Seven myths on e-cigarettes
Currently, the media is full of sensational headlines on e-cigarettes with some of them true and some... well, not so true. We busted some most common myths available in the media.
Using an e-cigarettes is just as good as smoking regular cigarettes
It is regretful that the devices are called e-cigarettes making it sound similar to "regular cigarettes" - therefore, these two very different products are often associated with each other. However, e-cigarettes are inherently different from regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes are vaporisers. Instead of burning tobacco they heat the e-liquid, turning it into vapour.
E-cigarettes are tobacco products
E-cigarettes are not tobacco products, and to be specific, they have nothing to do with tobacco. The e-liquids used in e-cigarettes consist of four ingredients: water, vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol, flavours, and nicotine (contained in some e-liquids). Now, let's compare the ingredients of e-liquids with tobacco smoke which contains more than 600 substances which produce more than 7,000 chemicals during the combustion process whereof 69 are known as carcinogens and many other as being highly toxic.
E-cigarette is the gateway for teenagers which leads them to smoking
The myth that e-cigarettes are a "gateway" for youngsters which leads to smoking has received a lot of media coverage. It is believed that the tastes and packaging of e-cigarettes are attractive for youngsters although studies have proved otherwise. Very few non-smokers start using e-cigarettes.
In the University of Oklahoma, Dr Ted Wagner conducted a study which focused on the "gateway" hypothesis. The study resulted in the conclusion that only one out of 1,300 students started to consume nicotine consistently by using e-cigarettes. Another study conducted by the Action on Smoking and Health revealed that the tasting or regular use of e-cigarettes is closely linked to existing smoking habits. The study indicated that children and adolescents who smoked regular cigarettes were much more likely to taste e-cigarettes as compared to non-smokers.
Everyone, even children, can buy e-cigarettes
The fact that the government has not adopted legislation which prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors does not mean that e-cigarette suppliers sell their products to minors. Most companies respect reasonable restrictions which prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to children and adolescents. It is true that e-cigarettes are less harmful, but nobody wants to turn children into nicotine addicts.
The headlines feature shocking stories of exploding e-cigarettes. In most cases, this is due to using a charger which is not compatible with the battery. Using a charger other than the one supplied with the product creates a risk that the device is subjected to incorrect voltage which may lead to overheating. However, this risk is present with many chargeable devices and not just e-cigarettes.
E-liquids contain antifreeze
This common myth is the most absurd one ever. Some liquids contain propylene glycol (PG) which is an ingredient present in antifreeze agents. The FDA has classified PG as a "generally harmless substance". PG is a non-toxic compound which is used in some pharmaceuticals designed for treating the respiratory tract. Further, PG is present in many foodstuffs. It seems much less harmful now, doesn't it?
Airborne vapour from e-cigarettes is dangerous
Lately, the use of e-cigarettes in public places has been increasingly banned. Although there are still little evidence on the harmfulness of the airborne vapour from e-cigarettes, it is known that the vapour of e-cigarettes is totally different from tobacco smoke. The scientists of the University of Southern California found that the aerosol of e-cigarettes contains ten times less harmful particles than regular cigarette smoke.
There are many misconceptions concerning e-cigarettes. Therefore, it is essential to distinguish myth from fact. There is still a lot to learn about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on human health and the general public needs to be kept informed and look beyond the sensational headlines designed to attract clicks.