Technically these devices are known by the FDA as “electronic nicotine delivery systems” or ENDS.
These are devices which mimic the smoking experience through the heating of a liquid known as e-liquid. This solution is comprised of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, food flavorings and a small amount of nicotine.
While there are several styles of e-cigarettes to choose from, they all basically work the same. A mod or device houses the battery which is connected to a tank. Inside of the tank is the heating element or coil. The e-liquid goes into the tank which absorbs onto the cotton that is in the coil. When the user hits the “fire” button a small electrical current goes through the coil, heats the liquid on the cotton and produces aerosolized e-liquid.
These devices are designed to give smokers an alternative nicotine delivery method. Due to it’s heat not burn technology vaping does not create tar. Most credible health studies show that due to the lack of tar, vaping ENDS products is less harmful than smoking combustible tobacco products.
Please remember this technology is harm reduction, not harm elimination. We highly recommend that smokers do their own research to see if vaping is a good alternative for them. If you are not a smoker we recommend that you do not start a nicotine addiction no matter what the delivery method.
While nicotine is not entirely safe, these are often considered a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes. The majority of risks associated with smoking have to do with the carcinogens created by tobacco combustion and the tar that comes along with combustion. Studies have indicated that the illnesses and death associated with traditional products are from tar and not the nicotine itself.
One of the most comprehensive studies of the ENDS industry was done by the Royal College of Physicians. We highly recommend everyone take the time to review their findings. The ENDS industry has come to find that they are one of the most reliable and unbiased sources to rely on for information about vaping.
No. This has never been proven and is false.
A few studies, published around 2015 looked at whether e-liquids available at the time contained diacetyl. They found that some of e-liquid flavors tested did contain some level of diacetyl. The idea that e-cigarettes could cause popcorn lung came from these studies.
However, this study didn’t look at whether there was a link between e-cigarette use and popcorn lung in ENDS users. So far, there’s no good evidence that e-cigarettes could cause popcorn lung. Here is a more in depth explanation from Cancer Research UK.
After 10 years of popularity, and with approximately 13 million users, there are still no confirmed cases of cancer related to ENDS products that we are aware of.
This does not mean that vaping is “healthy”. Vaping ENDS products is a harm reduction tool designed to help smokers get off of combustible tobacco. Combustible tobacco kills 1315 people in the US every day for a total of 480k Americans per year.
Here’s how the American Cancer Society answers this question:
“Scientists are still learning more about how e-cigarettes affect health when they are used for long periods of time. It’s important to know that e-cigarette vapor contains some cancer-causing chemicals, although in significantly lower amounts than in cigarette smoke.”
These products are not marketed as such, and the industry is restricted by the FDA to make such claims.
There have been many reports of people successfully using them in this manner. They are an alternative nicotine delivery method to smoking that produces no tar. Many health organizations do say that if you smoke, making the transition to ENDS products can provide a smoker with health benefits.
There is currently a documentary on Netflix, E-Cig Miracle or Menace, if you would like to find out more about this question.
In August 2019, reported cases of lipoid pneumonia started to be reported from “vaping” and “e-cigarettes”. This news has been misleading the general public. A majority of these cases have been confirmed to be related to the illicit liquid THC market. Black market manufacturers were adding vitamin E acetate which seems to be the cause of these medical cases.
Unfortunately, the media is blaming the delivery method rather than the controlled substance. After 10+ years of being a mainstream alternative to smoking and with millions of users, there hasn’t been any reported cases of lipoid pneumonia until now.
Evidence is leading authorities to believe a majority of these cases of lipoid pneumonia are a direct result of black market THC cartridges which are not affiliated with the ENDS industry. We’ve written a short article that goes into this topic in greater detail.
The ENDS industry is heavily regulated by the FDA. The FDA has every ingredient for every registered legal product in the ENDS industry and the ENDS industry does not use vitamin E acetate in their products.