E-cigarettes have gained much popularity among smokers and nonsmokers. The e-cigarettes work through heating of a liquid, which occurs when one, inhales through the cartridges. The cartridges have a battery, which helps in heating the liquid thus producing inhalable vapor. Some of the cartridges contain nicotine and while some do not. The compounds and other materials present in the e-cigarette further differ depending on the manufacturer making the cartridges.
On the other hand, traditional cigarettes are known to be the main cause of illnesses and deaths in the United States.
Moreover, conventional cigarettes the advertising of e-cigarettes has increased its popularity among a large section of the young people. The advertising had of conventional cigarettes had significantly led to smoking among many people mostly the youth. Dutra and Glantz (2014) note that e-cigarette using doubled to 6.8% in 2012 in one year. In the United States, people concurrently used convention cigarettes together with the e-cigarette and formed 76.3% of users (Dutra & Glantz, 2014, p. 611). The increase of e-cigarettes among use results from perception put forth by the advertisers in their being cessation products of smoking. There are many chemicals in the thousands that are produced through the burning of the tobacco and almost seventy of them cause cancer. The chemical constituents in burnt tobacco include carbon monoxide, benzene, ammonia, arsenic, lead, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, uranium, nitrosamines among others. Though they are considered harmless than conventional cigarettes, the e-cigarettes are quite harmful due to the chemicals they contain. They, therefore, have the bad effect of not only being addictive but also leading to various complications in the end that affect the lung and heart among other organs in the body.
E-Cigarettes and Traditional Cigarettes
Some of the cartridges Donta contain nicotine, which is considered significantly addictive. In low doses, nicotine causes various conditions that include eye irritation, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. High doses are dangerous and produce various symptoms and conditions that include death, coma, seizure, hypertension, tachycardia among others. Various dangerous compounds are evident in some e-cigarettes, and they include nitrosamines known to causes cancer and ethylene glycol. One of the dangers of e-cigarettes is an explosion caused by faulty charging mechanisms or batteries. Another concern is that the e-cigarettes may cause popcorn lung through the inhalation of a certain chemical known as diacetyl. Diacetyl is among the three chemicals that cause popcorn lung, and they are mostly found in cigarettes. Conventional cigarettes contain deadly compounds because of the burning of tobacco. Though flavors are added, the tobacco smoke still has toxic substances because of the burning of tobacco leaves that make up the cigarettes. Most of the substances are carcinogenic. Other complications from such chemicals apart from cancer include lung and heart illnesses. Uranium in the cigarettes arises from the fertilizers employed in growing of tobacco. Such a radioactive element when inhaled may lead to lung cancer in the individual. Such diseases are greatly harmful, and it is important to ensure that smokers abstain from cigarettes altogether to reduce any complications that may arise because of conventional smoking.
Harmful Effects of E-Cigarettes
Vaping is seen as being less harmful than traditional smoking even though it uses different floors in the e-cigarettes. The youth mostly use e-cigarettes because of the inherent dangers associated with traditional cigarettes. There is still more research that needs to be carried out to determine whether vaping is harmful. Though the e-cigarettes have smaller particles that may infiltrate into the lungs, there is a need to focus on the harm such particles can cause. Traditional cigarettes are still considered harmful even though they may not have tiny particles. The distributors of electronic cigarettes mostly parade them as harmless. The vapor from e-cigarettes does not affect surface tension in lungs caused by surfactant in alveolar cells to reduce difficulty in breathing. Traditional cigarettes greatly affected the surfactant layer, especially during compression. The other constituents in cigarettes including formaldehyde, isoprene, acetaldehyde, and nicotine did not affect the surfactant layer. The burning in cigarettes causes the formation of such chemicals like tar, which is not present in e-cigarettes that use vaporization. E-cigarettes further heat the liquid to vapor through the batteries and new compounds may result which may still be dangerous even though less research has been carried out to prove otherwise. Acrolein is noted to be present in e-cigarettes and is postulated by Goniewicz et al. (2014) as resulting from the heating of glycerin. Although the e-cigarettes did not have dangerous chemicals associated with, burnt tobacco they still had toxic chemicals in very small amounts (Goniewicz et al., 2014).
