Here at VIP, we recently came across an interesting video by the BBC News which shows a subject being tested for levels of carbon monoxide in the body. Carried out at Queen Mary University in London, the test showed that carbon monoxide levels of a non-smoker and someone who uses an e-cigarette produced the same result of 4. However, when the subject took a drag of a regular cigarette this number more than doubled, to 10, highlighting that e-cigarettes contain no discernible toxins or carbon monoxide.
This test was overseen by Professor Peter Hajek who states that “many people out there think that nicotine itself is a dangerous poison but if nicotine is taken without the accompanying toxins then the health effects would be very similar to drinking coffee”.
Although many people say that e-cigarettes are far safer than the conventional cigarette, others still question whether it helps in quitting to smoke. There are concerns about the marketing of e-cigarettes as they may make them attractive to adolescents. However, research found that although 12% of these adolescents have tried an e-cigarette, there is 50% more chance of them becoming regular users after a normal cigarette but no evidence to suggest regular use of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes also have the following benefits:
- ->It’s not dangerous to be near someone who uses one (compared to regular cigarettes where there is the effects of ‘passive smoking’).
- ->There’s no evidence and very little reason to believe it’s going to renormalise smoking.
The problem most people have with e-cigarettes could be the presence of ‘cigarette’ in the word or because the vapour looks like smoke.
In fact, one of the UK’s leading addiction experts, Robert West, conducted a study on 5,000 individuals who were using different methods to quit smoking. The findings of the study showed that those who used e-cigarettes were about 60% more likely to still not to smoke compared to those that used NRTs or nothing at all.
Robert West concludes the piece by stating “If we fail to take this opportunity that electronic cigarettes are potentially providing, then we’re really condemning people to death who would have otherwise lived, that’s what’s at stake”.