An e-cigarette, or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is an electronic device that heats liquids to create aerosols, which are then inhaled. It typically contains nicotine and other additives, such as flavourings, that are not found in combustible tobacco products. The popularity of e-cigarettes has been increasing worldwide in recent years. While e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, they are not without risks and can potentially cause harm to health. Some studies have indicated that e-cigarettes may be safer than conventional cigarettes and that they can help smokers quit smoking. However, the long-term effects of e-cigarette use are still unknown.
The majority of e-cigarettes currently available on the market contain nicotine. The liquid in these devices is known as e-liquid or electronic cigarette fluid (ECF) and is usually composed of different ingredients, such as glycerol, propylene glycol and/or diethylene glycol. The concentration of nicotine in e-liquids ranges from 0.0 to 4.0%. In most countries, a liquid containing less than 2% nicotine is considered to be “low-nicotine” and the liquids containing more than 4% nicotine are referred to as high-nicotine e-liquids.
High-nicotine e-liquids have driven the surge in e-cigarette sales, accounting for more than three-quarters of total e-cigarette volumes sold in 2018. ECFs containing high levels of nicotine are often sold as disposable or rechargeable vaporizing devices with refillable cartridges. These refillable devices can be used to replace or reload the e-liquid and typically have a USB port for charging. These products also have a sleek and modern design, and are often designed to look like traditional cigarettes, cigars, pipes or USB flash drives.
Many people who have tried to stop smoking with traditional cessation methods are turning to e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit. There are no clinical trials that show e-cigarettes to be a successful tool for smoking cessation. Those who vape are at risk for developing the same addictions as those who continue to smoke, including dependence on nicotine and other chemicals in e-cigarettes, such as volatile organic compounds and metals.
Nicotine and other chemicals in e-cigarettes have been shown to be toxic to cells and may disrupt normal cell functions. For example, nicotine has been shown to increase inflammatory markers in human airway epithelial cells and inhibit cellular growth. In addition, adolescent dual-users have been found to have significantly higher urine levels of benzene, ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, acrolein and acrylamide than non-smoking controls.
Despite these concerns, some people choose to continue using e-cigarettes. People who want to quit smoking should decide why they are quitting and write down their reasons for stopping. They should also pick a date to quit and tell supportive friends and family members. They can also try chewing sugar-free gum or lollipops to distract themselves from cravings. Lastly, it is important to get rid of all e-cigarettes and other supplies. Trying to reuse them can reinforce the habit and make it more difficult to quit. It is also helpful to talk with a healthcare provider about how to quit and for other support services. 電子煙