E-Cigarette or vaping, heats nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavours and other chemicals to form an aerosol that is inhaled like a cigarette. These devices come in a variety of options traditional cigarettes, pens, or USB flash drives. They can be battery operated or rechargeable.
Recent years have seen a great uptake of e-cigarettes patricularly among teens and young adults.
As a health awareness blog, here i will try to clear some misconceptions that i have observed among the ecig users with an aim to promote smoking cessation.
Are E-cigs less harmful than cigarettes?
To some extent there is less exposure to harmful chemicals then that are found in traditional cigarettes. Still though its chief constituent is nicotine that causes addiction and withdrawal symptoms, apart from the already known association with cardiovascular risk. Ecigs liquid’s exact constituents are still unkown.
Despite fewer harmful chemicals, it is associated with an increased number of lung injury cases, according to the CDC the new outbreak resulted in more than 60 deaths in USA among users of ecigs and this syndrome is reffered to as EVALI (e-vaping associated lung injury).
E-cigs as smoking cessation intervention?
Among the vast number of e-cig users the most common response we received was they were using it to quit smoking. But in contrast the actual number that had quit smoking was negligible.
The reason being nicotine, which is found in both, leads the craving sensation and withdrawal symptoms when it is not fulfilled. Though touted by the manufacteres as smoking cessation tools they are not FDA approved and neither recommended by doctors for this purpose.
Are there less health risks with e-cigs?
There are still many unknowns about vaping, including what chemicals make up the vapor and how they affect your health over the long term, as research is still ongoing.
Health risks associated with nicotine are the same for both, it can lead to heart attack, lung diseases and cancer apart from being directly toxic and addictive by itself.
Why people are taking up e-cigs?
The sharp rise in e-cigs use has several factors, especially among the young population:
Low cost, flavours targeted towards young population, being free from smoke and smell there is less stigma & false impression that they are safe, lack of regulation & restriction in sales & marketing.
These is a need for a strong will & motivation by the society & government to restrict and discourage use of this health risk device.