BBC News recently published a video that focuses on electronic cigarettes. We believe that in our country, the general public could benefit from more education about this revolutionary technology that has been helping people live much better. That is why we’re going to share with you the information we’ve gathered from the industry that will be very helpful to your understanding of it.
Before we go on, why not sit back, relax and watch this video from BBC News! –
So, What’s the Deal About This Whole Restriction Thing on Electronic Cigarettes?
History has always shown that some of the greatest things in life only came about after people have mocked, scourned, and only then finally – with time, come to accept it. But why is something as good as e-cigarettes being taken in a negative light?
Actually – before we ask that question, a better question is: “Do we really know what’s in e-cigarettes?”
People live life differently. Every individual has different ways in perceiving how the world is, how they would live their lives, or how they make their decisions. Time and again, we’ve come to see that how we live our lives is greatly affected by our emotions. And emotions come from the different beliefs we have. The only way the world can progress, and the only way humans can come together and work with each other in resonance without being affected by their emotions is when things are absolute. When life is guided by facts.
So in this post, that’s what you’ll get. Without further ado, let’s start digging:
Igor Burstyn, PhD, School of Public Health, Drexel University 
- Systematic review of 35 chemical toxicity studies/technical reports of electronic cigarette liquids/vapours.
- No evidence of levels of contaminants that may be associated with risk to health. These include acrolein, formaldehyde, TSNAs, and metals. Concern about contamination of the liquid by a nontrivial quantity of ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol remains confined to a single sample of an early technology product (contaminants has been found in very earlier cigarette looking type e-cigarettes within researches before year 2014) and has not been replicated.
Link to full research (Free): “Peering Through the Mist: Systematic Review of What the Chemistry of Contaminants in Electronic Cigarettes Tells Us about Health Risks” – http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/18
Now, first and foremost why are we referencing Dr. Igor Burstyn’s research? While there have been countless claims made about the contents of electronic cigarette e-liquids, this research has been carried out by Dr. Igor most recently in year 2014. Different researches have been carried out in the past on e-cigarettes that resembles the shape of conventional tobacco cigarettes. Although their research value shouldn’t be discounted, I believe most people like you who read this article will want to know what’s most conclusive.
In the past, chemical studies have been carried out on the contents of e-liquids. However, it is important to also know whether the studies have been done directly on the liquid itself, or on the vapor of the e-liquid which e-cigarette users will take into their bodies. Two good examples to clarify this point:
- Imagine that instead of drinking a cup of coffee, you’re directly ingesting a cup full of coffee powder.
- Imagine that instead of drinking a can of beer, you’re directly ingesting a can full of pure alchohol.
There will be a difference, and a large difference at that. The interesting thing is – in Dr. Igor Burstyn’s research, he has found that no evidence of levels of contaminants may be associated with risk to health in both liquid and vapor.
It is also important to understand the advancements in the technology and standards carried out in the manufacturing of electronic cigarette devices and e-liquids. In just the last 2 years, e-cigarette devices have greatly progressed from analog cigarette looking devices which have proven to have high risks in over-heating and as a result creating avenues of carcinogens from melt-downs, to well categorized devices where the liquid containers (referred to as tanks) and the battery delivery mechanisms are separated.
As we understand the progresses accumulated until today, the differences between smoking and vaping would become much wider to us. The dangers of smoking tobacco cigarettes have been reminded to us countless times in our lives. Lung diseases, heart diseases, cancer, all connected with smoke. To non-smokers, add to that the memories of how exhaled smoke has been a nuisance to their health and the health of their loved ones, and it’s no wonder that the negative associations to electronic cigarette which releases vapor – that looks like smoke – becomes larger!
However, what the majority of the general public haven’t understood yet is that electronic cigarettes are orders of magnitude safer than conventional cigarettes, as Professor Peter Hayek from Queens Mary University of London has stated in his interview with BBC News. As we come from a place of empathy, we’ll naturally find more love in ourselves to support smokers in choosing electronic cigarettes over tobacco cigarettes. The difference is just too large.
