Study and regulation of electronic cigarettes are needed.
With today’s scientific knowledge about the horrible effects that cigarettes have on not only the person smoking it but the people around them, there needs to be a way of stopping the use of tobacco products or at least a safer alternative. There are several different types of stop smoking aids, such as Nicorette Gum, Nicotine patches and lozenges, prescription stop aids, and now Electronic cigarettes that unlike the others have not been approved by the FDA as a safe way of quitting or a safe product to use. One of the biggest problems today with electronic cigarettes is the lack of regulation and accurate tests that can show the effects on the human body or more importantly the improvements on health that it can have on tobacco users.
The Food and Drug Association current point of view is incorrect and ignorant to the effects that electronic cigarettes can have on the human body. They believe that electronic cigarettes are not a safe alternative due to the fact that the chemicals in these products when vaporized are hazardous. The FDA Kills Smokers a article by John Stossel, he writes about how the FDA wants to ban all sale and use of electronic cigarettes due to the fact that “ e-cigarettes contain trace chemicals that “may” be “toxic.”” and that these chemicals have not been proven to cause any harm and are also found in other products that the FDA has approved like Nicorette Gum, Nicotine patches and lozenges.
As a current user and past user of cigarettes I do believe that electronic cigarettes should be regulated. More studies are needed for the FDA or any other government agency to make a correct actions or regulations on it. There have been several studies on electronic cigarettes and what effects they have on current smokers, one that takes place in Greece that is discussed in Ben Hirschler article Greek study finds e-cigarettes no threat to heart. In this study they took 20 young smokers and 22 electronic cigarette user and found that the smokers had “heart dysfunction, including raised blood pressure and heart rate, those using e-cigarettes had only a slight elevation in pressure“. This was the first study worldwide to show the effect that electronic cigarettes have on the human heart and even one of the doctors on the study said that more studies are needed.
One of the biggest problems present today with electronic cigarettes is the lack of regulation. Web forums and YouTube reviewers are the only way to find out about the quality of a electronic cigarette product but none of these can accurately discuss the safety of these components. In a article E-cigarettes gain in popularity as a way to quit smoking by Jane Kwiatkowski the components are described as such “Electronic cigarettes, made of plastic and metal, have no tobacco. A battery heats a solution that contains propylene glycol (approved by the FDA as a food additive) to create a vapor that users inhale. The solution, contained in a disposable cartridge, is available in dozens of flavors and with various levels of nicotine.” The juice is one of the biggest components that need to be regulated. E Juice as it’s known contains multiple components, the most dangerous compounds is the liquid nicotine, while safe in small quantities in large doses it can be deadly if not handled correctly. The most needed regulation is the potency and quality of nicotine. The liquid nicotine was originally used as a pesticide but safer “food grade” has been produced by mixing the nicotine with propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin but the liquid nicotine could not be refined in the best way. That is something that needs to be changed.
Better studies are needed and to be done correctly. In a recent study in the article Metal and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in Electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol they conducted a study on one of the types of heating elements that are used in electronic cigarettes to find out what types of metals are found in the vapor or aerosol that is produced. The issue that I have with this study is they took this Cartomizer that is made of a kanthal resistance wire, silica fabric, and a stainless steel body and used it in a way that no user of electronic cigarettes would consider a enjoyable or even possible “vape” or drag. The silica fabric is made and needed to hold the eJuice and is only usable when completely saturated, unfortunately in this study they did not use it in the correct manner. When Cartomizers are not saturated they will burn not only the silica wick and fabric but will also affect the integrity of the wire and the casing. When a any product is used incorrectly the results will be terrible and wrong. Consider driving a car that is on fire of course it will be unsafe and will cause toxic chemicals to be inhaled, so why would a study on electronic cigarettes be allowed. their results are “The presence of metal and silicate particles in cartomizer aerosol demonstrates the need for improved quality control in EC design and manufacture and studies on how EC aerosol impacts the health of users and bystanders.”
In conclusion better studies that are tested in the correct manner that would be used in real world applications and regulation of the materials and they way they are assembled and used is needed.
The FDA Kills Smokers By John Stossel from Hit & Run, 11/13/2011, p27-27, 1p
Greek study finds e-cigarettes no threat to heartBy Ben Hirschler
“Greek study finds e-cigarettes no threat to heart.” Reuters. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 25 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
E-cigarettes gain in popularity as a way to quit smoking by Jane Kwiatkowski Buffalo News, The (NY), 09/25/2012 http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library2.pima.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=2W6562487263&site=pov-live
Metal and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in Electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol by Stephen J. Johnson, University of Kansas, United States of America
Williams M, Villarreal A, Bozhilov K, Lin S, Talbot P (2013) Metal and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in Electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57987. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057987