Health professionals are now convinced that using electronic cigarettes caries significantly less risk than using tobacco products. As a matter of fact, electronic cigarettes are no more dangerous than coffee.
According to Dr Joel Nitzkin, Chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force for the American Association of Public Health Physicians there is no possibility that e-cigarettes could be anywhere near as harmful as cigarettes. Exact data does not exist due to regulation, as in order to produce a double blind study, the research team would have to recruit many non-smokers and subject them to tobacco products. Those however, as already established, cause severe harm to the organism. It is ethically incorrect to cause harm during a clinical trial.
Good news is that e-cigarettes contain only nicotine and vapour. And nicotine, just as caffeine, poses limited risk to the users. As a pure drug it has few adverse effect on physical health. It is the other chemicals found in tobacco products that create the most risk. Smoking increases the risk of cancer in almost every organ and tissue of the body, especially the lungs, throat and stomach. It is estimated that smoking accounts for more than 111 000 deaths in the UK per year.
What harmful substances does a standard cigarette contain?
- Ammonia – found in a variety of industrial cleaning products and urine.
- Acetone – used for paint strippers and nail varnish
- Cadmium – highly poisonous metal used in batteries
- Vinyl Chloride – PVC
- Carbon monoxide – the same gas that kills victims trapped in a burning building
- Tar – similar to the stuff coming out of the exhaust pipe of your car. It stays in your lungs
- Cyanide – used for suicide, or in gas chambers during the Second World War
- Formaldehyde – used to preserve mummies in ancient times
- Arsenic – one of the strongest poisons in the world.
“If we get all those smokers to switch from regular cigarettes to electronic cigarettes (…) we would eventually reduce the death toll from 400 000 a year to less than 4000 a year” said Dr Joel Nitzkin quoting the numbers of smoking victims in the United States every year. If we were to apply similar maths to the numbers presented for the United Kingdom, we could potentially reduce the amount of deaths from 111 000 to less than 1110 per year.