Published On: Wed, Apr 2nd, 2014

The Neverending Debate About E-Cigs: Are They Dangerous Or Not?

The matter is today particularly discussed, till some more accurate scientific studies will clarify the argument.



The earliest electronic cigarette was developed in China by Hon Lik in 2003 and rapidly became an aid for smoking cessation and replacement.  E-cig is made by a solution of water, propylene glycol,  glycerol and nicotine, though in a very lower amount compared to normal cigarette. The mixture is vaporized in an air-spray, which is powered by a rechargeable battery. China started to export this product from 2005 all over the world and people soon appreciated and valued it as a substitute of traditional cigarette, since it turned into a trend, especially for young people: in the UK there are 1, 2 million vapers today.

Immediately, e-cig became the object of an infinite debate:is it less dangerous than the traditional one? Is it equivalent?  Or even more harmful?

At the moment, each nation deals with the argument in different ways: as for Europe, in France e-cigs are admitted only as a form of therapy; in Germany and in the United Kingdom the use, the sale and the advertising are legal; in Italy the government is going to introduce legislation and new taxes for the entire industry; in some countries, like Portugal or Netherlands, there are some restrictions for e-cigs with nicotine or for advertising. However, almost all of Europe allows electronic cigarette.

Australia and Canada forbid nicotine e-cigs, while United States allow them, but it seems that something is about to change. For example, the Los Angeles City Council is setting in these days a proposal for banning electronic cigarettes in public places like markets, parks, beaches, bars, and restaurants. It would also restrict the sale and use of e-cig in smoking clubs to people 18 years or older. This ordinance will ensure public safety for people who don’t want to be around vapors from e-cigarettes, but opponents say it would simply drive smokers back to tobacco.

Meanwhile, Professor David John Nutt – a British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep – has claimed that if all smokers would switch to e-cigs, it would be “the greatest health advance since vaccinations”. Thanks to this conversion of smokers, many scientists think 500 million people all over the world could be saved every year from cancer.In fact, some recent studies have shown that electronic cigarette has the potential to help many smokers quit, but it is also less dangerous than traditional one: “vaping” does not cause inhalation of carcinogenic substances generated by the combustion of tobacco in ordinary cigarettes. Moreover, the e-liquid used in vaping can contain from 0 to 24 milligrams of nicotine: so it is possible to control how much nicotine any person desires to inhale, or gradually reduce.



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