We are all aware of the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. This is why we have the electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), a 'safer' alternative to smoking, available in the market these days. Instead of the tobacco present in traditional cigarettes, these battery-powered devices contain a liquid that releases a vapor when heated. This liquid has nicotine, added flavors, and various other chemicals that help smokers get the familiar taste and stay away from regular cigarettes. So if a tobacco control program doesn't help, smokers usually resort to these devices. However, healthcare providers across the globe term this replacement as dangerous, especially for kids and adolescents. Why is it so?
How Injurious are E-cigarettes?
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During the heating process, the ingredients present in the chemical change form and create toxins, especially formaldehyde. In fact, e-cigarettes produce more formaldehyde than regular cigarettes. These devices are not great replacements for smokers as the heating process also releases various heavy metals at levels higher than regular cigarettes.
Various researches show that children whose parents smoke are twice as likely to begin smoking at an early age compared to children of nonsmokers. Quite obviously, even if you are smoking e-cigarettes in front of your children, you are making them realize that it is okay to smoke. Studies also reveal that the smoke coming out of e-cigarettes contains a measurable amount of carcinogens. Moveover, the liquid is highly poisonous for children if consumed accidently even in little amounts.
Nicotine is extremely addictive, and children smoking e-cigarettes can soon go on to smoke regular cigarettes. If this addiction starts during adolescence, it can lead to a lifetime of tobacco dependence. And, as we all know it, cigarette smokers face the highest risk of developing heart diseases, lung cancer and other fatal conditions.
What Can Parents Do?
Although the governments of many countries prohibit selling e-cigarette to minors, it is important for parents to remember that education begins at home. They should make sure that their children are far away from not only e-cigarettes, but also from any harmful product. Here is a short guide on what they can do:
- Educate your children about the risks and dangers associated with e-cigarette addiction, and inform them about the dangers associated with secondhand smoke.
- If you smoke e-cigarettes, keep the batteries, empty cartridges and nicotine refills out of your children's reach.
- Do not smoke e-cigarettes in front of your kids, neither at home nor outside. Last but not the least, the best way to save yourself as well as your children is to stop smoking altogether.
Quit smoking as soon as possible, even if it is an e-cigarette. Consider enrolling yourself into a tobacco control program. These have various innovative arrangements to help you live a smoke-free life. Stay disciplined and work hard towards kicking the butt for the sake of your kids.