Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes: what are the risks?
More and more smokers are seduced by electronic cigarette or e-cigarette. However, most of us don’t know about the actual risks of vaping. Experts still debate about it and we don’t have enough studies yet. What do we really know about e-cigarettes? What are the risks related to vaping?
Docteur B.Dautzenber, respirologist in the hospital La Pitié Salpétriêre in Paris, often says when comparing the toxicity of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. “ Smoking is like taking the highway the wrong way. Vaping is like driving at 90 mph instead of 80 mph.” According to his studies , “an e-cig is 100 to 1000 times less harmful than a cigarette.”
No carcinogen, no carbon monoxide
The vapor produced by electronic cigarettes comes from a liquid called e-liquid. Those e-liquids are essentially composed of propylen glycol (PG) or/and vegetable glycerine (GV), two compounds also used in cosmetic and food industries. Unlike cigarettes , e-cigarettes release neither carbon monoxide, which induces cardiovascular diseases , nor great amounts of carcinogen. A recent study ordered by the French Government asserts “ Today, researches of carcinogen in e-cigarette vapour have not find any products known as “likely” or “clear” carcinogen” .
Is e-cigarette addictive?
Many worry about the presence of nicotine in e-liquid, between 0 and 20 mg depending on the product. Some experts assess that a minimum amount of nicotine, about 18 mg/ml, must remain in some e-cigarette to offer to smokers an effective way out from tobacco. But today, the phenomenon is too young for studies to state on the long term effects of e-cigarette. Public Authorities and healthcare associations fear above all that e-cigarettes draw non-smokers, especially the youngest, into smoking. Consequently, many countries like Austria, and US cities (New York, Los Angeles) have strictly framed the e-cigarette market, prohibiting for instance vaping in public places.
Unlike cigarette smoke, e-vapor does not come from a combustion. The e-vapor composition is very close to the e-liquid composition and so may cause the same risk. The OFT (Office français du prévention du tabagisme) study observes : “ Passive exposure to the e-cigarette aerosol does not expose to either carbon monoxide, or carcinogen, or particles, but it exposes people to nicotine”.
Today, more than 1 million french smokers have adopted the e-cigarette. On the web, there are more and more testimonies of great health improvement. For instance, in the forum of lemonde.fr, a user testifies “My hair, my clothes, my apartment, my car now smell better than a ashtray and I have avoided four out of five bronchitis infections that I used to get every year from smoking.” Let’s admit it would be better to respect traffic laws but a light speeding is always better, for pretty obvious reasons, than driving the wrong way. The e-cigarette offers an effective way out of medical hardships induced by smoking.