E-cigarettes and liquids containing nicotine are strictly regulated in Europe. The liquid components must be transmitted to the authorities. Overall, there are strict requirements for the ingredients: The nicotine content must not exceed 20 milliliters per solution. All other ingredients must be pure, additives such as vitamins, caffeine, taurine or certain flavors are prohibited.
Scientists generally regard the e-cigarette as a less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. So far, there has been little knowledge of the long-term effects of the smoking cessation alternative. A recently published study that has come to astonishing conclusions is changing that.
Less dangerous substances than in tobacco smoke
Studies by the University of Mainz suggest that one in eight has smoked an e-cigarette in the past. E-cigarettes are also one of the most popular ways to quit smoking. An estimated 90 percent of all vapers have previously smoked tobacco cigarettes. Unlike conventional cigarettes, a liquid is used that is vaporized by a heating coil. There are also significant differences in temperature and nicotine content: while tobacco cigarettes cause embers of up to 1100 degrees, the liquid in e-cigarettes heats up to a maximum of 300 degrees. The nicotine content, which is around 0.8 mg in a cigarette, varies in an e-cigarette. The user decides for himself whether he prefers nicotine-containing or nicotine-free liquid.
Despite all the differences, the health risk of e-cigarettes is classified by the population as being of the same or higher value. In fact, studies to date indicate that e-cigarettes are up to 95 percent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. According to current risk assessments, an e-cigarette is therefore a suitable means of switching from tobacco cigarettes. Unlike traditional cigarettes, the aerosols released by vaping contain significantly fewer carcinogenic substances. Nevertheless, e-cigarette vapor cannot be classified as generally harmless. Although the electronic cigarette releases fewer pollutants, the nicotine-containing liquid can produce harmful degradation products during evaporation.
In addition, vaporizers can have various side effects. Since the species composition of oral microbes changes as a result of vaping, e-cigarettes could alter the body’s oral flora. This is the conclusion reached by Ohio State University researchers after comparing the gums of non-smokers to those of smokers and vapers. The evaluation revealed significant differences. The oral flora of e-cigarette users showed similarities with patients suffering from gingivitis. Sensitive users also react to the substance propylene glycol contained in the vapor with respiratory or eye irritation.
Nevertheless, e-cigarettes with low nicotine content are a sensible option for smokers to quit tobacco. Analyzed studies lead to the conclusion that e-cigarettes help smokers to reduce their craving for a fag. In contrast to chewing gum or nicotine patches, however, the “ritual” of smoking is preserved through imitation. The tobacco-free alternative can positively influence the transition to smoking-free.
Results of the long-term studies: E-cigarettes less harmful to the heart, blood vessels and lungs
Current long-term studies on e-cigarettes assume far less damage to health than tobacco cigarettes. A Scottish study, for example, suspects that e-cigarette consumption leads to comparatively better vascular health. Regardless of whether the subjects smoked e-liquids with or without nicotine, their vascular health improved. In the comparison group that continued to smoke tobacco cigarettes, the positive effect was significantly lower.
In addition to the two-year data from Scotland, another study allows conclusions to be drawn about the pollution of e-cigarettes. In a previously unprecedented test arrangement, Prof. Dr. Riccardo Polosa, director of the Institute of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Catania (Italy), possible long-term damage. To do this, he recruited a total of nine active “vapers” for the study, whom he medically examined regularly over a period of three and a half years. Doctors checked the bronchi, blood pressure, body weight, lung function, respiratory function and heart rate. They compared the data to a second reference group consisting of 12 non-smokers who had never used tobacco before. In this way, the scientists were able to clearly determine the exposures arising from the aerosols of the e-cigarettes.
As a result, the researcher found no detectable negative effects that can be attributed to the e-cigarette. Accordingly, there were no significant medical differences between the e-cigarette users and the non-smoker control group. Even in “intensive vapers” the scientists could not detect any pathological findings in the lungs. Of course, these are preliminary results that must be answered conclusively in further investigations. Nevertheless, based on the study results, it can be assumed that the state of health will remain the same after three and a half years of use of an e-cigarette.
In this respect, the researchers sum up: In small amounts of a maximum of four milliliters of liquid per day, e-cigarette consumption presumably does not entail any health risks. In turn, long-term studies are required for significantly higher doses, since the experts cannot rule out health risks in this case.
The situation is different for smokers who also vape e-cigarettes: According to a US study, they are most frequently affected by respiratory diseases. In this respect, dual use could be problematic for smokers – especially if they do not reduce their original daily dose but increase it because of the e-cigarette.
Positive findings for smokers
The long-term study by Prof. Dr. Riccardo Polosa is considered to be one of the first of its kind to take a serious look at the subject of e-cigarettes. Based on the results, smokers should be encouraged to (temporarily) switch to e-cigarettes. Nevertheless, experts advise not to regard vaping as the sole means of compensation. Anyone who consumes e-cigarettes in excess instead of the fags is probably still damaging their own health in the long term. Care should also be taken with the products: e-cigarettes and liquids should be certified and approved for the European market. Furthermore, liquids should never be mixed by yourself. Oily liquids and flavorings from non-certified suppliers are also suspected of triggering serious respiratory diseases.
In addition, smokers should be aware of the fact that weaning does not happen overnight. Not every heavy smoker would manage to finally switch to completely nicotine-free liquid.cakvape is an excellent vape supplier, we can provide you with any advice on this aspect, if you need it, please contact us immediately.
Overall, the variety of e-cigarettes and the limited number of studies to date make it difficult to make general statements. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment also avoids rating nicotine vaporizers in general. It refers to the numerous flavorings, manufacturers and flavors. Overall, it will probably be a few more years before research into the long-term effects of e-cigarette use is more mature.