Even the Nicotine Concentration is Much Lower
Dr Jonathan Foulds has given a very good summary about Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos and his colleagues’ research from Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Greece on one of the largest health information services site, WebMD: http://forums.webmd.com/3/smoking-cessation-exchange/forum/831/10.
In this research titled “Nicotine Absorption from Electronic Cigarette Use: Comparison Between First and New-Generation Devices“, we’re able to find out that higher nicotine concentration of nicotine in e-liquids – those which are nearer to the profile of tobacco cigarettes (high nicotine concentration) is more effective in helping users to replace their smoking habit with e-cigarettes. What’s interesting is that even with a 18mg/ml nicotine concentration e-liquid (the standard in our country being 12mg and below!), Dr. Jonathan Foulds summarizes the research with the following statement:
“To put it another way, it took an hour of puffing on even an advanced electronic cigarette to obtain the same blood nicotine concentration that could be obtained by smoking a cigarette for 5 minutes.”
That is actually amazing. E-liquids are generally manufactured from 4 main ingredients:
- Propylene Glycol
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Food Flavorings
Let’s take these ingredients apart and analyze them one by one. Propylene Glycol itself is part of the ingredient in asthma inhalers. For an asthmatic individual, their lungs are sensitive. Hence for Propylene Glycol to be approved for inhalation by asthmatic individuals, the FDA has got to take high precaution in approving it. Vegetable Glycerin on the other hand is extracted from vegetable oil, and is used in various food products sold in the malls as a natural sweetener. Food flavorings on the other hand is available in candies, canned beverages and etc. Out of the 4 ingredients, 3 of them are often used as food additives. That leaves us with nicotine as the more controversial substance.
What many people may not yet know is that nicotine has been concluded to not be the cause for any diseases within the medical and scientific circle. Doctors, scientists and renowned professors from established universities have done countless researches on the effects of inhaling nicotine, and the conclusion has been the same.
What largely contributes to cancer in smokers is tar. It’s the burnt organic substance that’s deposited in the respiratory tract when a person inhales cigarette smoke or tobacco smoke. Nicotine is a chemical which is contained in tobacco use and released in tobacco smoke which acts on the brain and has actually, a number of pleasant and beneficial effects on the brain. By itself, nicotine has never been proven to cause disease. It does have some stimulative effect and of course if a person should overdose somehow on nicotine by consuming massive doses of it, then one could imagine the person to have some symptoms associated with over-stimulation like a rapid heart rate, or elevation in their blood pressure. Some people have alleged that nicotine can cause heart attacks and strokes, but that has never been demonstrated in any kinds of scientific evidence-based review, peer-review, or medical literature.
Our Responsibility as Electronic Cigarette Users
We do have a responsibility as electronic cigarette users. And it is to help educate as many people as possible towards understanding electronic cigarettes in a very clear way.
According to the survey that Professor Robert West has carried out as featured in BBC News, e-cigarette users are 60% more likely to continue not smoking compared to other approved nicotine replacement products like nicotine patches, gums and etc. From our experience, we realize that this figure can increase significantly as retailers, friends or family are able to educate an individual well when he or she is making the transition from smoking to using electronic cigarettes.
Education will also help the general public to have a more positive view towards the device. When the people are clear, we can better present cases for electronic cigarettes to the leaders of governments.
More importantly, we share this information to help many millions more out there who are smoking.
If you’re still on tobacco cigarettes – we ask you this: “Why not choose something better?”
For more good educational references recently published in 2014 on electronic cigarettes, kindly visit:
http://taw.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/12/2042098614524430.abstract (Registration required)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/28/us-health-ecigarettes-idUSKBN0E82IX20140528 (News Article – Top Scientists Warn World Health Organization Not to Stub Out E-cigarettes. Written letter content accessible here.)