The use of traditional cigarette has been on the decline in the US. On the other hand, the use of e-cigarettes among teenagers and adults is becoming more and more widespread. These devices are promoted as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes and are marketed as smoking cessation aids similar to nicotine gum and nicotine patches.
Some health experts as well as regulatory agencies are scrutinizing e-cigarettes. There are lots of questions arising about its safety claims, especially when it comes to exposure among teenagers and young children. This article will discuss the known and possible risks of e-cigarette use and the effects of the accidental ingestion of e liquids by small children.
The Difference Between The E-Cigarettes and The Traditional Cigarettes
Vaping with e-cigarette produces inhalable form of nicotine that the user can breathe in similar to a traditional cigarette. Even in terms of design, there are lots of e-cigarettes made to look just like an ordinary cigarette, pipe, or cigar. The primary difference between the traditional cigarette and e-cigarette is that e-cigarette does not contain tobacco. It has a small, battery-powered device that heats a cartridge that contains e liquids. The liquid mixture is vaporized using a device, and delivered to the user in the form of an inhalable vapor.
The mixture contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug that can also be found in traditional tobacco products. Thus, an e-cigarette is designed to provide a dose of nicotine to the user, while reducing or eliminating exposure to several other harmful substances that can be found in regular tobacco products.
Why Teenagers Love E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarette is becoming more popular among teenagers, so it is important for parents that they understand how the use of e-cig can be harmful to children. Based on the data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey, the use of e-cigarette doubled among middle school females, middle school males, and high school females and increased by 60% among high school males. The increase was attributed to the increased availability and promotion of e-cigarettes and also the perception among young adults that it is much safer as compared to the regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Also, the e liquids used in e-cigs usually contain sweeteners and flavoring additives. This sort of marketing can encourage young adults to try e-cigs for the first time. There is a debate among health experts regarding the use of e-cigs that considered it as a gateway drug and encourage children and young adult to also try the traditional tobacco product and marijuana.
Toxicity Concerns Related with E-Cigarettes
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a laboratory analysis on samples of e-cigs. The samples used came from different manufacturers of e liquids. Some mixtures contain several chemicals like myosmine, diethyl glycol, nitrosamines, beta-nicotyrine, and anabasine which are known to be toxic to humans. Also, although many e-liquid cartridges are labeled as containing low amount of nicotine, the FDA discovered that the actual amount of nicotine in some eliquid was highly variable and unpredictable than the level of nicotine specified on the labels of the liquid nicotine. At present, there are no quality controls in place to confirm the level of nicotine advertised on the label of a liquid nicotine bottle is the actual amount it contains.
Safety Precautions When Handling E Liquids
Although e cigarettes are safer for both the user and those around him, they could still be dangerous if left out in the open carelessly. Because of its attractive look, children might get attracted to it and might reach for them. Make sure that you place it in a safe place where it is impossible for children to reach it. E liquids can be dangerous and even deadly if ingested by a child, or pet.