Modified on: 23/08/2022
Everything you need to know if you are wondering if electronic cigarettes are bad for your health
Would you like to quit smoking the analog cigarette with the help of the e-cig? But you have a big question: “Are electronic cigarettes bad for you?“.
In fact, many diametrically opposed things are being said about e-cigs: they are dangerous / they are not dangerous, e cigarette liquid are not harmful / they are harmful, e cigarettes do not cause damage to the respiratory system / could cause damage… And much more!
But what is the truth? Is using the electronic cigarette bad or not? During this in-depth study we want to give you an idea of the (updated) studies on the subject, and we will also explain the reason for the conflicting opinions.
Why does someone say that the e-cigarette is bad for you?
Frequently the news is scary, and without relevant scientific studies and researches, it is feared that the electronic cigarette is bad for your health. The inhalation of vaping liquids involves absorption by our body; this is exactly what worries so many people.
Secondly, there is the possibility of using e liquid with nicotine UK. We know nicotine is dangerous, so why shouldn’t it compromise our health even when diluted?
Today, the electronic cigarette is no longer a novelty: this device was born in 2003, but since then it has been highly perfected and regulations have also been introduced that regulate the production of vaping products (such as liquids, the e liquid base, the electronic cigarette flavours).
That’s not all: an important limit has also been imposed on the quantities of nicotine allowed and on the methods of sale: nicotine must always be diluted in a base of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin or water and its concentrations must not exceed 20 mg / ml.
In addition, the studies conducted on the use of the electronic cigarette were carried out mainly in the USA, where the regulations on liquids and various vaping products are not yet in force.
Limits of the electronic cigarette in the UK and in the USA
In the United States, the regulations on e cig liquid are less strict than those in the UK, in particular as regards the limits of nicotine and its delivery method. On the contrary: we can say that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has drawn up rules that are not yet in force and that the various US states are acting a bit on their own, regardless of the federal regulations.
In addition, also in the USA, there have been numerous cases of death or intoxication from THC and other substances added to e liquid.
It is therefore clearly understandable that the scientific community is concerned about it, but perhaps some rules could raise public and scientific opinion regarding the damage of the electronic cigarette on the lungs, the cardiovascular system and the whole body in general.
However, in Europe the rules are very strict precisely to limit the damage to consumers as much as possible. Here are the main differences in the world of electronic cigarettes in the USA and the EU:
- European Union: maximum limit of nicotine equal to 20 mg / ml in all vaping products that may contain it (nicotine shots and electronic cigarette liquids with nicotine).
- USA: no limit for nicotine concentrations in vaping products.
- European Union: vaping liquids must be sold in 10ml bottles, while the pre-loaded pods must be 2ml maximum.
- USA: no limits in this regard.
- European Union: liquids for electronic cigarettes cannot contain numerous substances including caffeine, vitamins, taurine and many others.
- USA: no ban on this.
Who knows why in the USA there have been several deaths due to substances placed in vaping liquids, while in the UK no. Maybe it is due to the introduction of very clear and strict regulations in Europe and the absence of such regulation in the United States?
So what’s the truth about the harm of e-cigarette liquids?
There is no absolute truth about it precisely because most of the e cigarette studies have been conducted in the US and because the long-term damage of using vaping products is not known.
However, we can rely on the information reported on the website of the AIRC, Foundation for Cancer Research:
it seems that prolonged use of propylene glycol can irritate the airways, causing cough and small symptoms of respiratory fatigue;
vaporization of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin (the ingredients of the base liquid e cig) can produce carcinogenic substances such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.
But, the AIRC website reports the following information:
“Heating propylene glycol and glycerin can produce formaldehyde and acetaldehyde which, at higher doses than those taken with the e-cig, are considered certain carcinogens included in group 1 of IARC carcinogens”
Furthermore, nicotine promotes hypertension and diabetes, so its use is recommended only if you quit smoking the analog cigarette. In fact, the difference between the analog cigarette and the electronic cigarette is immense, so much so that even the AIRC suggests using the e-cig to quit smoking.
Read also: 3 reasons not to choose CBD e-liquid
The electronic cigarette produces less damage than the classic cigarette
Here are the main reasons why we recommend using the electronic cigarette to quit smoking:
- With the electronic cigarette you avoid the inhalation of substances that are very harmful to your orgnanism (caused by the combustion of paper and tobacco) and highly carcinogenic. In fact, the e-cig vaporizes the liquid by heating, while the analog cigarette uses combustion: with the combustion of cigarettes, you inhale both the nicotine of the tobacco and toxic gases and tar, a situation absent with the use of the electronic cigarette.
- If you are a smoker, the use of nicotine in controlled quantities in vaping liquids allows you to abandon the analog cigarette.
- You can customize the amounts of nicotine in e cigarette liquid, using high percentages as soon as you quit the cigarette and lowering them as the months pass by. From here starts the fourth point …
- If you want, with the electronic cigarette you can progressively reduce the nicotine percentages up to 0. Of course this is impossible with classic cigarettes.
- Nebulized liquids are much less harmful than secondhand smoke, so the electronic cigarette is less harmful – than the analogue one – even for the people around you.
For these and other reasons, the use of e-cigarettes is recommended for people who want to quit smoking. At the same time, due to the potential damage resulting from frequent inhalation of vaping liquids, the use of the electronic cigarette is not recommended for non-smokers.
Sources: AIRC, electronic cigarette and cancer from the original italian article https://www.airc.it/cancro/informazioni-tumori/corretta-informazione/la-sigaretta-elettronica-è-meno-pericolosa-della-sigaretta-di-tabacco