An electronic cigarette, also referred to as an e-cigarette, uses an electronic device to produce aerosol by heating a liquid. The user inhales the aerosol in what is referred to as vaping. The liquid in e-cigarettes, or e-liquid, is made of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and added flavorings. Some e-liquids do not contain nicotine.
The safety of e-cigarettes is not clearly established yet because of the scarcity of data and variability of the liquid ingredients. In 2014, the World Health Organization cautioned against the potential risks of using e-cigarettes while other reviews suggest that e-cigarettes may be less harmful than smoking tobacco. However, the general consensus is that e-cigarettes cannot be considered harmless.
E-cigarettes have been found to reduce myocardial and lung function and increase existing inflammation. They are also believed to have toxic content, including carcinogens. There is no available data yet on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. Studies conducted in 2015 suggested some adverse effects related to e-cigarettes such as seizure, hypotension, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, congestive heart failure, and disorientation. Other potential effects include headache, abdominal pain, blurry vision, vomiting, coughing, throat, and mouth irritation.
In addition to the adverse effects of e-cigarettes, there are risks associated with e-cigarette misuse or accidents, including nicotine poisoning, fire resulting from vaporizer malfunction, and explosions arising from extended charging. E-cigarettes have batteries that may combust due to internal battery temperature.
E-liquids could become contaminated with chemicals. The metal parts of the e-cigarette could come in contact with the liquid, resulting in metal contamination, which could adversely affect the quality of the aerosol product. Chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde, can be unintentionally produced when the heating element reacts chemically with the liquid. Newer versions of e-cigarettes that use higher power can generate increased levels of formaldehyde. The lack of regulation for the use of e-cigarettes may mean more adverse side effects and health risks that are not yet detected.
For a known quantity, consider smoking a world-class cigar at Torch Cigar Bar, also referred to as the High Street cigar shop in Phoenix. At Torch, we carry a huge selection of fine cigars from around the world. Though some people may contend that e-cigarettes are safer, there are still a lot of unknowns in terms of future health risks.