Electronic Cigarettes: Safety Concerns

Consumption of electronic cigarettes has been the subject of controversy in recent years. Are they safe? Find out more in this article.
Electronic Cigarettes: Safety Concerns

Electronic cigarettes emerged as an attempt to find alternative methods to reduce the damage caused by tobacco products. However, it seems that the more experts study them, the more questions arise as to whether they have additional risks. Thus, it seems that instead of providing benefits, they can actually cause harm.

Some still advocate its use. Therefore, it is wise to be informed about making sound decisions regarding electronic cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes: Good or Bad?

Some electronic cigarettes on a table.

The potential effects of e-cigarettes are not easy to understand. There are actually many different types of them and in many cases the content is unclear.

Although electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (equivalent to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority) classifies them as “tobacco products”. Thus, you can imagine the health effects and their impact. Nicotine e-cigarettes are prohibited from being sold in Norway, but nicotine-free e-cigarettes can be sold with an 18-year age limit.

Therefore, the Argentine National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Devices (ANMAT) even ratified a ban on import, distribution and marketing, which is another sign of the safety concerns of the use of electronic cigarettes.

Available types of electronic cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are available in many sizes and shapes, such as cigarettes, cigars, tubes, pens or USB flash drives. These cigarettes have a battery that turns on the device, a heating element that heats the e-liquid and turns it into an aerosol, a cartridge or a tank that contains the e-liquid, and an opening used to inhale the aerosol. This has also given rise to new verbs, such as “vaping”. The word “vaping” refers to inhaling “aerosol” from an e-cigarette.

It is important to be aware of the effects of electronic cigarettes

A person inhaling aerosol from an e-cigarette.

In this sense, it is important to resort to appropriate sources to collect data from scientific literature. In an article published by the presidents of the NPTC and SEPAR, the authors gathered evidence on these and other issues related to the toxicity, dependency, and usefulness of these devices to help people quit smoking.

The authors noted that:

Basically, there are still different opinions and one is not entirely sure of the effects of them.

Recommendations

  • First, it is recommended that all people, especially children and young people, avoid using electronic cigarettes.
  • Secondly, it is best to avoid using these devices, with or without nicotine, in any place for public use.
  • Finally, it is not recommended to use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking.

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