Safe Smoking?

Since e-cigarettes don’t contain the harmful chemicals and tar found in regular cigarettes, are they a safe alternative?

There’s a new fad among smokers: e-cigarettes. Short for electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes are powered by batteries and are made to look like cigarettes, pipes, cigars, pens or even USB memory sticks. Rather than releasing foul-smelling tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes emit water vapor that contains nicotine and flavoring from an inner cartridge. It’s this aerosol that’s inhaled instead of smoke. Using e-cigarettes is commonly known as vaping. Manufacturers claim their product to be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but doctors and the FDA disagree.

While e-cigarettes may be the lesser of two evils, they’ve only been around for a few years, so their danger is essentially unknown. Are they safe or just safer? A fitness center in Chester reviewed several articles and uncovered the good and the bad about e-cigarettes, so you can be an informed consumer.

The Better Side

When compared to traditional combustible cigarettes, the e-cigarette is a safer alternative for the following reasons. First, they don’t contain tobacco or create smoke. Second, they only contain propylene glycol (PEG), flavoring, and may or may not contain nicotine. This is in contrast to regular cigarettes, which contain nicotine and PEG, as well as 4,000 chemicals and 43 known cancer-causing agents.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a safe way to “smoke” in smoke-free locations like restaurants, as a healthier alternative for those already addicted to nicotine, or even as a way to quit smoking altogether. Another positive when it comes to e-cigarettes is that they are green. A personal trainer in Chester explains that, no smoke is emitted and less trash is created.

The Bad Side

Safe as they may seem, you’re still inhaling harmful substances into your lungs with an e-cigarette. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that’s known to increase your risk of heart attack, raise blood pressure, constrict arteries, and speed up your heart rate. Additionally, liquid nicotine, like that found in e-cigarettes, is poisonous. If a child or pet drinks or touches liquid nicotine he/she could be seriously poisoned or even die.

Another downside is that e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough for studies to be performed on the effects of long-term usage. This means potential health risks are unknown.

While some hope e-cigarettes will lessen a person’s exposure to nicotine, the electronic alternative may actually do the opposite, since e-cigarettes can be used in situations where you couldn’t smoke before.

Additionally, though e-cigarettes aren’t supposed to be marketed to minors, enticing flavors like bubble gum, cotton candy, and Mountain Dew are available. And once kids are exposed to nicotine through an e-cigarette, they’re likely to start smoking.

What Side Wins?

You can decide for yourself the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, but it’s probably best to err on the side of safety. However, if you want to quit smoking regular cigarettes, vaping may be the way to go. A recent study showed e-cigarettes to be 60 percent more effective at helping you quit the habit than gum, nicotine patches, or using nothing at all. This is because e-cigarettes come in various nicotine strengths. They allow you to start out full strength and over a period of time lower the strength until you’re nicotine-free.

Either way you look at it, e-cigarettes are gaining popularity and press. Vaping is now a booming business with more than 450 brands on the market and 7,000 flavors to choose from. Will you buy into this new industry?

E-Cig Science. Chester Fit Body Boot Camp reviewed a recent study in Britain, which claims that electronic cigarettes could save the lives of 6,000 smokers each year.