Cigarette smoking has become a serious issue, where in the US alone, 480000 deaths were caused by smoking in under a year. Cigarettes cause a various amount of illnesses, such as lung cancer, stomach cancer, blood clotting, and blood cancer. They also contain around 3500 chemicals, such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and substances found in moth repellent and nail polish. Nicotine – the drug that makes smokers addicted to the substance – is found to increase heart rate, whilst carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. It mixes with haemoglobin in the red blood cells, preventing the oxygen from combining with the haemoglobin, causing an increase in heart rate so that it can catch up with the reduced amount of oxygen carried in the blood. This is a clear issue for the health of smokers, and a solution to substitute cigarettes is using E-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain liquids with substances such as nicotine, propylene glycol, flavourings, and other chemicals. Some liquid flavourings can be chosen to not contain nicotine, and they are mainly used as a substitute for tobacco to decrease the number of health issues that follow with it. This is done by gradually cutting off the amount of nicotine the E-cigarette smoker includes in the liquid to overcome their addiction. E-cigarettes can be a solution to this issue, although researchers recently studied how E-cigarettes affect monocytes (white blood cells) when exposed to the flavoured chemicals in the liquids. None of the liquids contained nicotine, but the flavouring chemicals still impacted an increase in inflammation and tissue damage, and many of them also caused these cells to die. Exposing these cells to mixtures that contain more than one flavour was found to cause a larger reaction than using one flavour, the study found. Over time, according to Irfan Rahman, who is an environmental health researcher at a Medical University, this type of cell damage can lead to lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, fibrosis, and asthma.
“Nicotine-free e-liquids have generally been considered safe; however, the impact of flavouring chemicals, especially on immune cells, has not been widely researched,” Rahman said.
This study has a possible limitation as they didn’t test actual people vaping and breathing in the liquids. The study doesn’t offer a reliable conclusion to fully address the potential health issues that occur through the use of e-cigarettes. This means that more research is needed to understand the impact e-cigarettes has on our health.
Also, according to a report by a European Department of Health, researchers, scientists, and professors found that E-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes. The report also states that they can be used to be an approach to quitting smoking habits. The Royal College of General Practitioners also approves that E-cigarettes help to stop smoking. Data from UK health authorities show that in 2015, two-thirds of people who transferred to e-cigarettes were successful to quit smoking.
In conclusion, although there are minor health issues that follow up, we can say that smoking e-cigarettes is a solution to the problem with tobacco. It overcomes the addiction with nicotine and has fewer health issues compared to normal cigarettes (where more reliable sources stating the positives and less reliable sources stating the negatives).