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Electronic Cigarettes

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Electronic cigarettes are known by many different names, and sometimes people find it difficult to understand what is really known about these devices. Below are answers to some common questions people have about e-cigarettes.

What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are known by many different names, including e-cigs, electronic designed nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS), e-hookahs, mods, pen-type electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, vaping devices and tank systems.

Electronic cigarettes are available in many shapes and sizes. E-cigarettes may look like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pens, USB memory sticks, or may be available in other forms.

These devices include a battery for activation, a heat source that heats a liquid to convert it into an aerosol of tiny particles (sometimes referred to as a “vapor”), a cartridge or reservoir that contains the liquid, and a mouthpiece or opening used to inhale the aerosol.

E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but many of them contain nicotine, which originates from tobacco. Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies them as “tobacco products.

Can e-cigarettes help people quit smoking?

Currently, e-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA to help you quit smoking. This is because there is still not enough research or evidence on the matter. On the other hand, there is a large amount of compelling evidence indicating that the use of FDA-approved anti-smoking medications can be effective in helping people quit smoking, especially when accompanied by counseling and emotional support.

Some people who smoke have chosen to try electronic cigarettes as a method of kicking the habit of conventional cigarettes. Quitting smoking clearly has health benefits that are well documented. But smokers who switch to e-cigarettes are still incurring serious health risks. It is important to stop using tobacco in any form, including electronic cigarettes, as soon as possible both to reduce health risks and to avoid nicotine addiction. If you are having trouble quitting e-cigarettes, get help from your doctor or other support sources, such as the quit line in your state (1-800-784-8669) or the American Cancer Society. (1-800-227-2345).

People who have completely switched from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes should avoid resuming smoking conventional cigarettes (either alone or in conjunction with e-cigarettes), as failure to do so could expose them to devastating health effects.

Some people who smoke choose to use conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes at the same time on an ongoing basis, whether they are looking to kick the habit or not. This is known as “dual use.” The dual use of e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes can cause considerable harm because smoking any amount of ordinary cigarettes is very harmful. People should not use both types of cigarettes at the same time and are strongly encouraged to stop using tobacco products completely.

vape or heating tobacco

What is in the aerosol (“vapor”) of an electronic cigarette?

Although the term “vapor” may sound harmless, the aerosol that comes from an e-cigarette is not water vapor and can be harmful. E-cigarette aerosol can contain nicotine and other addictive substances that can cause lung disease, heart disease and cancer.

As already mentioned, it is important to emphasize that most electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. There is evidence that nicotine causes damage to brain development in adolescents. If used during pregnancy, nicotine can also cause premature births and low birth weight babies.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes and the “vapor” (aerosol) from e-cigarettes contain propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin. These are substances used to produce stage or theater fog, which has been found to increase lung and airway irritation after concentrated exposure.

Additionally, e-cigarettes and e-cigarette vapor may contain the chemicals or substances listed below.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): At certain levels, VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and nausea, and can cause liver, kidney, and nervous system damage.
Flavoring chemicals: Some flavorings are more toxic than others. Studies have shown that some of the flavors contain different levels of a chemical called diacetyl that has been linked to a serious lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans.
Formaldehyde: This is a cancer-causing substance that can form if the e-liquid is overheated or does not reach the heating element (known as a “dry-puff”).
Currently, the FDA is not required to test all substances in e-cigarettes to determine that they are safe. Additionally, it is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in an e-cigarette because most products do not include all of the harmful or potentially harmful substances contained in them. Some products are also incorrectly labeled.

It is important to mention that the US CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control) has stated that e-cigarettes can sometimes be altered by people and have the potential to become dangerous with illegal substances from unknown sources. For more information on this, refer to the statement that can be accessed on the CDC Newsroom page.

What are the health effects of electronic cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are still relatively new, and more research is needed over a longer period of time to know what the long-term effects may be. The most important points to know are that the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are still unknown, and that all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can put people’s health at risk. people.

For more information, refer to the content on health effects of electronic cigarettes .

The American Cancer Society is closely monitoring new research on the effects of using e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products (see the section “What’s in the aerosol [“vapor”] of an e-cigarette ?” and “Do electronic cigarettes contain nicotine?”.

What is known about the use of electronic cigarettes by young people?

No young person, including middle school or high school students, should use e-cigarettes or any other tobacco products (see “What’s in the aerosol [“vapor”] of an e-cigarette?”).

As already mentioned, it is important to emphasize that most electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. There is evidence that nicotine causes damage to brain development in adolescents.

Some studies have indicated that vaping among youth is strongly linked to subsequent use of conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products. The use of electronic cigarettes may partly influence a child or adolescent to want to experiment with other, more harmful tobacco products.

The FDA has the power to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Additionally, the FDA is evaluating several options to prevent youth access to e-cigarettes.

Do electronic cigarettes contain nicotine?

The liquid in most e-cigarettes contains nicotine, the same addictive substance (drug) found in conventional cigarettes, cigars, hookahs and other tobacco products. However, nicotine levels are not the same in all types of e-cigarettes, and sometimes product labels do not indicate the true nicotine content.

There are some brands of electronic cigarettes that claim not to contain nicotine, and despite this it has been found that they do contain nicotine.

Is exposure to secondhand e-cigarette aerosol harmful?

Although e-cigarettes do not emit smoke like tobacco cigarettes, they expose people to aerosol emissions (secondhand exposure) that may contain harmful substances. Scientists are still learning about the health effects of secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapor.

Regulations prohibiting smoking in schools, businesses, healthcare institutions and other organizations should also include e-cigarettes. This will help non-users avoid exposure to potentially harmful e-cigarette aerosol.

What is vaping or vaping?

The use of electronic cigarettes is often referred to as vaping ( vaping, vaporar, vapeo) because many people believe that they produce a vapor which is then inhaled. But in truth, what electronic cigarettes produce is an aerosol of tiny particles, which is different from what is meant by vapor.

How do electronic cigarettes work?

Electronic cigarettes heat a liquid (referred to as e-liquid or e-juice ), to convert it into an aerosol (which is referred to as “vapor”). Electronic cigarette users inhale this substance reaching their lungs.

Source: American cancer society

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