With so many people quitting smoking and then switching to e-cigarettes, the question about their safety is becoming a sticking point for the industry. Are e-cigarettes safe? Is vaping safe? Are e-cigarettes safer than regular cigarettes? And do we need to be concerned with children taking up e-cigarette use, even the bubble-gum flavored variety? The FDA regulates e-cigarettes just like cigarettes, with more regulations coming in 2018. However, public misconceptions about the safety of vaping are a growing concern about use around and by children. And this is where Mamavation comes in to evaluate the use of e-cigarettes to give you a better understanding of how best to deal with this situation with your family. We’ve already covered foods that are linked with cancer, let’s explore if there are any concerns you should have with e-cigarettes and vaping.
The Surgeon General of the United States concluded that e-cigarettes are not harmless, but the FDA does not require labels warning against the dangers of nicotine…yet. They will start to warn consumers about the danger of nicotine in August of 2018. But this doesn’t mean that e-cigarettes are safe. There is research to suggest that there are dangers lurking in that bubblegum-flavored vapors as well. What type of dangers? Well, cancer. Some research is claiming that e-cigarettes are safer long-term than cigarettes and other tobacco products, but there is no long-term research regarding vaping and the chemicals present in the ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) solution. However, some evidence is starting to show the link between vaping and cancer.
There is definite concern about the dangerous chemicals that can lurk in the vaping solutions and the fun flavors that entice young users. And to make matters worse, studies have shown that vaping today leads to tobacco use later. But the vaping today can also be dangerous. In fact, in 2014 a child died from ingesting vaping solution with nicotine.
E-Cigarettes Are A Household Danger
Acute nicotine toxicity is a rising and lethal problem. According to US poison control centers, from September 2010 to February 2014, calls rose from one per month to 215 a month. Most ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) solution exposures were ages 0-5 years old. Over half included vomiting, nausea and eye irritation. And sadly, there was one death in 2014 from ingestion.
E-cigarettes have also made the news several times for substantial injuries sustained when the device caught on fire or explodes. According to a 2014 US Fire Administration report, 80 percent of incidents studied occurred while charging. Nine out of 25 incidents caused serious injury, including first and second degree burns to a three-year-old.
E-Cigarettes Are a Gateway to Smoking Cigarettes
E-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking later in life. Think about it — Strawberry, vanilla and piña colada flavors are all a draw for younger users. Using e-cigarettes today can start a nicotine addiction in adolescents & teenagers that starts the path toward cigarettes and other tobacco products later in life. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers looked at the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They found that among teens who have never used cigarettes, 58 percent of those who have used flavored e-cigs planned to smoke cigarettes. The US Surgeon General’s 2016 report E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults said, “E-cigarette use is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products among youth and young adults, including combustible tobacco products.”
And if you don’t think they have access to e-cigarettes, think again. Finding establishments that will sell to young children isn’t as hard as you may think. 75 percent of teens were successful at buying online while underage in one study, with 95 percent of purchases left at the door and ages unverified at delivery.
Breathe In And Expel Toxins
Secondhand e-cigarette smoke is harmful, but most Americans are under the impression they are not. Two-fifths of American adults believe there is no real harm in children’s exposure to secondhand vaping. One-third do not know whether the secondhand exposure can harm children. However, the US Surgeon General has decided it is not harmless and contains harmful and potentially harmful chemicals. These include the following substances you don’t want children inhaling:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs;
- Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead;
- Diacetyl, a flavoring chemical linked to a serious lung disease; and
- Volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust.
Teens are also at a higher risk of abusing the product and being exposed to more toxins. One in four teens has tried dripping. This involves dropping the liquid directly onto the exposed heating coil, creating a thicker smoke in the throat and a stronger hit. It also allows them to change flavors more easily.
In addition, some vape products contain propylene glycol as a base. This converts into formaldehyde and other carcinogens when heated to high temperatures. It is also one of the proponents that affects children, causing allergic and asthmatic reactions. Avoid products with propylene glycol and use lower-temp devices when possible. In one study, vape pens that used 3.3 volts or less were found not to produce formaldehyde. So if you do use vaping equipment PLEASE get something using less than 3.3 volts.
Read the Studies About E-Cigarettes Carefully And Follow The Money
Special interests that are more concerned with a profiting business than human health are confusing the public. And thus, studies and organizations are constantly pushing conflicting opinions of safety to the public. But to get at the truth, you need to follow the money. You have the industry science that says it’s completely safe on one hand and independent scientists and public health on the other hand warning of its dangers. For instance, organizations that repeatedly defend e-cigarette use have had information leaked showing they accept money from tobacco companies. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t, given how tobacco companies have operated in the past.
Long story short, if you were under the impression that e-cigarettes were harmless and should be allowed in public spaces where normal cigarette use is forbidden, you are wrong. E-cigarettes are just another way for tobacco companies to profit off our demise. They are masters at deceiving the public and getting us to believe things that are not true for the sake of their profits. Have you been duped?
Do you know anyone who smokes e-cigarettes and swears they’re safer than cigarettes? Share this post with them. They may be under the spell of big tobacco.