The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and some health experts are concerned that the side effects of inhaling pure nicotine have yet to be adequately studied, and are therefore unknown. The FDA is also concerned about quality control, asserting that some manufacturers may not adequately disclose all the chemical ingredients in their e-cigarettes, and that the amount of nicotine listed on a cartridge label may not match the actual amount in the cartridge.
Electronic cigarette manufacturers are careful not to directly market their product to young people. However nicotine cartridges for the e-cigarettes come in a wide range of flavors likely to appeal to kids—think chocolate, caramel, strawberry and even bubble gum. And because e-cigarettes are sold online, it’s easier for kids to purchase them than it is for them to buy regular cigarettes. For example, U.S. law requires consumers to provide proof that they are at least 18 years of age to buy tobacco cigarettes, but this law does not apply to e-cig sellers. And young people may be attracted to e-cigarettes as a result of the attention celebrities are bringing to them: Johnny Depp uses on in the film “The Tourist” and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl shared one with David Letterman during a guest appearance on his show, even explaining to the audience how it works [source:ecig.org and Hunter].
Regulation of electronic cigarette use is still evolving, as the product is relatively new. Manufacturers often market e-cigarettes as cigarettes you can smoke anywhere, saying that they present no health risks because they don’t emit secondhand smoke. However, health experts say there is no basis for a safety claim, as e-cigarettes have not been adequately tested.
While e-cigarettes don’t produce secondhand smoke, they do produce secondhand vapor. And even though manufacturers say that it’s merely water vapor and therefore harmless, regulatory agencies and health experts contend that e-cigarette makers haven’t conducted the research needed to prove this. Some individuals particularly those with health conditions that make them sensitive, have reported that the vapor is irritating to their eyes, noses and throats, and that it affects their breathing and makes them nauseous. Opponents of e-cigarettes say people shouldn’t be subjected to secondhand vapor until manufacturers have proven it to be safe for everyone, including children, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions.
Because they contain no tobacco, e-cigarettes aren’t subject to U.S. tobacco laws, which means they can be purchased without proof of age, especially online. This raises concerns that e-cigs may be particularly appealing to kids and may encourage nicotine addiction among young people.
As for their merits in smoking cessation, e-cigarettes don’t appear very helpful. A study published last month in the Journal Additive Behaviors Found that most smokers who used them while they tried to quit either became hooked on vaping or reverted back to smoking cigarettes. A study published November 16 in the journal, The Lancet found no statistically significant difference in the merits of the e-cigarettes over the nicotine patch in terms of helping people quit.
Leone said that e-cigarettes might not help people quit smoking because the device keeps addicts is a state of ambivalence—the illusion of doing something positive to mitigate the guilt that comes from smoking but all the while maintaining the ritual of smoking.
Once addicted, the body will crave nicotine. And although nicotine isn’t the most dangerous toxin in tobacco’s arsenal, this chemical nevertheless is a cancer-promoting agent, and is associated with birth defects and developmental disorders. www/huffingtonpost.com
Second, electronic cigarettes deliver an array of other chemicals, including diethylene glycol (a highly toxic substance), various nitrosamines (powerful carcinogens found in tobacco), and at least four other chemicals suspected of being harmful to humans. www.health.harvard.edu/blog/