Electronic Cigarette Use – Pros and Cons

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It is a common thing that people are always suspicious about new products. Of course, there are pioneers who except innovations without any doubts, but they are in a minority. For the rest, who are still undecided whether electronic cigarettes can be a healthy alternative to traditional tobacco, cigarettespedia.com offers to read this article.

It should help you to weigh all the pros and cons of the electronic cigarette use and to determine your own, independent opinion. It is not emphasizing the benefits of electronic cigarette smoking or, conversely, focusing on its harm. The article aims at finding out the real facts concerning this relevantly new product.

If you open any user manual for electronic cigarettes, it declares that this product has the significant advantages over the conventional cigarettes. Here are some of them:

  • Free of tar and other carcinogenic substances harmful to the human body;
  • Non-flammable, without the danger of over 4,000 chemical substances produced by the traditional cigarettes;
  • Don't create any second-hand smoking harm. Don't pollute the environment;
  • Don't provide the hidden danger of the fire accident and can be used in most public places;
  • Possess wide serviceable range and is able to function normally between -5 to 42 C degrees;
  • Simulates smoke temperature with the body temperature;
  • Free of electromagnetic radiation;
  • The nicotine content of each liquid container is less than that of 20 ordinary cigarettes.

On the basis of mentioned above advantages some hospitals in USA (e.g. in Tampa, Florida) made a decision to allow the use of electronic cigarettes within their facilities. It was determined by the fact that smoking is a recreational privilege that while banned in most public places, can be done with the alternative electronic cigarette without offending others. This new invention allows the smoker to get their nicotine fix just like the coffee or soda drinkers get their caffeine fix. The benefits to management comes in the form of increased productivity in the workplace since the employees do not have to waste time traveling to designated smoking places; they no longer smell like a smoker and their employees health is not adversely affected by tobacco smoke.

In the mean time, the electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette, as it is often called) has been under the fire from the FDA since 2008. That year marked the start of the FDA’s efforts to prevent e-cigarettes from entering the United States. To date, there have been approximately 50 shipments refused.

FDA bans e-cigarettes

In May 2009, the US FDA's Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis tested the contents of cartridges by two vendors. Dyethylene glycol was detected in one of the eighteen cartridges. In addition, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) were detected in all of the cartridges from one brand and two of the other. Further concerns were raised over inconsistent amounts of nicotine delivered when drawing on the device. In July 2009, the FDA issued a press release discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes and repeating previously stated concerns that electronic cigarettes may be marketed to young people and lack appropriate health warnings. The researchers caution that electronic devices can be even more harmful than standard cigarettes, can lead to nicotine addiction. The availability of different flavors like strawberry can attract children to them.

The FDA's study was reviewed in July 2009 by scientific consulting firm Exponent, Inc., in a report commissioned by the manufacturer of one of the electronic cigarettes tested by the FDA. Some of the criticisms in Exponent's report are poor standards of documentation and analysis. Exponent lists previous studies that have detected TSNA levels in FDA-approved nicotine-replacement therapy products comparable to those the FDA detected in their study, and objects to the FDA making no comparisons to such products in their analysis of electronic cigarettes. Ultimately the review concludes that the FDA's study did not support the claims of potential adverse health effects from the use of electronic cigarettes.

The presence of trace amounts of TSNAs in electronic cigarette vapor was previously documented in an October 2008 analysis performed by Health New Zealand Ltd. and funded by the electronic cigarette manufacturer Ruyan. However, unlike the FDA study, this study conducted detailed quantitative analysis and concluded that carcinogens and toxicants are present only below harmful levels. The final conclusion of the safety report is:"Based on the manufacturer’s information, the composition of the cartridge liquid is not hazardous to health, if used as intended.

The controversy surrounding electronic cigarettes and the FDA continues. As reported by CNN, New York Times and USA Today, the FDA lost its first battle against e-cigarettes in a federal court and is appealing the ruling. Although Green Smoke and other e-cigarette producers have tested their products with independent laboratories, the FDA and anti-smoking groups have not accepted this evidence of the product’s safety.

However, in March of 2009, Health Canada has issued the advisory against the use of e-cigarettes. The advisory stated "Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction." In other words, Health Canada is advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.

As to World Health Organization, it has declared that it doesn't consider electronic cigarettes to be the legitimate smoking cessation aid. "WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product's safety and efficacy. Its marketers should immediately remove from their web sites and other informational materials any suggestion that WHO considers it to be a safe and effective smoking cessation aid," said Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO's Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster. WHO underlines that if electronic cigarette producers insist on their product to be an appropriate nicotine replacement therapy, they need to conduct clinical studies and toxicity analyses and operate within the proper regulatory framework to be able to provide scientifically grounded facts.

To make a conclusion, we must say that it is not proven yet that electronic cigarettes represent the secure aid for smoking cessation, although some benefits over the conventional cigarette smoking are obvious. At least electronic cigarettes do not produce second hand smoking and tar, which is so harmful for the human body. However, we would recommend to abstain from a constant use of this product, considering that its safety and the absence of negative impact on human's health are not still accepted by the official bodies as US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization. And nobody knows whether they ever accept it.

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