Electronic Cigarette Safety
Adverse effects of vaping.
The safety of electronic cigarettes is uncertain. There is little data about their health effects, and considerable variability between vaporizers and in quality of their liquid ingredients and thus the contents of the aerosol delivered to the user. In July 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) report cautioned about potential risks of using e cigarettes. Regulated US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) products such as nicotine inhalers are probably safer than e cigarettes. In 2015, Public Health England stated that e cigarettes are estimated to be 95% less harmful than smoking. A 2014 systematic reviewconcluded that the risks of e cigarettes have been exaggerated by health authorities and stated that while there may be some remaining risk, the risk of e cigarette use is likely small compared to smoking tobacco.
The long-term effects of e cigarette use are unknown. A 2014 Cochrane review found no serious adverse effects reported in trials. Less serious adverse effects from e cigarette use include throat and mouth inflammation, vomiting, nausea, and cough. The evidence suggests they produce less harmful effects than tobacco. ENDS use poses serious threats to adolescents and fetuses. Aside from toxicity, there are also risks from misuse or accidents such as contact with liquid nicotine, fires caused by vaporizer malfunction, and explosions as result from extended charging, unsuitable chargers, or design flaws. Battery explosions are caused by an increase in internal battery temperature and some have resulted in severe skin burns There is a small risk of battery explosion in devices modified to increase battery power.
The e liquid has a low level of toxicity, and contamination with various chemicals has been identified in the product E cigarette vapor contains fewer toxic substances, and lower concentrations of potential toxic substances than cigarette smoke. Metal parts of e cigarettes in contact with the e liquid can contaminate it with metals. Normal usage of e cigarettes generates very low levels of formaldehyde. A 2015 review found that later-generation e cigarettes set at higher power may generate equal or higher levels of formaldehyde compared to smoking. A 2015 review found that these levels were the result of overheating under test conditions that bear little resemblance to common usage. The 2015 Public Health England report looking at the research concluded that by applying maximum power and increasing the time the device is used on a puffing machine, e liquids can thermally degrade and produce high levels of formaldehyde. Users detect the "dry puff" and avoid it, and the report concluded that "There is no indication that EC users are exposed to dangerous levels of aldehydes."[ E cigarette users are exposed to potentially harmful nicotine. Nicotine is associated with cardiovascular disease, potential birth defects, and poisoning. In vitro studies of nicotine have associated it with cancer, but carcinogenicity has not been demonstrated in vivo. There is inadequate research to demonstrate that nicotine is associated with cancer in humans. The risk is probably low from the inhalation of propylene glycol and glycerin. No information is available on the long-term effects of the inhalation of flavors.
E cigarettes create vapor that consists of ultrafine particles, with the majority of particles in the ultrafine range. The vapor has been found to contain flavors, propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, tiny amounts of toxicants, carcinogens, heavy metals, and metal nanoparticles, and other chemicals. Exactly what comprises the vapor varies in composition and concentration across and within manufacturers. However, e cigarettes cannot be regarded as simply harmless. There is a concern that some of the mainstream vapor exhaled by e cigarette users can be inhaled by bystanders, particularly indoors. E cigarette use by a parent might lead to inadvertent health risks to offspring. A 2014 review recommended that e cigarettes should be regulated for consumer safety. There is limited information available on the environmental issues around production, use, and disposal of e cigarettes that use cartridges A 2014 review found "disposable e cigarettes might cause an electrical waste problem."