E-cigs are popular for being a safer alternative to smoking regular tobacco cigarettes. The question is “are these devices and their usage actually as safe as they’re marketed to be?” There is a lot of research around on this topic and health professionals are working day and night to find if the usage of these devices has any long-term side-effects for the user and the passive user. You will find these electronic devices in many forms and dubbed with many different names like e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, e-cigs, and hookah pens. These devices are formally referred to as “electronic nicotine delivery systems” or “E.N.D.S”. These devices operate with the help of a battery which vaporizes a flavoured liquid solution which is inhaled by the user. Some e-cigs looks exactly like a tobacco-based cigarette during their operation because of a light on one end which lights up every time the user takes a drag. The usage of electronic cigarettes is referred to as ‘vaping’.
The thing that makes these devices a reliable instrument for recreation is the lack of the hundreds of harmful chemical ingredients that are found in regular combustible tobacco cigarettes. Although most of the e-liquids that are used in the e-cigs do actually contain nicotine which can cause addiction, users get the option to control the amount of nicotine that they want to inhale and nicotine-free e-liquids are also sold in abundance.
The thing that has become a major concern for health professionals and especially parents is the fact that the usage of e-cigarettes has become more popular among teenagers than regular cigarettes. According to US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the usage of electronic vaping devices had tripled among middle and high school students in just one year, between 2013 and 2014. Health professionals are concerned that a new generation of youngsters might get addicted to nicotine by e-cigs as opposed to smoking a combustible cigarette.
Like passive smoking, inhalation of secondhand e-cig vapors is also a major concern amongst the medical community. Previous research carried out by Australian healthcare professionals could not conclude any sort of problems arising from being in a closed room with e-cig vapors because the vapors exhaled after e-cig usage are quickly dissipated into the air. The usage of e-cigs in closed public spaces, restaurants, and bars is still prohibited because the smell of vapors can irritate the people sitting close-by. The marketing campaign of e-cigs also highlights the safety of the vapors coming out of the user’s mouth but some researchers claim that they can contain nicotine which can be very harmful to children of small ages by negatively affecting their growth and development.
So How Can You Protect Your Children from vaping?
The only weapon that parents have against the usage of any type of nicotine-based product by their teens is to talk about the adverse effects of nicotine and how it can easily become an addiction. If the e-liquid used in the e-cigs contains nicotine then it can also become as much of an addiction as the regular combustible cigarettes. Show your kids the facts regarding the usage of electronic cigarettes devices and the fact that these devices are used by people aiming to quit combustible tobacco smoking by moving onto a relatively safer option.
If you are a parent who smokes or vape yourself, then the best way to keep your kids from getting involved in any such habits is to refrain from vaping around them. You can get off of nicotine by gradually decreasing the amount of nicotine present in your e-liquid or by using NHS approved products that help with nicotine addiction like nicotine patches, chewing gum or lozenges. For more information, ask your GP or local surgery for advice.
Written in collaboration with Andrew Cooper from Simply E Liquid