Image by Lindsay Fox from Pixabay

Writer- Swastika Jha (MSc. Biotechnology, Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences, Pune)

E-cigarettes were designed to be used as an alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes. It is a machine designed to deliver nicotine without cigarette smoke by burning a nicotine solution. Since the introduction of e-cigarettes, they have become increasingly popular among non-smokers and adolescents, and smokers who want to reduce the health risks of smoking or who may want to quit smoking. It has an atomizer, battery, and cartridge that can be replaced. It holds nicotine and other flavoring agents. Does a question arise whether these electronic cigarettes are harmful just like the real ones or not?

E-cigarettes also contain ten times the level of carcinogen than the traditional tobaccos. It has been known that at higher voltage, more amount of formaldehyde is produced, which proliferates the risk of cancer up to fifteen times. E-cigarettes exaggerate the extent of nicotine which leads to DNA damage. Long-term usage of these leads to a tumor and other factors related to lung cancer. Nicotine present in these cigarettes indirectly leads to the initiation of tumors and progression towards lung cancer. More recent versions of e-cigarettes are being traded into markets which allow the users to operate them at higher temperatures. Hence users are asked not to take the level above that as it yields very trace levels of formaldehyde, which would cause massive damage to the lungs.

The use of e-cigarettes is rising not only in the general population but also among the patients who have cancer. They believe e-cigarettes are not risky like regular cigarettes, produce fewer pollutants, and tend to use them more often. However, as mentioned that the nicotine effects of e-cigarettes are hazardous for their health and lead to the progression of their disease; it may appear less harmful. Still, the points stated above make it clear that it can lead to harming of our health if used regularly. Hence, it is recommended for teenagers to know both sides of e-cigarettes before using them.

References: 

1. Saji, Smita et al. “Nicotine in E-cigarette smoke: cancer culprit?.” Journal of cell communication and signaling vol. 14,1 (2020): 127-128. doi:10.1007/s12079-019-00519-5

2. Do E-Cigarettes Cause Cancer?, https://www.news-medical.net/health,   Accessed: 2021-08-10 

3. E-Cigarettes and Cancer Risk | Cancer Prevention Research https://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/ Accessed:- 2021 -09 -19