1.WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE NOTE
Electronic cigarettes, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens… they are all battery-operated devices used to inhale an aerosol. They can look like tobacco cigarettes, like pens, oversized lipsticks or USB drives. There are more than 500 e-cigarette brands currently in the market.
Most e-cigarettes consist of a cartridge with solution (containing nicotine, flavourings), a heating element (atomiser), a power source (battery) and a mouthpiece. Puffing activates the heating device, which vapourises the liquid in the cartridge. You inhale the vapour.
2. THE MYTHS AROUND E-CIGS
MYTH: E-cigarettes are safe
REALITY: It’s not known what exactly there is in the cartridge
MYTH: E-cigarettes don’t have nicotine
REALITY: E-cigarettes deliver nicotine through vapour rather than smoke, but the nicotine is still derived from tobacco. Studies have shown wide-ranging nicotine levels in e-cigarettes
MYTH: E-cigarettes can help smokers quit
REALITY: Not a single brand has been found to be safe and effective. Instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users continue to use these while still using conventional cigarettes, reports the USFDA. A 2015 study found 59 per cent people using both types of cigarettes.
MYTH: No second-hand emissions from e-cigarettes
REALITY: E-cigarettes expose others to second-hand emissions
3. VAPERS ARE CHEERING BUT VAPING IS A CONCERN
It’s a 3 billion dollar global market, advertised as safe alternatives to conventional cigarettes. The WHO has called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use. The vaping community in India protested as the government proposed a ban in 2017.
Using e-cigarettes may lead to an accumulation of fat in the liver, a study of mice exposed to the devices suggests. The research was presented on March 18 at ENDO 2018.
Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, US, have shown that people who use e-cigatattes may have a higher risk of heart problems and cancer.
A new study, published in March 2018 in PLOS ONE, suggests that use of these devices might cause more population-level harms than benefits.