Electric cigarette harmless to health?

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The electric cigarette also poses health risks

Electric cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular in Germany, with the health benefits also playing a not inconsiderable role. But e-cigarettes are also not harmless, which is why the German Cancer Research Center was unable to certify that they were harmless.

Although the electric cigarette does not produce any pollutants like when tobacco is burned, the inhaled vapor can contain carcinogenic substances. Martina Pötschke-Langer from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg is currently warning that "electric cigarettes are not a safe alternative to conventional glow sticks".

Partially carcinogenic pollutants in the liquids of the e-cigarette According to the expert of the DKFZ, pollutants can also arise when the liquids are evaporated in an e-cigarette, which can lead to considerable health risks, including cancer. For example, the American Food and Drug Administration, FDA, "found tobacco-specific nitrosamines in some of the liquids tested for e-cigarettes," said Martina Pötschke-Langer. The nitrosamines are already "carcinogenic in small doses," warned the expert. In addition, the ingredients of the liquids to be evaporated are hardly comprehensible for consumers. According to the DKFZ expert, “the e-cigarette market is totally confusing” and the composition of the liquids from glycerin, nicotine, propylene glycol and numerous flavorings is not very transparent for consumers. In the end, it remains completely unclear to consumers which substances they might ingest “because the various mixtures have not been adequately investigated in terms of chemical and toxicity,” according to Martina Pötschke-Langer's criticism. According to the DKFZ expert, the e-cigarette should not be equated with a healthy way to quit smoking, even if the advertising suggests a supposedly healthy smoking experience.

E-cigarettes also pose health risks It is undisputed that when a cigarette's tobacco is burned, numerous pollutants are generated that can be avoided with e-cigarettes. But the electric cigarette does not keep the promise of smoking that is harmless to health. Vaporizing the supposedly harmless liquids in the battery-operated cigarette can also cause extremely harmful pollutants. Especially since it is not clear which ingredients are added to the liquids. The DKFZ expert is therefore extremely critical of the advertising statements. A new product is being massively advertised here in order to open up additional sales opportunities, especially among young people and first-time users. The e-cigarette has a trivializing effect on smoking overall. However, healthy smoking cannot be guaranteed with the help of the e-cigarette, especially if nicotine-containing liquids are used. The expert of the German Cancer Research Center, according to her own statements, reminds the current development "fatally of the beginnings of the alcopops with which adolescents were introduced to alcohol more and more early."

With electric cigarettes and inhalers to combat tobacco addiction? In general, the expert believes that tobacco consumption and the electronic cigarette should be better avoided from a health point of view. The electric cigarette could help smokers to overcome their addiction, but in return it could also induce non-smokers - especially adolescents - to smoke because of the supposed harmlessness. Therefore, evaluating the e-cigarette positively from the outset because it contains fewer pollutants than conventional cigarettes does not do it justice. Especially since the e-cigarette is available for everyone over the Internet from a price of just under 60 euros, which also makes it easier for young people to buy. Controlled sales such as cigarettes or sales through the pharmacy would certainly be appropriate here. For smoking cessation, e-cigarettes have also been on sale in pharmacies for years, but these look less like a cigarette and only flavorings are evaporated - no nicotine. The e-cigarettes in pharmacies are not used to satisfy the addiction, but rather to distract people in order to suppress the feeling of addiction. This is different with the inhalers for nicotine replacement therapy, which are also available in pharmacies. These are actually used to remedy nicotine addiction, but they look like a classic inhaler and are only operated with controlled substances for vaping. (fp)

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