Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are devices that claim to contain no tobacco, but are designed to look like conventional cigarettes. They are intended to be inhaled, (known as vaping), similar to how a smoker uses conventional cigarettes . They produce a mist or vapor upon each inhalation that resembles and tastes like the smoke produced by combustible tobacco products.
These products are designed with a re-chargeable battery – operated heating element that volatizes the chemical constituents contained within replaceable cartridges. These cartridges may or may not contain nicotine.
The amount of nicotine varies widely based on cartridge brand and strength, but is generally 6-18mg per cartridge, equal to about ½ of a pack to 1 ½ packs of cigarettes. Zero nicotine cartridges are also offered.
New electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) also include electronic cigars (e-cigars) and electronic hookahs (e-hookahs).
SOME OF THE CONCERNS
- E-cigarettes are being promoted as a less dangerous alternative to cigarettes or smoking cessation aid, however, E-cigarettes have not been approved as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has warned the public that e-cigarettes contain various toxic mutagenic, carcinogenic (cancer causing chemicals).
- A laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples conducted by the Food and Drug Administration has found that they contain carcinogenic and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze.
- E-cigarettes emit a vapor through a process similar to passive tobacco smoking called passive vaping. The health effects of exposure to passive vaping are currently unknown.
- Companies sell flavored nicotine solutions in a wide array of flavors, many of which are candy/fruit flavors including vanilla, banana,. almond, vanilla ice cream, cherry, mint, peach cobbler and mint chocolate which may appeal to youth.
- The solutions are very concentrate – a 30ml (about a 1 oz. ) bottle of e-cigarette solution can contain 500+ mg of nicotine. Some may even be over 1,000 mg per bottle. This creates a risk for overdosing or poisoning, because the lethal dose of nicotine for adults is 30-60 mg if swallowed, and for children is just 10 mg.