Sadly there has not been done a lot of research about the absolute safety of electronic cigarettes. It is believed to be safer to use compared to regular smoking sticks because it is free from the 4000 harmful chemicals and because you can control the amount of nicotine you consume. Ecigs don’t produce carbon monoxide, which is harmful to the lungs and the ozone layer. They also don’t burn. However, since there’s no single research that can prove that this device is 100% safe, there are still some potential dangers in using it.
Some of the potential dangers of e cigs are the following:
- Some products may contain Diethylene Glycol. Diethylene Glycol is an anti-freeze component. This substance is harmful to humans, especially when inhaled. In case the electronic cigarette breaks open, this substance would be exposed, thereby harming health. According to FDA tests they found traces of Diethylene Glycol in one of every 18 cigs they tested. Luckily the concentration was less than 1%, which is almost harmless. Nevertheless, it is vital to vape only trustworthy brands like Green Smoke or V2 Cigs, so you’d be 100% sure the e-juice is safe.
- They contain toxic ingredients. Although it is free from 4000 harmful substances that you’ll usually find on regular cigarette, there are still some toxic compounds in electronic cigarettes - nitrosamines. But nitrosamines are there because nicotine, which produces those. There are also nitrosamines found in patches and gums.
- They contain nicotine. Although you can regulate the amount of nicotine intake, nicotine is still present in electronic cigarettes and it’s proven to be harmful to the body.
- They appeal to children and other people who do not smoke. Because electronic cigarettes use flavors based on food like strawberry, orange, coffee, and many more, children might think smoking is a good idea. Some people might also think this is a good habit to pick up because of the flavors. Most electronic cigarette these days also come in appealing colourful packages and that may attract younger people to use them.
- Misuse or faulty elements can lead to fatal complications. Misuse of the device can cause serious injuries. Last February 2012, a man from Florida suffered severe physical and property damage due to an electronic cigarette exploding. The electronic cigarette was likened to a “rocket exploding in your mouth.” According to investigations, the culprit was the faulty batteries. Since the batteries are lithium powered, any slight fault in manufacturing can pose danger to users.
- Low quality leaking cartridges can hurt your skin. Don’t buy cheap unknown brands! People have suffered from mouth skin injuries because of the juice constantly leaks from cartridges.
- Some people are allergic to propylene glycol, which is the main ingredient of e-juice. In this case, there is also an alternative – vegetable glycerine based juice (for example Blu Cigs uses this).
How do you counter the dangers?
Several toxic ingredients can be found on regular smoking stick. With the electronic cigarette however, you have a smaller amount of these different harmful substances. You just need to be very careful and use trustworthy brands, also make sure that you always handle your device properly.
While your electronic cigarette contains nicotine, you can control the amount you put into it. Many users believe that the reason behind a fast heartbeat rate or heart palpitations is due to nicotine overdose. Since nicotine solutions for electronic cigarettes come in varying doses, adjust them based on how much you can handle. There are also zero-nicotine cartridges that you can opt for.
Marketing of electronic cigarettes to children cannot be avoided. But one thing that you can do is to avoid smoking in front of them and always remind them about the dangers of smoking.
Finally, with the issue of misuse or faulty elements, you have to contact your manufacturer or seller regarding this. Make sure that you are only buying from trusted sellers. It is much better if you visit the actual website of the brand.
One of the most important components of electronic cigarettes are the batteries. Since they are made out of lithium ion, they have the potential to leak or weaken. If you see any discharge or abnormality with your electronic cigarette, do not use it, and contact the company, who sold you the device, for a replacement immediately. Also, follow the user manual on how you could properly store and maintain the electronic cigarettes. There should also be information in the manual on how you could dispose off your batteries and cartridges properly.
To sum up, yes there are some potential dangers associated with e cigs. But this is absolutely nothing compared to the fact that hundreds of thousands of smokers die every year because of regular cigarettes. E cigs are amazing, and vaping gives you the sensation of smoking without breathing in 4000 harmful substances. Why on earth would a smoker not use e cigs?