The closest mimics of regular smokes are the electronic smokes. These contain metal tubes that look like regular puffs. These contain nicotine-laced liquid that is stored in a cartridge. A battery powered heating element vaporizes this liquid and these vapors are inhaled by the smoker whenever they puff on the smoke. Both nicotine and nicotine-free cartridges are available in the market.
A recent study on these smokes found that the nicotine contained in these smokes can form carcinogens when it reacts with nitrous acid, which can be easily found in the indoor air. Nicotine is a very sticky substance. It can remain on the surface for days and weeks and hence, can continue producing the carcinogens over time which when inhaled and ingested can be very harmful. When we exhale the vapors, carcinogens and toxins are released into the air, including formaldehyde, nicotine and acetaldehyde. These expose the smoker to chemicals and aerosol, which can be a potential health hazard.
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In addition, these include also other carcinogens like nitrosamines and toxic chemicals like diethylene glycol. The fact that the contents of these cigarettes are not released and made available for studies also doesn't help. That's why only limited studies and testing has been done on these smokes.
Also, these are being marketed as something that can even be used in public places and workplaces. However, considering the fact that nicotine produces carcinogens, this can be a great disservice to public health. The electronic smoke brands also promote them as a way for quitting smoking. But these have not been submitted ever for any kind of FDA approval and hence, there is no specific scientific evidence to support the fact that can be used as a cessation tool. All that these brands are doing is deceiving the public by false advertising claims.
These brands are promoting the use of electronic cigarettes through advertisements, press releases, social media etc. These advertisements claim these smokes as effective cessation devices that can be smoked indoors as well as at places where regular cigarettes are prohibited. These advertisements also target pregnant women and claim that these are safer and healthier than regular smokes. They have also made these available in a wide variety of flavors as well which is quite alluring for children as well. The flavors like strawberry, chocolate etc are most likely to hook children and can lead them to a life of smoking. It is high time that proper regulations are implemented on the use of these smokes.