Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, leading to multiple cancer types and lung disease. In an effort to quit smoking, many people are switching to e-cigarettes, which have been lauded as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. In fact, a 2015 study published in the BMJ suggests that e-cigarettes helped 18,000 smokers to quit, who would have not otherwise done so. But are e-cigarettes really safer?
What’s In E-Cigarettes?
In order to determine whether or not e-cigarettes are dangerous, it is essential to know what is actually in an e-cigarette.
One ingredient that both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes have in common is nicotine. However, how much nicotine is in an e-cigarette may differ substantially based upon the brand. Some newer e-cigarette devices deliver more nicotine in a single hit, which increases the risk of them becoming addictive.
In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes are filled with chemicals. One study found that some e-cigarettes include an ingredient that is found in antifreeze, and that many contained formaldehyde, a dangerous carcinogen. While data is inconclusive, evidence points to e-cigarettes containing cancer-causing ingredients.
There have even been reports of e-cigarettes exploding when improperly maintained. All e-cigarettes heat a combustible substance as opposed to burning it, which is why they produce vapor instead of smoke. For the most part, these well-tested products are safe to use, at least from a physical design and engineering standpoint. After a few minutes of continuous use, the battery can begins to overheat, and the uninsulated housing simply cannot absorb that heat. As a result, some E-Cigarettes are prone to explosion either while in a person’s mouth or while in a purse or pocket. Even worse, some models eject overheated batteries in such situations, turning them into dangerous projectiles.
But Are Cigarettes Worse?
The biggest difference between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is that e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco. But it is important to remember that it is not just tobacco that causes cancer and lung disease; the added chemicals in traditional cigarettes are damaging to health, too. Because these chemicals can lead to cancer and disease, and because many of the same chemicals are found in e-cigarettes, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that using an e-cigarette is a safer or healthier alternative. In fact, e-cigarettes are most likely very unhealthy.
Marketing to Children, Adolescents, and Those Who Want to Improve Their Health
One of the more disturbing things about e-cigarette companies is the marketing tactics that are used – in fact, in 2014, there were about 2.4 million middle and high school students using electronic cigarettes, as reported by the CDC, many of whom reported being exposed to e-cigarette marketing. In addition to young people, many people switch to e-cigarettes because they believe these cigarettes to be a safer, healthier alternative.
At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we believe that product manufacturers have a duty to let consumers know the risks of using a product. If you have suffered harm you believe was linked to your use of e-cigarettes, you may have a case. Contact our law firm today to learn more.