Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) have started to become a popular product, touted as a safe alternative to the traditional cigarette. Unlike traditional cigarettes that give off harmful second hand smoke, e-cigarettes give off a vapor that supposedly lacks the dangerous chemicals found in conventional cigarettes. The FDA has not officially reviewed these products, so it is unclear if electronic cigarettes are as safe as they claim to be.
What Is An Electronic Cigarette?
According to Medical News Today, an e-cigarette is made up of the following devices:
- Rechargeable Battery
- Atomizer — Used to heat liquid to create vapor.
- Cartridge (or mouthpiece)
- E-Liquid — Propylene glycol (a safe food additive) and flavoring, which can include nicotine.
Possible Dangers of Using E-Cigarettes
While e-cigarettes are smokeless, they do have the option of containing nicotine, which is also found in traditional cigarettes. Nicotine itself is an addictive component, which can reduce appetite, create relaxation, reduce anxiety and even act as a pain killer, according to News Medical. While these may seem like positive reactions, continued dependency on nicotine over time can cause cardiovascular problems like:
- Heart Attack
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Heart Arrhythmias
Should E-Cigarettes Be Avoided?
Some believe that the lack of evidence proving e-cigarettes are safe is a reason to avoid them. While e-cigarettes are smokeless, and don’t contain the tobacco and harmful carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes, the fact that they can carry nicotine could pose a health risk. The continued use of nicotine can lead to nicotine tolerance, which can cause depression and forces users to take higher levels of nicotine in order to feel the same effect.
Because of nicotine’s addictive qualities, nicotine withdrawal has been known to cause the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Difficult Falling Asleep or Insomnia
- Weight Gain (Craving for High-Calorie Foods)
It’s our view that nicotine, a highly addictive substance, should be avoided in any form.