Are electronic cigarettes safe? This is probably the most frequently asked question by people who are considering trying e-cigs. For the most part, the headlines are alarmist and worrying. At the same time, you see people everywhere using them and talking about how they have escaped tobacco. It’s hard to make sense of what the headlines tell you versus the experiences of real people. What to do?
E-cigarette safety is still contested by many in the medical profession. Most often they talk about inconclusive studies while quoting misleading data from other studies and generally do a magnificent job of clouding the issue altogether.
Cherry picking the data that suits an argument works in politics but when a human being who is addicted to smoking asks the simple question, are electronic cigarettes safe, they deserve a real answer not a talking point.
To get to a genuine answer, let’s start out with an introduction to the obvious. Tobacco cigarettes contain at least 5000 toxic chemicals including a long and frightening list that are carcinogens. E-cigarettes do not combust any compounds rather they vaporize e-liquid, which is made up of 3 ingredients none of which are carcinogens.
It has taken time but practicing physicians are beginning to see the light and some of them are now even recommending e-cigarettes to their patients. The Cancer Society and the Heart Association have also softened their stance on e-cigarettes. They are coming to realize that ecigs are actually an ally in the fight to reduce the damage being caused by smoking tobacco.
E-cigs vaporize propylene glycol, a food additive, nicotine and food-grade flavoring. So, what is more harmful thousands of chemicals and carcinogens or 2 food additives and nicotine, which is not a carcinogen? Come on, experts! We know you have concerns but be reasonable.
We see news story after news story about doctors claiming that e-cigs are no better than tobacco cigarettes. The main reasons that they usually quote are the facts that e-cigs have nicotine and they often quote an outdated FDA study about toxins based on the testing of cheap e-cigarettes.
By the way, the toxins found in the 2009 FDA study were based on the results of a cheap e-cig. Those toxins were detected but at levels far below any level that would impact human health. ECCR does not recommend cheap e-cigarettes but even the worst e-cig is better than tobacco. The other 8 e-cig models tested did not produce toxic elements.
Dr. Adedayo Onitilo was recently asked “are electronic cigarettes safe?” More specifically, he was asked if they are safer than tobacco cigarettes. This was his answer.
“As far as I’m concerned, the nicotine in electronic cigarettes makes them no better than regular cigarettes. Nicotine causes addiction; if you’re using an e-cigarette, you’re not going to cut that addiction.”
This is true. Although electronic cigarettes do allow people do control their nicotine intake. Working toward a goal of eliminating nicotine addiction is much easier with an e-cigarette that with tobacco.
Nicotine is a stimulant and working toward ending any type of addiction is a worthy goal. The bottom line, however, is that nicotine is not what kills millions of people every year. That’s kind of an important aspect of this, don’t you think?
The doctor went on to bring up the usual talking points about how e-cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco smoking for young people. This is based off data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which indicates that many youth who smoke e-cigs also smoke tobacco.
What the survey does not ask is whether or not underage smokers started with tobacco or e-cigs. Given the fact that more teen e-cig users had intentions of quitting than those teens who smoked tobacco exclusively paints a different picture than the one the “expert” industry wants to portray. The fact is that recent data actually indicates that e-cigs may be helping to reduce teen smoking!
All of this misinformation may lead to an alarming outcome, namely smokers writing off e-cigs as a potential alternative based on this Big Pharma led rhetoric. The result may be that e-cig propaganda may be bad for your health.
E-Cig safety Advice
In some cases there is reason for concern. A cheap e-cigarette may not always utilize the best ingredients or laboratory practices to blend e-liquid. You should absolutely avoid buying a cheap e-cigarette from a less reputable manufacturer.
On the other side of that coin, buying the best e-cigarette that suits you gives you a chance to find an alternative to the thousands of toxins in tobacco smoke. The brands on ECCR’s 10 best e-cigarette list are all reputable brands and utilize laboratory grade manufacturing procedures.
There has been a lot of concern raised about the dangers of nicotine poisoning associated with e-cigs.
If you are refilling an e-cig tank with e-liquid it only makes sense to take some precautions with your e-liquid. If you have kids in the house, make sure you store your e-liquid in a safe place.
You may have heard about electronic cigarette batteries exploding or catching fire. It does happen but it is incredibly rare. There have probably been a lot more laptop battery explosions and fires that e-cig incidents.
These battery mishaps can be traced to mismatching batteries and chargers. E-cig battery safety is not a problem as long as you follow the manufacturers guidelines for use. That puts e-cigs in the same bracket as every other battery or electric powered device created in the history of mankind.
Stick With The Best E-Cigarette Brands
The best way to ensure e-cigarette safety is to stick to the best e-cigarette brands. They use quality materials that are meticulously engineered to function at a high level and last for a long time.
The e-liquids that are used by the best and most reputable companies to produce the actual vapor contain only laboratory grade ingredients so you do not have to worry about impurities.
If you use your e-cig as directed and within the limits of its design, you can eliminate mishaps.
It is also important to understand that the best e-cigarette for you may not be the best for someone else. The most important thing that you need to take into account is which nicotine level is right for you.
The best brands will give you a number of nicotine and flavor options.
The bottom line is that whether or not e-cigs are safe boils down to a matter of common sense. 5000 toxic chemicals verses 3 food grade ingredients. The actual mechanical safety of your e-cigarette is largely contingent of quality and simply using the product in the manner for which it was designed. When you break this argument down to the basic elements, it’s really not that confusing at all.
There is a real chance here to save millions of lives. These talking points that are constantly regurgitated by e-cigarette detractors are actually dangerous. There is a serious possibility that smokers may actually forgo even trying vaping as an alternative and stick to tobacco. We all know where that road leads.
Medical professionals should by all means demand regulation and testing but by telling people that there is no difference between e-cigs and tobacco, they are participating in a massive disservice.
Funny, but imagine if the e-cigarette was founded and marketed by Big Pharma. Imagine that for a second. Does anyone believe for a nano-second that if this were the case doctors and others in the expert, lab coat crowd would still be claiming that e-cigs were no safer than tobacco? I don’t think so.