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All You Must Know About E-Cigarettes!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Respiratory Medicine , Trained In Treating Sleep Disorder , Trained In Interventinal Bronchoscopy , Trained In Medical Thoracoscopy , Trained In Rigid Bronchoscopy
Pulmonologist, Delhi  •  39years experience
All You Must Know About E-Cigarettes!

E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes are a device that runs on a battery that emits vaporized nicotine for you to inhale. Instead of vaporized nicotine, some models contain a non-nicotine solution. E-cigarettes are aimed at people looking to experience a sensation that is similar to inhaling actual tobacco smoke without the smoke.

In terms of structure, e-cigarettes are similar to cigarettes and cigars. Most of the models can be reused as they come with refillable cartridges. 

How do E-cigarettes work?

There are four parts in an e-cigarette –

  • A mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is attached to one end of a tube. There is a small plastic cup in it with an absorbent material that contains the liquid solution. You can either refill the mouthpiece or replace it.

  • A heating coil

The heating coil heats the solution that causes it to vaporize. 

  • A battery

A battery is used power the e-cigarette. The battery is rechargeable.

  • A sensor

The sensor is used to activate the heating coil you inhale on the device. There may be an LED indicator, which will blink when you inhale. 

You place your lips on the mouthpiece and a sensor present in the e-cigarette immediately activates the heating element. The heat generated vaporizes a liquid solution into the mouthpiece. This is when you inhale the vaporized solution.

The nicotine content of an e-cigarette can range from zero to 36 mg per ml.

The solution in these cigarettes is made from mixing nicotine extracts with a base like propylene glycol. In addition to the base, flavours like menthol and watermelon may also be added.

Drawbacks of E-cigarettes 

  1. Accidental swallowing of the solution in the E-cigarette can cause poisoning that could turn fatal.

  2. The presence of nicotine can make it addictive. Nicotine also causes changes in the brain of adolescents. 

  3. A pregnant woman using E-cigarettes can put the growth of the foetus in jeopardy.

  4. There is little statistics to show that people using E-cigarettes have quit smoking.

  5. It has been observed that teenagers using e-cigarettes turn to regular tobacco in later life.

  6. Substances present in e-cigarettes like diacetyl can harm the lungs. It can lead to a disease called the popcorn lung that causes irreversible changes in the lungs.

  7. Exposure to e-cigarettes also limits the cells present in the lungs to repair themselves. 

  8. There is a possibility that E-cigarettes can lead to lung and bladder cancer in humans. It may also cause heart disease.

Conclusion

If you want to lead a healthy life then nicotine in any form should be avoided. If quitting regular cigarettes is your aim, then instead of pacifying yourself with e-cigarettes you can take healthier approaches like doing yoga and meditation. These two practices have proven to be very successful in helping people quit smoking.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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