Electronic cigarettes not the safest alternative to smoking
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Updated: Sunday, April 7, 2013 23:04
Electronic cigarettes were originally invented to help people quit smoking, but many use them only to maintain their need for the action and satisfaction of smoking.
If an individual is looking for a safe way to quit smoking, there are other ways for one to begin improving one’s health. These options include support programs, along with nicotine patches, gums or sprays.
Electronic cigarettes look very similar to regular cigarettes, but they are actually very different with regard to their structure and various other ingredients. They are white cylindrical tubes with brown filters and they have glowing colored tips.
The device is battery-powered and contains a liquid mixture. The mixture is a water solution containing propylene glycol, tetramethylpyrazine, vegetable glycerin, formaldehyde, ketones, mercury and polyethylene glycol. Propylene glycol is found in antifreeze, which is used for decreasing the freezing point in automobiles.
There are several parts to an electronic cigarette, which include a cartridge, atomizer, cartomizer, battery and liquid.
The atomizer is a small twisted wire used to heat and vaporize liquid, which may fail with extended use as particles build up within the device.
The cartomizer is a combination of the atomizer and cartridge, which contains a heating element coated in a foam, soaked with liquid.
The battery is able to work over an extended period of time because it is a rechargeable battery and comprises the largest extent of the device.
It is a power source that involves an electronic sensor — specializing in airflow detection activated by taking in breaths through the device.
The batteries can be recharged using a portable charger. The liquid is often sold in disposable cartridges or bottles, which contain various chemicals.
The device works as a person inhales and exhales from one end of the electronic cigarette, which then causes the nicotine to heat up and produce a vapor that is inhaled to the lungs.
The end result is that the person using the electronic cigarette feels as though he or she has smoke in his or her lungs and mouth, but without having to smoke an actual cigarette.
The advantages of smoking electronic cigarettes are numerous, but they do not outweigh the negative mental health effects. The device allows one to experience the mental action of smoking, but is not as addictive.
However, nicotine is still present in the ingredients. While tar and carbon monoxide are not present in the inhaled or exhaled substance, the smoker can adjust the amount of nicotine that he or she inhales.
Many often use the device to help them quit smoking, because it allows them to slowly reduce the presence of the nicotine that they consume, which in turn decreases their withdrawal symptoms from the lack of nicotine.
The withdrawal symptoms of nicotine usually occur two to three hours after using nicotine. Symptoms include decreased appetite, mood changes, increased abdominal issues, saliva and mucous overproduction, rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure. Other symptoms include the possibility of sweating, diarrhea and nausea.
A number of other withdrawal symptoms occur two to three days after one quits using nicotine. These include an increased need for nicotine, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, anxiousness, headaches, decreased attention span, increases in appetite and weight gain.
Other advantages of using electronic cigarettes include fewer health risks, a variety of flavors and reduced prices of the device used. Electronic cigarettes do not fill the lungs with as much nicotine and they do not have as big of an impact on the user’s blood sugar.
The individual using the device is able to adjust the flavor, consistency and amount of nicotine in the device with respect to their present needs.
The disadvantages of using electronic cigarettes include the possibility of direct exposure to nicotine (due to nicotine leakage from the device). There are no labels or warnings on the device, instructions for use or instructions as to how one might dispose of the device without harming others and the environment.
There are no warnings or labels on electronic cigarettes because they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Although electronic cigarettes have been classified as delivering drugs due to the presence of tobacco, they are not regulated because they are classified as medical or therapeutic devices.
The long-term effects of using electronic cigarettes are unknown, but ingredients used in the device have included propylene glycol, formaldehyde, vegetable glycerin and polyethylene glycol.
Three substances have been identified in the vapor emitted into the environment by the electronic cigarettes.
This vapor can negatively affect those who have no intention of using electronic cigarettes, because their lungs can also take in the electronic cigarette’s ingredients.
Propylene glycol is used to manufacture polyester compounds and to absorb water synthetic materials.
Formaldehyde induces cancer symptoms and contains a distinct pungent smell.
Vegetable glycerin is colorless, odorless and has as thick a consistency as a liquid used in the manufacturing of prescription medication.
Polyethylene glycol is a flammable, thick and colorless liquid used for the absorption of moisture from its surroundings.
Ketones are a mild eye and skin irritant. When ingested in large amounts, ketones may cause drying and inflammation of the skin, along with irritation of the digestive system.
Mercury negatively affects all body systems because it can damage the nervous system, kidneys and developing children. Tetramethylpyrazine is a medication used to treat heart disease in China.