Birth of E-cigs
Electronic cigarettes are also called as electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) or vaporiser and are redolent of cigarette smoke and hence the term vaping as against smoking. E-cigarettes are available on vape shop and are devices that run on a battery, liquid containing nicotine, mouthpiece and heating coil. Turning on the switch activates the battery heats the coil which aerosolises the solution of nicotine, foodgrade flavours and diluents like vegetable glycerine and/or propylene glycerine. This vapour is then inhaled and nicotine enters the blood stream through mouth, lungs and throat. E-cigarettes simulate the conventional smoking and its nicotine content sans the toxic effects of smoking. Conventional smoking involves inhaling smoke into lungs and then exhaling it.
Smoke is also given off from the kindled end of the cigarette and thus it releases the toxic elements into the air. To the contrary e-cigs do not emit any smoke as there is no combustion; vapour is emitted only when the user exhales. The appealing part of E-cigs is the addition of flavourants ranging from cotton candy, vanilla, bubble gum, mint, chocolate truffle, gummy bears and whiskey. However the addition of flavouring additives has been criticised because they appeal to youngsters who cut and run to have a drag. Against the telling questions posed with respect to the health hazards of smoking, Hon Lik (a Chinese Pharmacist) developed an electronic substitute of traditional cigarettes in 2003. E-cigs are found helpful in quitting smoking as the users are able to cope with the after-effects of quitting.
Initially E-cigs were not under the ambit of tobacco regulations and their sales were articulately carried out online. Their popularity was not a spread-like-wildfire phenomenon, rather it was slow. Only few people used them wanted to replace their traditional smoking habit. When companies like Lorillard and Reynolds American got intrigued by this device, advertisements increased and in a short while e-cigs came to be known as smoking-cessation substance, which surged their popularity.
There are three types of vaporisers available in the market:
“Cig-a-like” products – This e-cigarette replicates the design of traditional cigarettes tobacco. When the user sucks the device, the light at the end glows to ape the actual lit tobacco cigarette. They are either rechargeable kits or non-rechargeable discardable models and include replaceable pre-filled cartridges.
‘Tank’ models – These are also called as vape pens. Tank models of e-cigs have come to be known as vaporises. They are rechargeable and have a tank filled with nicotine liquid.
Mods’: They are called as personal vaporisers and are a little complex than tank model. They are capable of being manually customised by adjusting the voltage on the device.
However smoking e-cigs is not 100 percent benign it can inroad into the body and cause health problems. Different studies have revealed that vapour of e-cigs has traces of products of thermal breakdown and other contaminants that procreate health problems but the likelihood of causing serious threat is lesser. The problem of nicotine toxicity has also been characterised as potential health hazards which includes symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, nausea, agitation and vomiting.
An unverified and unpublished story in Japan has suggested that vapours of e-cigs contain formaldehyde levels more than 10 times than that of tobacco smoke. However nuanced, cut and dried results have enunciated that formaldehyde levels were 6-50 times lower than the tobacco cigarettes. Under normal operating conditions the presence of formaldehyde was not detected.
E-cigarette vapour has been found to contain traces of metals but at very low levels that do not pose an eminent threat. Laws regulating the contents used in the production of device would diminish this still further. A study conducted in February 2015 revealed that when mice were exposed to the vapour of e-cigs, they evinced signs of maimed pulmonary anti-microbial defences. The application of the results to human beings is wobbly and flaky as it could not measure effects for cigarette smoke for comparisons.
Though vaping is believed to be less detrimental than conventional smoking, it somehow calibrates the smoking trend in the people and at the integrated-population level is hazardous. The published materials have talked about the less insalubrious effects which in a way has renormalized smoking and eclipsed the taboo associated with smoking. People may also retract from quitting smoking as e-cigs will do away with withdrawal discomforts. E- cigarettes have been superseded by more sophisticated technology which it is believed delivers more nicotine to users. It could work as a gateway to embroil teenagers into smoking and on the pretext of addition of kiddie flavour will entice children into nicotine addiction and eventually on to smoking.
FDA AND E-cigs
The recent regulations of US Food and Drug Administration on e-cigs and vaping products have been lauded by various health groups. The regulations, reining in the production of e-cigs have appended the submission of a pre-market approval application to remain in the market. The primary part of the regulation is that as of 8 August new vaping products will not be allowed in the market because any change in the product will deemed to be a new product. The regulations have been hauled over to coals and the two-fold argument presented by the critics. The regulations do not allow an iota of change in the products.
For instance if a company wants to incorporate a rechargeable battery so that abate the occurrence of battery explosions, this will not be approved because it would mean introducing a new tobacco product in the market. Also if company wants to use a purer version of propylene glycol to impede diethylene glycol (a poison) from mixing with the e-liquid would also be proscribed. This means that FDA will freeze impure liquids, defective coils, batteries and in way will put the peoples’ health into greater risk as the companies will be prohibited to address the problems.
FDA along with its regulations has made a Laurel and Hardy of themselves. The regulations have crippled the scope of innovations as new and improved products have been banned. The market will become a great inventory of hazardous products because the e-cigarette businessmen will not be able to refine their products and improvise them, which is indubitably not in the interests of the public.