcinogenic molecules.” That’s not good. Do you trust e-cigarettes?