Medical Perspectives | Others

June 06, 2020



Tough anti-smoking laws have made it harder for cigarette lovers to indulge, especially since the law restricts smoking in public places and imposes stringent fines on violations. Enter the e-cigarette or vaping phenomenon.

 

Ever since the first e-cigarette was introduced in China in 2004,[1] the alternative to regular cigarettes has been gaining popularity. The company that marketed the e-cigarettes changed its name to Ruyan, meaning “almost like smoke”.

 

While both still have nicotine as the primary agent, e-cigarettes work differently from cigarettes. Rather than inhaling the tobacco directly, e-cigarettes use a battery-powered device to “heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor”[2] that is inhaled. The term “vaping” describes the method of using an e-cigarette.

 

Another significant difference is the number of chemicals contained in regular tobacco cigarettes, which is approximately 7,000 chemicals.[3] The e-liquid nicotine or “e-juice” is a solution of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, distilled water, artificial flavoring and nicotine.[4] Definitely less chemicals than the tobacco cigarette. 

 

More points that differentiate vaping/e-cigarettes from tobacco cigarettes:

  • Two distinct processes are involved: combustion for tobacco cigarettes and vaporization for e-cigarettes[5]
  • Since there is no combustion in vaping, e-cigarettes produce an aerosol not tobacco smoke[6]
  • There is no tar, no carcinogen, no carbon monoxide in vaping[7]
  • Vaping offers a wide range of options, from type of device to range of flavors which number in the thousands

 

[1] Nguyen, D. & Aamodt, G. [n.d.] Electronic Cigarettes the Past, Present and Future. Retrieved from https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/professional-education/ce-courses/ce451/the-history-of-e-cigarettes

[2] Blaha, M. [n.d.] 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping

[3] Blaha, M. [n.d.] 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping

[4] Nguyen, D. & Aamodt, G. [n.d.] Electronic Cigarettes the Past, Present and Future. Retrieved from https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/professional-education/ce-courses/ce451/the-history-of-e-cigarettes

[5] Wallace, M. [2019, March]. Difference Between Vaping and Smoking. Retrieved from https://www.migvapor.com/ecig-news/difference-between-vapor-and-smoke/

[6] Richter, L. [2018, October]. What is Vaping? Retrieved from https://www.centeronaddiction.org/e-cigarettes/recreational-vaping/what-vaping

[7] McDonald, J. [2018, December]. Vaping vs. Smoking: Is Vaping Bad for You, Too? Retrieved from https://vaping360.com/health/vaping-vs-smoking-is-vaping-bad-for-you/

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