The e-cigarette (also known as vape or electronic cigarette) is a battery-powered device which turns e-liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled. The vapor contains chemicals including nicotine and flavourings. The e-cigarettes come in many sizes, shapes and styles.
E-cigarettes have been promoted as an aid to help people quit smoking. However, the evidence suggests they are not effective as a smoking cessation tool. Additionally, there is increasing evidence that e-cigarette use may cause harm to the user’s health. These include, but are not limited to, the onset of addiction, damage to the lungs, increased risks of infections such as COVID-19 and decreased mental wellbeing.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical which has been shown to cause many health problems including lung disease, high blood pressure and heart disease. It also has negative effects on the brain and adolescent development, and is harmful during pregnancy. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause these harmful effects.
E-cigarette vapours can contain a range of harmful chemicals including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and volatile ammonia, as well as carcinogens. Moreover, the flavourings used in e-cigarettes can be toxic to humans. For example, a number of flavourings have been shown to be toxic to the airway epithelial cells in vitro. Those that have been found to be most toxic include CAD, O-vanillin, pentanedione and diacetyl. The toxicity of these chemicals is increased by the mixture of flavourings and by inhaling them at higher concentrations.
Moreover, a number of studies have shown that the ingredients in e-cigarettes can be damaging to the lungs. For example, diacetyl has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly known as “popcorn lung”. Other harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes include formaldehyde, which can cause cancer, and the solvent butane, which can trigger asthma. Moreover, e-cigarettes can also lead to EVALI, which is a serious lung condition that causes scarring of the lungs and symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain.
Additionally, the e-cigarette battery itself can be dangerous to the user’s health. This is because it can heat up to 100 °C, which can burn the skin. This can cause permanent tissue damage.
Although the e-cigarette has been around for some time, there is still much we do not know about it. For example, there is little information on the long-term impact on human health, and there is a lack of consistency in nicotine content labelling in different e-liquids. Furthermore, a significant number of incidents of mislabelling have been reported. Therefore, further research and stricter regulation of e-cigarettes are needed. This is particularly important given that they are widely available for purchase online. In addition, they can be purchased by young children and teenagers. This is a growing concern as it has been found that they are being used by more than 5 million middle and high school students in the US alone. The extended list of appealing flavours available is thought to be a major attraction for these new users. 電子煙