E-cigarettes – not a healthy alternative for smoking
For some time, the electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) experiences an increasing attention and dissemination. E-cigarettes are made of a mouthpiece, a battery, an electric nebulizer and an AC-cartridge, in which there is a liquid. This liquid is nebulized and inhaled when pulling on the mouthpiece. In many models, while a diode (LED) on the front end lights up that mimics the glow of a tobacco cigarette. Consuming e-cigarette is called “vaping”.
The liquid of the E-cigarettes, as the main component contains parts of propylene glycol, water, glycerol, ethanol, nicotine and often different flavoring agents. Liquids without nicotine are also available. Some laboratory examined Liquids containing small amounts of toxic substances such as tobacco-specific nitrosamines and diethylene glycol (DEG), in exceptional cases even prescription drugs were found (drugs to treat obesity/impotence). E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco.
The long-term health effects of the consumption of E-cigarette are still unknown. Short term detrimental effects on the respiratory system were detected after only a few strokes on the e-cigarette:
– Pronounced airway constrictions;
– Decrease of nitric oxide in exhaled air, it indicates inflammation in the bronchi;
– Irritation in the throat and mouth;
– Dry cough;
The long-term effects of inhaled propylene glycol is still unknown. Since the short term triggers respiratory irritation, it can be assumed that the permanent use can also cause damage to the respiratory tract. It remains unclear also whether propylene glycol has adverse effects on reproduction. The nicotine contained in most liquids is a narcotic which is highly addictive and can lead to long-term use in cardiovascular disease. Another danger comes from the high nicotine content in the refill. This is many times higher than the lethal dose for adults and children if swallowed.
Currently, e-cigarettes and Liquids are not subject to uniform regulation or quality control. It can not therefore be ensured that in fact only the specified and no further, harmful ingredients are included. The production of the remaining components of the e-cigarette is not independently controlled so that, for example, no consistent release of ingredients – especially of nicotine – is guaranteed. Missing quality controls could also apply to the German and US media reported his symptoms of poisoning and injuries due to exploding batteries charge.
In spring 2014, the European Parliament passed a new tobacco directive, which includes regulated as nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. The Member States have until May 2016 to transpose the directives into national law.
The new guidelines specify uniform quality and safety requirements for nicotine-containing e-cigarettes without nicotine products are not affected by the provisions against it. The concentration of nicotine in the liquids must not exceed 20mg nicotine per ml in the future. Consumers must also be informed by information on the packaging of the exact ingredients of Liquids. Before a new e-cigarette model comes on the market, the manufacturer is also required to demonstrate the safety of use of the product.