An Updated Overview of E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes (also called electronic nicotine delivery systems, ENDS) are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid solution containing nicotine to produce an aerosol that the user inhales. Their popularity has skyrocketed due to aggressive marketing efforts, attractive flavor options, and the widespread perception that these alternatives are safer than traditional cigarettes. What do you consider about BC5000.
The long-term effects of vaping remain unknown, while recent incidents involving lung injuries due to vaping indicate the need for additional regulation of these products.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes enable people to inhale nicotine through vapor rather than smoke and are used by both smokers and non-smokers alike. E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco but heat a liquid (called an “e-liquid”) containing nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavorings to create vapor. Vaping refers to using an e-cigarette.
Many youths are exposed to electronic-cigarette marketing through social media platforms, with around 70% of middle and high school students reporting seeing ads for these devices in 2019. Though exposure levels to e-cigarette aerosol are significantly lower than exposure to tobacco smoke, long-term usage could still have adverse health impacts.
Most e-cigarettes sold in the US contain nicotine, coming in different flavors such as candy or fruit products. One study revealed that 99% of all disposable, rechargeable, and refillable devices, such as prefilled cartridges or e-liquid bottles sold at convenience stores, gas stations, or similar outlets, contained nicotine.
Research demonstrates that youth and young adult users of electronic cigarettes cite flavored e-cigs as one of the main drivers behind starting use, mainly JUUL’s extensive marketing to youth via social media; its market share among teens and young adults is reported as significant.
How do E-Cigarettes Work?
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that vaporize liquid solutions containing nicotine, marijuana, and other flavors, such as tobacco. Users puff on the device or “vape” to activate its heating mechanism and inhale its vapor – often with cooling effects to alleviate throat irritation. E-cigarettes may contain harmful chemicals, including heavy metals like lead, nickel, and cadmium, as w, cadmium andrette use has raised serious public health concerns among young people. A recent survey conducted with youth and young adult e-cigarette users showed they most commonly chose “they come in flavors I like” as the primary factor driving their usage. Furthermore, an experiment on rats revealed chronic nicotine exposure could impair cognitive functions like attention span and impulsivity during adulthood.
Government officials have implemented policy initiatives to discourage youth use of e-cigarettes, including increasing the legal age of purchasing tobacco products to 21 and classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products under the Tobacco Control Act. Recently, FDA released its deeming regulation that classifies any device or product that contains nicotine as a tobacco product and grants FDA authority over product standards, marketing/advertising/sales, and distribution for e-cigarettes.
JUUL, an electronic cigarette brand popular with teens and young adults, has grown increasingly popular since it started heavily advertising its products through social media. A study conducted among college students discovered that seeing celebrities endorse JUUL products on its social media pages increased their intentions to use the product and positive attitudes about them.
What are the Health Risks of E-Cigarettes?
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance that harms adolescents’ developing brains and can hinder attention and learning.1 Nicotine addiction has also been associated with later life use of tobacco products, including cigarettes.
E-cigarette aerosols contain dangerous chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds and metals, that may damage lung tissue or lead to serious illness. At the same time, unlabeled child-safe containers often sell e-liquids with nicotine concentrations nearing lethal dose levels for children3.
Though nicotine poses health risks, e-cigarettes have quickly become the preferred tobacco product among youth. Nearly one-fifth of high school students reported current e-cigarette usage in 2020. Exposure to advertising for these devices led to their rapid rise. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence they help smokers quit, nor any proof they don’t expose users to carcinogens in e-liquid solutions and vapor. These concerns should be taken seriously, given this growth is alarming as there’s no scientific backing that they work as advertised.
How Can I Stop Smoking E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices designed to create vaporized nicotine for inhalation. E-liquid contains nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavorings; users puff on the device to activate its heating mechanism. E-cigarettes may also be used as delivery systems for marijuana or other drugs and are popular among youth and young adults; however, minors cannot purchase or use e-cigarettes in the US.
Manufacturers and sellers frequently target young adults and youth by appealing to them with appealing flavors or offering college scholarships, selling through traditional retail outlets like convenience stores, the internet, and at recreational venues or events.
Youth and young adult users citing flavors they enjoy as the main factor for using electronic cigarettes are often those associated with them, according to a 2020 JAMA Network Open study. More than twice as likely for those smoking flavored than unflavored cigarettes!
If you’re considering quitting electronic cigarettes, getting support from friends and family members can help immensely. Consult with your physician about strategies for leaving and joining a support group; find other activities to distract yourself from cravings, such as taking a walk, calling a friend, brushing your teeth, or simply drinking a glass of water can also be helpful ways to stay on track.
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