Electronic Cigarette Side Effects
Electronic Cigarette Side Effects
The safety of electronic cigarettes has been a subject of great debate among those for and against the devices. Of course, in one camp you have opponents saying that we need more research done before E-cigs can be declared ‘safe’, while proponents continue to stand firm in the fact that no real evidence has been brought to light that would indicate that E-cigs are dangerous at all. They do contain nicotine, but nicotine itself is not necessarily considered dangerous in small and controlled doses.
So what is the truth about E-cigs? Do they have potential dangerous side effects, or are they truly safe, clean, and side-effect free? Let’s take a look at the facts.
The ‘Facts’ About E-cig Dangers
So are E-cigs really dangerous? As it turns out, saying that E-cigs pose a health risk to users and those around them may be a stretch.
According to an article published in Forbes.com (“Should E-Cigarettes Be Allowed In The Workplace? – By Susan Adams), opponents of vaping devices are quick to point out that some preliminary studies have indeed shown that electronic cigarettes could contain dangerous toxins. (Opponents of E-cigs include such organization as the American Heart and Lung Association and the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.)
It is true that the E-liquid used to produce the vapour in electronic cigarettes contains nicotine (most of the time). It is also true that it contains glycerin, propylene glycol, and nitrosamines. In addition to these, opponents also say that studies have concluded that electronic cigarettes also contain lead, cadmium, and nickel.
Nicotine has, historically, never really been regarded by medical professionals as a carcinogen… though it is very toxic in larger amounts and comes from the infamous ‘nightshade’ family of plants. Still, in trace amounts such as those found in E-cigs or cigarettes, there are not really any health dangers associated with the chemical… and Propylene glycol is actually used in such products as asthma inhalers, toothpaste, and cough syrup. It has undergone a lot of testing, and is considered ‘safe’ by the FDA. The FDA also considers vegetable glycerin, which is the type found in e-liquid, to be safe as well.
Opponents will also call attention to the fact that Nitrosamines are well known carcinogens… though proponents of E-cigs are equally quick to point out that in very small trace amounts, they do not pose any real danger.
So What Are The Side Effects?
Outside of the occasional (though not common) lung/airway irritation associated with the vapour and the potential to become addicted to the nicotine, there isn’t much information out there substantiating any significant side effects risks where E-cigs are concerned.
In fact, the World Health Organization released a paper in 2013 that conceded that E-cigarettes are, in fact, safer than cigarettes, though they do ‘still deliver some toxins’. Another study, published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, states that ‘a preponderance of the available evidence shows e-cigarettes to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products’.
In the end, it seems that there is, as of yet, not sufficient evidence to link any serious side effects to E-cigs. In fact, the contrary seems to be true. It would definitely seem like vapers who switch to E-cigs from regular cigarettes report better overall health, a dramatic decrease (or cessation) of smoking-related side effects, and even report an increase in sleep quality.
What should be noted, however, is the fact that the most dangerous thing about E-cigs is probably not the use of the product, but the storage of the extra e-liquid. Bottles of E-liquid contain a lot of nicotine all in one place… definitely enough to be toxic if it were to be ingested by an adult or a child. In order to keep children safe, make sure that bottles of e-liquid are stored out of reach and in a place where they cannot be accessed.
Nicotine is definitely dangerous and toxic in such large amounts, and it can be very dangerous for children to get their hands on a bottle of the refill liquid.