Are E-cigarettes Safe to Use?
The main question most people have concerning e-cigarettes is whether or not they are safe to use. The short answer to this question is that nobody really knows. Although e-cigarette juices definitely contain far less carcinogens than traditional cigarettes, these products have been available for such a short period of time that there has not been enough research to clearly define their level of safety.
The Possible Dangers of Nicotine Juice
First and foremost, e-cigarettes are a delivery system for nicotine which is known to be a highly addictive substance. With some research showing that nicotine can be as addictive as hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine, it’s hard to say anything containing nicotine is safe.
Nicotine juice, or e-juice, that is used in e-cigarettes can vary in strength, with some containing over twice the nicotine found in a traditional cigarette. Nicotine is actually toxic, and there have been many reported cases of accidental nicotine poisoning, most often in children.
Additionally, there is some question as to the safety of the other ingredients found in e-cigarette juice. Consumers don’t know quite what they’re inhaling with each puff, but common ingredients found in many e-juices include:
- Propylene glycol
- Various heavy metals
Aside from these questionable additives, many e-juices have been found to contain different levels of nicotine than what is stated. It is important to note that while the issues of questionable ingredients and unreliable amounts of nicotine are disturbing, e-juice still contains far fewer toxic ingredients than that of a traditional cigarette.
E-Cigarettes – A Baby Step to Full-Fledged Tobacco Usage?
One of the primary selling points of e-cigarettes is that they may be a useful tool for helping people to quit smoking once and for all. However, quite a but of evidence has actually shown that these devices do exactly the opposite. According to just one of many recent studies, adolescents who use e-cigarettes are far more likely to begin smoking traditional cigarettes and are less likely to quit in the future.
E-cigarettes are marketed in a manner that is directed to young people. Critics of e-cigarettes point out that companies offer candy flavored e-juices, use social media to reach out to younger demographics and often provide free product samples at youth-centered events, such as concerts and other venues. While supporters of the e-cigarette industry dispute this fact, a compendium of evidence is growing that these devices are having an direct impact on underage nicotine consumption.
Too Soon to Tell
So the question remains: Are e-cigarettes good or bad? Most people can agree that any nicotine consumption is a negative influence on health, so e-cigarettes are not a healthy or safe vice of which to partake. However, if these devices are used responsibly by adults who understand the inherent risks of nicotine usage, they may provide a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.