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Dangers of electronic cigarettes

Published Aug 05, 2012 12:05am

ELECTRONIC cigarettes are battery-operated devices that have been developed as an alternative to normal cigarettes. These are made up of a heater, a battery and a cartridge that contains a solution of propylene glycol, nicotine and some other chemicals.

Electronic cigarettes are found to contain an anti-freeze component known as diethylene glycol. It is toxic to humans and can cause health worries on inhalation.

Other than diethylene glycol, e-cigarettes also contain cancer-causing compounds like nitrosamines. If the cigarette accidentally breaks, humans may be exposed to such harmful components.

Many electronic cigarette brands are being found to offer e-cigarettes in various flavours like mint, orange and chocolate. This can entice smokers as well as non-smokers and actually promotes smoking rather than curbing it.

Some electronic cigarette juices have caramel and strawberry flavourings that may attract children into smoking.

In an electronic cigarette liquid nicotine is used. Nicotine is an alkaloid medicine that is harmful for humans. A long drag on the cigarette can make you actually suck some of the liquid nicotine into your mouth.

This can be very damaging to health. You have to drag the cigarette slowly for three to five seconds, which is not always possible to be careful about.

E-cigarettes also consist of tetramethylpyrazine. Prolonged exposure to tetramethylpyrazine can result in brain damage in human beings.

There is also a widespread concern that electronic cigarette consumption may promote drug use. There are reports of liquid nicotine being substituted with liquid THC, a popular potent marijuana resin. If electronic cigarette e-liquid is replaced with addictive drugs, it can become highly damaging to health.

In electronic cigarette nicotine, flavourings and many other harmful chemicals are used that may have cancerous effects on the body. Electronic cigarette cartridges contain nicotine which can cause heart ailments. Cartridges containing even traces of nicotine can be risky for the health of your heart.

No electronic cigarette company is endorsed by any health organisation. This is the reason why there has been an effective electronic cigarette ban in a number of countries, including Canada.

AHMER N. JAKARTAWALA Karachi