For a while now electronic cigarettes, also known as vapor cigarettes, have been perceived as, if not healthy, than as not so harmful alternative to the actual ones. However, as scientists and medical workers are still trying to understand its effects and consequences on the lives of users and their environment, many questions continue to arise.
A Change of Direction
After the first e-cigarettes came to the Chinese market in 2004, it was only a matter of time when the global market would pick up. Ultimately, the growth of the several million daily users industry, results in more than $7 billion per year in profit. This means that behind the highly lucrative industry is a huge mechanism where advertising and endorsements are only the tip of the iceberg that helps the profit continually grow. But even though ads remind us on every step that there is finally a substitution for the habit that provokes cancer, respiratory illnesses and many other deadly diseases, if you go to your nearest medical clinic or visit a family doctor, the answer and advice will always be the same – no matter how they are called, they are still cigarettes.
Health vs. Ad Professionals
Longtime smokers and those determined to stop with the bad habit, need a bit more than just stating the obvious. Still, the attractiveness for the usage is obvious – it helps cut down or quit smoking, vaping is believed to be healthier than smoking, e-cigarettes are odor-free and, in most cases, cheaper. Additionally, all marketing campaigns focus exclusively on emphasizing these features and even users report feelings of improved health. But, is there something we are missing and what are the facts?
While in United Kingdom many general practitioners and medical centers rank e-cigarettes as third best option when it comes to finding alternative in quitting smoking, their colleagues in the United States are still skeptical and choose to deviate from recommendations. There, e-cigarettes have been on the market since 2006 which, as a result, cannot provide its users with enough information on the products’ health risks. The reasons for this are numerous – e-cigarettes do not burn tobacco; instead, they have cartridges filled with nicotine and other chemicals like propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine and a variety of flavoring substances that your family doctor would be happy to inform you about and that turn into a vapor that a person inhales. And while none of these substances sound very appealing, multiple research show that the real danger lays in the ways these compounds react and change when heated.
Still Unexplored Territory
Experts from many medical clinics and scientists around the world, as well as the Netherlands’ researchers from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) came to a conclusion, after advanced measurement systems, that the produced substances were both formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents, well known carcinogens. In fact, the conclusion of one study compared the risk of developing cancer from this e-cigarette toxin to the risk of cancer from smoking traditional cigarettes and found the risk from the first one might to be up to 15 times higher. Even though all this data is still new even for medical professionals and healthcare experts, until proven to be harmless, try staying away from these products.