Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?
Quite apart from concerns over the nature of e-cigarette liquid and inhaling vaporized nicotine, there is another battle between vapers and skeptics. Are electronic cigarettes even safe to use? Do they pose a threat the way any electronic device might?
Batteries are not without their dangers, although consumers use them every day in countless ways without giving them a second thought. Is the situation somehow different when you use a vaporizing system?
One must not forget that electronic cigarettes are designed to operate at high enough temperatures to vaporize liquid material.
That is hot indeed, so if there are inherent risks to operating any electronic item, this forms part of the concern. Will a malfunction lead to greater danger when one uses a heated vaping pen versus a Smart Phone or handheld GPS?
Early on, well-publicized troubles with chargers catching fire and e cigs that exploded could have brought this industry to its knees. Accidents and even tragedies associated with vaping painted a grim picture if you were searching for the darkest side of this industry, eager to overlook the way chargers and battery-operated products of other sorts have also malfunctioned spectacularly. Whatever you use a battery for, there are children prepared to swallow them and wall adapters that will overheat in the night.
At least, they would have 5 years ago. Extra safety measures put in place as a result of these accidents have made e cigs safer.
Even the smallest e cig has a built-in microprocessor; a tiny computer that controls how the battery and heating coil work and will, potentially, shut the device off in the event of danger.
More complex e cigs with variable voltage and wattage controls provide excellent coverage against a shorted circuit, low voltage, overcharging during the night, and other potential catastrophes. A device will simply shut down if overheating is detected by the tiny but sophisticated computer chip inside.
Inhalation of Vapor
Arguments always come around once more to the issue of e liquid and its safety. Advocates relate e liquid safety to that of cigarette smoke. The FDA and non-vapers aren’t looking for relative values but data regarding e liquid in its own right.
They are right to be concerned: many vapers have been so caught up with the fact they aren’t inhaling smoke anymore that they forgot about nicotine and how much damage this could be doing. Nicotine, no matter how you cut it, is a highly addictive stimulant.
What’s In The Vapor?
There is also the question of what all is being released into the individual’s lungs as well as the atmosphere via the vapor which is used as a delivery system for nicotine and the flavorings. There are various ratios of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine used in the liquid which is vaporized. Along with that is how the liquid is heated, and what that vapor contains under normal circumstances, as well as when people have powerful devices that produce lots of vapor.
There are numerous studies being released, some of which argue very heavily on both sides of this (some say there are some levels of toxins worse than that which is in cigarette smoke, such as formaldehyde, and others that say the danger levels of vapor are comparable to ambient air in their toxicity).
Both of these sides of the research (that they are highly toxic, or not highly toxic) are also highly debated. Whether a study comes out stating that they are safe, or dangerous, there are typically counter arguments to both of these as well.
Of course this then leads to conspiracy theories and such, and it’s impossible to come up with something that everyone can agree on, but there is a lot of money involved in this industry, which some claim influences certain publications, as they are suspicious that certain institutions have an agenda in relation to it.
All of that can all be interesting, frustrating, or even entertaining, but eventually facts will come out after some years of research, and we will know more, and in the meantime, there is a lot of optimism and hope from many organizations that these will indeed turn out to be an alternative that is better in many ways.
Also, nowadays, vaping is pretty widespread, and rather than looking to find answers in these contradictory publications, there are enough vapers where most people can find out how it has been for friends and family, and make their own assessments, based on the experiences of people they know.
Other E-Juice Ingredients and Flavorings
Scientists also continue to study the contents of colorants and food flavorings which consumers regularly consume in processed foods and fizzy drinks. To be fair, many detractors of the e liquid industry eat processed food containing these ingredients but point a finger at nicotine juice as unhealthy. Maybe they fail to realize the nature of their diets, but often this position is simply hypocritical.
A generation of consumers, however, has turned away from artificial ingredients and is looking for the best and shortest lists of ingredients which do not contain colors and artificial flavors because of their uncertainty.
At least, commercially available food is prepared and packaged in factories complying with strict health regulations. Can e liquid companies say the same thing?
There is a good chance they can’t. Most of the dozens of gourmet e juice firms make no statements regarding their production techniques or the state of their manufacturing environment. It might be a room, a kitchen, a laboratory: consumers just don’t know.
The safety of electronic cigarettes is not in doubt if you buy a brand name from a reputable dealer, not from a kiosk or a TV promotion. E liquid, however, still needs to be debated in scientific circles for its inherent safety over the long term.