Effects of electronic cigarettes on health

In spite of the booming popularity of e-cigarettes in the UK, experts are still not sure of its health issues. While the e-cigarettes are widely promoted by companies as a harmless alternative to traditional smoking, many health agencies state that e-cigarettes are doing more damage to the users than help. Studies and researches on the health consequences of e-cigarettes lag much behind their popularity. Also e-cigarettes are not approved by FDA (Food and Drug Authority) US and many other chief health authorities.
While it is a fact that the puff on an e-cigarette is less harmful than a puff in the traditional cigarette, scientists are skeptical about the toxicity of the vapors from these. The emergence of e-cigarettes set off a fierce debate among health experts about whether the e-cigarettes negate smoking problem or not. Many studies conducted on the health effects of e-cigarettes have identified the alarming toxicity of its vapors.
According to a study done by FDA in 2009, which performed an analysis on cartridges of different e-cigarettes, the cartridges were shown to contain carcinogens, toxic chemicals and nicotine. These are very addictive and the toxic chemicals involved diethylene glycol, which is an ingredient in antifreeze and is dangerous to humans. Carcinogens contained tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which may cause tumours according to scientists. Yet another health risk can occur when an e-cigarette user refill the cartridges. The amount of nicotine in each cartridge may vary to the level that it can be critical for adults and children. Researchers found that the nanoparticles delivered by e-cigarettes can cause inflammation, heart disease, asthma and diabetes. The popularity of this vaping device is increasing rapidly and may overcome the traditional cigarettes in a few years.
A recent study done by US scientists found that the e-cigarettes vapors contain traces of solvent in which nicotine and flavour agents are dissolved. These solvents may further transform to carbonyls which is a part of cancer causing chemicals such as formaldehyde and carcinogens. If such compounds go into your lungs, it is a thing to worry as per researchers. It is entirely depending on the number and size of such tiny compounds contained in the vapor. While you are inhaling vapor from e-cigarettes, it can have large number of very small aerosols, the most harmful size that can get deposited in the tiny airways of lungs. These airways are the pipeline for moving air throughout your body.
The vapors of e-cigarettes also contain chemical flavourings and food preservatives in the vaping liquid. The hazardous germs produced as after products of these vapors are difficult to be destroyed. Scientists reason this as; the germs exposed to nicotine loaded vapors formed a solid biofilm coating that secured them. Further experiments done on animal that are exposed to e-cigarette vapor versus the unexposed ones revealed that the exposed ones had more bacteria grown in the lungs than unexposed ones.
Another study done by scientists of Athens University, Greece found out that the so called e-cigarettes which is seen as a substitute for traditional cigarette smoking can be harmful to your lungs and respiratory system. This is primarily because of the different toxic compounds present in the vaporizing liquid. In an attempt to increase the amount of nicotine per puff, the users are allowed to increase the voltage of e-cigarettes and thereby temperature. But these advanced temperatures can generate a thermal breakdown of the solvents which in turn produce toxic carbonyls.
E cigarettes however, have still shown a significant health benefit to those who switch from the traditional counterparts to these. The e cig liquid which produces this vapour contains minimal ingredients, none of which contain harmful toxins. E liquid in the UK today offers many variants of flavours and can be bought from online shops.
Earlier when e-cigarettes were first developed, the puff was not as powerful as the puff of burning tobacco. Later the companies used latest technology to increase voltage of e-cigarettes and the temperature which deliver can more nicotine e per puff. When studies are done on people who inhaled e-cigarette vapor for 10 minutes into their lungs showed that, the inhalation caused an instant raise in airway resistance at least for those 10 minutes.
Another study from the University of Southern California found out that the second hand smoke of e-cigarette included some harmful elements like toxic components chromium and nickel as well as lead and zinc. Although these were present at levels lower than that of traditional cigarettes, some particular elements like nickel and chromium were present in higher levels too.
The basic problem here is the lack of clarity of studies done on the health effects of e-cigarettes. Different manufacturers are developing e-cigarettes with significant variation in the vapor ingredients. So the hazardous health effects purely depend on the amount of toxic materials involved in the vapor solvent. However e-cigarettes are proved and accepted as less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarettes. But the replacement of traditional cigarettes with the popular e-cigarettes has definitely got its own risks.