Electronic Cigarettes: Is lack of knowledge causing unnecessary concern?
I recently became a member of an electronic cigarette forum and one post in particular caught my attention. The forum member complained that whenever there was a new story in the media about electronic cigarettes, they received emails, texts and phone calls warning them of the newly discovered dangers of vaping. As someone who works for an electronic cigarette company, I can empathise completely because the same thing happens to me on an almost weekly basis. Unfortunately, many of the stories and articles relating to electronic cigarettes are based on the author's (in many instances a die hard smoker) opinions, poor research and the experiences of people who have used poor quality products. A commonly raised concern in the media is that electronic cigarettes do not address the problem of the smoking addiction, they simply replace it. Electronic cigarettes are sold as a smoking alternative, not as a smoking cessation device although many vapers do use it for this purpose. An article on the Harm Reduction Journal website argues the case for electronic cigarettes believing they could save millions of lives. The article states that electronic cigarettes successfully replicate the smoking ritual while removing many of the associated health risks. Although electronic cigarettes do contain nicotine, this presents little if any cardiovascular risk, and has not been shown to be carcinogenic making it a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. The amount of nicotine delivered by an electronic cigarette is comparable to that found in nicotine replacement treatments such as nicotine inhalers. Another popular quoted concern in the media is that electronic cigarettes haven't been sufficiently studied and that they may pose as much of a passive smoking risk as tobacco cigarettes. This misconception causes a lot of fear in non smokers and polls often show that people are uncomfortable for electronic cigarettes to be used around them or their families, and many believe they should be banned in public places. Studies have yet to find any toxic nitrosamines in electronic cigarette vapor. A small study carried out by the ClearStream-AIR project states "On the base of the obtained results and on ARPA data about urban pollution, we can conclude by saying that [it] could be more unhealty to breath air in big cities compared to staying in the same room with someone who is vaping".
Another popular scare story is about exploding batteries. The media and the anti-electronic cigarette crowd would have you believe that this only happens to electronic cigarettes so you should avoid them at all costs! In reality, this is an issue that can affect any lithium ion battery including those found in mobile phones, laptops and even general every day batteries.Explosions are rare but when the media publishes these stories, it takes on a Chinese whisper effect and suddenly everyone's battery is exploding! Of the millions of electronic cigarettes sold, only a handful have been reported to have experienced this fault. Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) stated they were only aware of 10 failures and that they are 99.9% safe but occasionally there will be failures. To help minimise the risk, you can take some simple precautions when using any kind of lithium-ion battery such as not leaving them to charge unattended, storing batteries in non conductive containers, switching electronic devices off when not in use to avoid accidental overheating and storing them in a cool place. As electronic cigarette usage continues to grow, we hope that more information will become available to quash these concerns and allow everyone to accept electronic cigarette usage as a better alternative to smoking. Litejoy Electronic Cigarettes
* Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net