Are electronic cigarettes safe to inhale?by CanadaEcigs.ca on 10/20/13
Electronic cigarettes or E-cigarettes are the latest revolution in alyernative cigarette technology. This has attracted attention of many, and their popularity is growing tremendously. However, some health advocates demand that they should be regulated.
An E-Cigarettes is a battery operated apparatus where liquid-filled cartridges are used to produce vanilla, mint, strawberry, chocolate or other flavorings. These contents are vaporized to form a mist that the user inhales into the lungs. However, some of the cartridges used contain levels of nicotine thought to be harmful by some proponents.
As stated earlier, e-cig popularity is increasing at a very high rate. In fact, some analysts, have projected that within a decade, they will outsell the regular cigarettes.
Health canada laws state that companies selling e-cigs are not authorized to sell cartridges filled with nicotine. A Health department spokesperson spoke with us on Tuesday saying: "To date, no electronic cigarettes with nicotine or health claims have been authorized by Health Canada".
As the safety, quality and efficacy of these products remains uncertain, Canadians are advised not to use electronic cigarettes, vaporizers and related products as they may pose health risks However, many offline and online businesses continue to sell them despite the rulings laid down by Health canada.
The major reason as to why e-cigs were invented and marketed was to provide an option that would help those addicted to smoking to quit the habit, or rather, to replace tobacco.
It is the thought of many analysts in United States and Canada that the market for electronic cigarettes will reach more than $10 billion by 2017, and that e-cigarettes will outsell regular cigarettes within the span of a decade. David Sweanor, (who studies include tobacco and its related health issues) law professor at the University of Ottawa, shared the same thought and prediction.
He said, "No one's given me a kiss on the cheek for giving them a piece of Nicorette gum, but I have gotten that for giving them an electronic cigarette". Mr. Sweanor held a strong belief that using electronic cigarette poses a risk reduction strategy to smokers. To ascertain his belief, he said, "People smoke for the nicotine, they die from the smoke".?
Elsewhere, e-cigarette regulations vary from one country to another. For instance:
In U.K, the government announced last week that it plans to treat an e-cigarette as a medicine. This will commence in 2016.
In France, the government plans to stop the use of e-cigarettes in public places and venues.
A report from the U.K's Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency said that Europe would impose wide regulations that are to be introduced in U.K by 2016.
In 2009, the U.S Food and Drug Administration conducted research on two brands of an e-cigarette and found that there were traces of harmful substances and carcinogens. Following the discovery of these dangerous substances (which were said to be used in the manufacturing of anti-freeze), shipments from china were temporarily halted until a federal judge ruled that electronic cigarettes were to be regulated as tobacco products rather than being regulated as drug or medical devices. (New York Times)
In march, the government of Australia said that it was concerned with the increased use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, and stated that effects of using these products was not known at the moment and could be harmful to the community.
In Singapore, it is illegal to import, distribute, or sell anything that resembles cigarettes and related products.
Dr. Peter Selby, the "chief of the addictions division at the center for Addition and Mental Health" in Toronto, said that it not only nicotine that causes harm, but there are other chemicals. He said, "We really don't know whether these are meeting any kinds of standards of safety for people to inhale on them, whether they have nicotine or not"
According to Mr.Selby, it is not known whether companies manufacturing e-cigarettes meet the regulatory inspection standards for production of healthy products that do not explode or cause burns. In addition, there is a need for doing a comparison between the potential harm of inhaling nicotine from an e-cigarette and the risk from using a regular cigarette.
Mr. Selby continued to say, "We need a framework to study that and understand it so we can actually tell smokers it is a safer option. Right now, it looks like we have got to head in the sand. If you take the nicotine out of the tobacco and only give people nicotine, the potential harm is likely very, very small."
In Canada, during January National Non-Smoking Week, the Canadian Lung Association asked people to stop smoking using methods that have been scientifically proved like nicotine replacement gums and patches. This group also warned people under the age of 18 that they should not be attracted by the appealing flavors that an e-cig had.