On 9th June 2012, scientists from the University of Athens, Greece prove that the ‘healthiest’ tobacco substitute is the most dangerous one. The scientists stated at the European Respiratory Society`s Annual Congress 2012 in Vienna that electronic cigarettes should present serious concern for people that use them regularly.
The so-called e-cigarettes are widely used by people who`ve been hopefully trying to quit smoking tobacco. Anyhow, doctors are baffled as to whether cigarettes complete the ‘not so dangerous’ picture of the tobacco companies while being the most malevolent silent killer or are the shortest way one can take to have healthy lungs again.
To make the study relevant Professor Christina Gratziou and her team tested the e-cigarettes on individuals with no health problems, as well as on long-term smokers with no lung capacity.
The experiment was conducted on 32 individuals, 8 of whom never lighted a cigarette and 24 were regular smokers. Some of the group lived with asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and some were perfectly healthy.
First, they were asked to use the e-cigarette, then fill up their lungs with vapor and after 10 minutes a spirometry test would be conducted to measure the airway resistance. The spirometry test will measure airflow resistance in the respiratory tract during inhalation and exhalation.
Ten minutes after, they found that e-cigarettes interfered with the normal flow of the air in the respiratory tract in the majority of the participants. For instance:
- Non-smokers – inhaling smoke for just 10 minutes caused their airway resistance to increase up to 206% from the average 182%. These people never smoked a cigarette in their lives and yet researchers stated this as a “significant increase”.
- Current regular smokers – the regular smokers` spirometry test showed a surprising airway resistance to 220% from 176% after filling their lungs with smoke for 10 minutes.
- COPD and Asthma patients there wasn’t any significant change in airway resistance from using one e-cigarette for 10 minutes.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers in Buffalo, New York conducted a study (published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) which concluded that a growing number of excessive e-cigarettes smokers should either cease smoking or reduce their tobacco-cigarette consumption.
Doctors and scientists share the same opinion about the harmful effects of tobacco smoking, as tobacco are way more dangerous than e – cigarettes.
As Professor Christina Gratziou, who is Chair of the European Respiratory Society
Tobacco Control Committee said:
“We do not yet know whether unapproved nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes, are safer than normal cigarettes, despite marketing claims that they are less harmful. This research helps us to understand how these products could be potentially harmful. “
“We found an immediate rise in airway resistance in our group of participants, which suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device. More research is needed to understand whether this harm also has lasting effects in the long-term […] The ERS recommends following effective smoking cessation treatment guidelines based on clinical evidence which do not advocate the use of such products.”
What you need to know about electronic cigarettes
The so called vaporizer cigarettes which are powered by a tiny battery are widely used as a tobacco substitute and release doses of water vapor that does not contain nicotine.
According to distributors and electronic cigarettes marketers, e-cigarettes are the healthiest choice that a tobacco smoker makes because they cease to inhale the lethal tobacco smoke that contains over 4,000 toxic chemicals.
E-cigarette users seem to be satisfied with the replacement saying that the feeling is almost as good as tobacco smoking except that there isn’t any actual smoke coming out.
Electronic cigarettes have a long tube-like design, have a battery-powered mechanism and look and feel like regular cigarettes. They use cartridges filled with a liquid that contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. A heating device in the e-cigarette converts the liquid into a vapor, which the person inhales.
Regular tobacco smokers find it very easy to use the e-cigarettes because the activity is virtually identical to tobacco smoking.
A typical electronic cigarette is made of the following components:
- The mouthpiece – the replaceable cartridge is placed here. The user sucks or inhales from the mouthpiece.
- The atomizer – a heating element which vaporizes the liquid solution. The vapors are inhaled. In most devices, the atomizer needs to be replaced every three to six months.
- The battery – this is usually a rechargeable lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The battery is the power-source for the heating element. There is also some electronic circuitry in the device, such as the airflow sensor, a timed cutoff switch to prevent overheating, and a colored LED (light emitting diode) to indicate the device has been activated.
Electronic cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Western Europe. The most probable estimation might be tens of millions users on a worldwide scale.