Moreover, toxins in e-cigarettes may be inhaled in higher quantities since such users take longer puffs. Another aspect to consider is not only the puffing time but also the brand of the e-cigarette and the users. Even though there are harmful substances in e-cigarettes, they are in trace amounts, and hence they take longer to accumulate in a person when compared to conventional cigarettes that have a higher concentration of toxic substances. Therefore, the harmful particles present in cigarettes though in trace amounts still present a problem particularly due to the resulting heated compounds that are quite dangerous to the health of the users. As such, e-cigarettes have harmful substances in trace amounts while conventional ones have larger concentrations.
The cessation of smoking is mostly based on the electronic nicotine in the e-cigarettes. The use of electronic nicotine a substance that is highly addictive has been shown to reduce conventional smoking. The early and increased use among teens has prompted concern since most of them end up smoking. The addictive nature of nicotine can cause continual use of e-cigarettes which may be counterproductive in stopping the smoking habit as the person still inhales fewer amounts of toxins over a longer period which may eventually accumulate in the body and cause lung or heart complications. Electronic nicotine with e-cigarettes as noted by El Did et al. (2014) that fewer studies have proved their effectiveness in eliminating smoking.
Moreover, the youth who start on such nicotine delivery systems may end up smoking because of the inhalation of nicotine. There is still considerable debate on whether e-cigarettes can help a person quit smoking. The e-cigarettes, in this case, have nicotine, which is highly addictive as noted above. Conventional Cigarettes is highly addictive and using alternative vaping through e-cigarettes can act as a substitute at the same time make one addicted to nicotine. Studies have come up with conflicting results on e-cigarettes reducing smoking. The nicotine, in this case, causes continual addiction to smoke since it is addictive. Brown et al. (2014) further look into the effectiveness of cigarettes in causing a cessation in smoking. The study found them to be quite effective in the cessation of smoking even though the people had nicotine dependence. Even though the electronic cigarettes helped in abstinence and some cases reduced smoking Etter (2010) found out that failed cartridges due batteries made some of the e-cigarettes ineffective. Their factors that affect the effectiveness of the e-cigarettes in the cessation of smoking include the users, their use and the brand. As such even though electronic cigarette can help in the cessation of smoking, May studies have not shown their effectiveness about the proportion of people quitting smoking. Moreover, the rising concurrent use presents another obstacle to the cessation of smoking.
It is important to consider the harmful effects of smoking and the use of cigarettes particularly the electronic nicotine in them to reduce or stop smoking in users. The dangerous effects of smoking and the consequent deadly complications and illnesses that arise not only in smokers but also nonsmokers require quick to prevent disastrous consequences like an increase in medical costs among other undesirable results. Electronic nicotine may help in the cessation of smoking, but it is still addictive. Much needs to be done in terms of research to determine whether the e-cigarettes can help in the cessation of smoking by further focusing on the relationship between the increasing popularity among young people and adults and reduction or the onset of smoking among smokers and nonsmokers respectively. It is important to ensure that the use of e-cigarettes is minimized until more research is done to prove otherwise through considering the long-term effects on users.
Brown, J., Beard, E., Kotz, D., Michie, S., & West, R. (2014). Realworld effectiveness of ecigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a crosssectional population study. Addiction, 109(9), 1531-1540.
Dutra, L. M., & Glantz, S. A. (2014). Electronic cigarettes and conventional cigarette use among US adolescents: a cross-sectional study. JAMA pediatrics, 168(7), 610-617.
El Dib, R., Suzumura, E. A., Akl, E. A., Gomaa, H., Agarwal, A., Chang, Y., ... & Guyatt, G. (2017). Electronic nicotine delivery systems and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems for tobacco smoking cessation or reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 7(2), e012680.
Etter, J. F. (2010). Electronic cigarettes: a survey of users. BMC public health, 10(1), 231.
Goniewicz, M. L., Knysak, J., Gawron, M., Kosmider, L., Sobczak, A., Kurek, J., ... & Jacob, P. (2014). Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapor from electronic cigarettes. Tobacco control, 23(2), 133-139.
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