E-Cigarettes are all the rage now. They look cool, they don’t smell like regular tobacco cigarettes, and they’re potentially healthier, right? Are they? Let’s see – if you smoke the e-cigarettes with nicotine in them, then they are still addictive, but you could choose the nicotine-free version. They’ve studied the effects of inhaling nicotine vapor, right? Or have they? Let’s dive into five facts about e-cigarettes that you may not have heard before.
No Tobacco – No Tobacco Laws
E-cigarettes aren’t subject to all of the tobacco laws that exist because they contain no tobacco. Does that mean that they are safer than tobacco cigarettes? Why would you think that? The people who created them are the same folks who created the tobacco cigarettes to begin with and lied to us for decades about whether or not they contained chemicals that were known to cause lung cancer. The tobacco industry is a $400 billion annual industry – they aren’t screwing around here. If something like a little new tobacco legislation is going to impede their ability to line their pockets with tons of cash, they cannot be trusted not to have come up with a new product that is just as addictive and dangerous that just isn’t subjected to those sticky little laws.
Nicotine – Friend or Foe?
Nicotine is highly addictive; in fact the Center for Disease has named it public enemy number one. As such it is known as the most highly addictive substance that exists in the world today. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, unless you choose to buy the nicotine-free version. And the mechanism by which you inhale nicotine-laced vapors has just changed, without unbiased research having been done yet to conclude that they are safe. The FDA says they are concerned that the side effects have not yet been studied. Side effects? You know, of inhaling pure nicotine. Why do you think people call their first hit off of an e-cigarette a rush that hits you in the back of the throat and burns like lightning? Yeah, that’s good for your health. Did you know that the FDA has ruled them as a drug-delivery device so they can keep them from being imported and exported across country borders? But two e-cigarette companies sued the FDA in D.C. and won because there is no basis to treat them as drug-delivery devices. Big pockets, big deep pockets the tobacco companies have in Washington.
E-Cigarettes Banned in Several Countries
One super interesting fact is that e-cigarettes have already been banned in Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, and Lebanon, just to name a few countries. The World Health Organization has recently issued a plea to urge countries to ban them simply because they “undermine the denormalization of tobacco use.” There is quite a bit of controversy though because of the large number of former tobacco smokers who have applauded how e-cigarettes helped them give up smoking tobacco cigarettes completely. But they haven’t given up nicotine yet. And we still don’t know the full effects of smoking nicotine vapors on an individual nor on the second-hand smoke of such vapors.
Studies Don’t Lie, Do They?
Recent studies have shown that airway resistance is caused by smoking e-cigarettes. They do this study the same way that pulmonologists study any function of the lungs, with a spirometry test. Just smoking one e-cigarette for 10 minutes can restrict airway capacity by over 200%.
Fog Machines – All Smoke and Vapors
The liquid that is used in e-cigarettes is the same type of liquid used in fog machines. Something called propylene glycol, which contains water, acetone and chloroform. Yes, that’s right, chloroform. Why would tobacco giants put something like this in their e-cigarette. Quite frankly because they are not interested in health concerns but rather in what product concoction will closely enough simulate smoking on a real cigarette to increase sales – after all, the ads to encourage people to quit smoking have started to work somewhat over the past 2 decades and their wallets are sad.
There’s still quite a bit of mystery about e-cigarettes, but one thing is certain. The tobacco industry cannot be trusted to give us a safe alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Their one true priority is continuing to keep you hooked on nicotine so you continue to buy cigarettes – tobacco or otherwise.