What are electronic cigarettes?
E-cigs come in many shapes and sizes and are used as an alternative nicotine delivery method. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs do no utilize combustion, so there is no smoke. Instead, an e-liquid solution that contains four basic ingredients – all of which are already approved for use in foods, cosmetics and medications, is heated by a simple battery, producing a vapor. The user inhales the vapor to deliver a specific concentration of nicotine, from zero to 2.4 percent, with the most common usage being 0.3 percent nicotine solution.
How are E-Liquids Made?
CDC Finds More Smokers Use Vaping to Quit Than Any FDA-approved Method in 2017
Table 1. Prevalence of Any Quit Method Used (Alone or in Combination With Any of the Other 9 Quit Methodsa) During the Most Recent Quit Attempt Among US Adult Cigarette Smokers Who Tried to Quit in the Previous 3 Months (n = 15,943), 2014–2016
|Quit Method Useda||No. (Weighted %b)|
|Reported using multiple quit methods||12,417 (74.7)|
|Gave up cigarettes all at once||10,631 (65.3)|
|Gradually cut back on cigarettes||9,682 (62.0)|
|Substituted some regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes||5,861 (35.3)|
|Used nicotine patch or nicotine gum||4,047 (25.4)|
|Switched completely to e-cigarettes||3,721 (24.7)|
|Switched to “mild” cigarettes||3,376 (20.4)|
|Got help from a doctor or other health professional||2,963 (15.2)|
|Used FDA-approved medications such as Zyban or Chantix||2,374 (12.2)|
|Got help from a website such as Smokefree.gov||1,146 (7.1)|
|Got help from a telephone quitline||853 (5.4)|
1. State of California studies vapor and finds “secondhand vaping” appears to result in minimal exposure of bystanders to hazardous chemicals. Study published April 2017.
2. Cancer Research UK: Long-term e-cigarette–only use is associated with substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and toxins compared to smoking combustible cigarettes. Study published Feb. 2017.
3. 2017 British study finds smokers who switch to vaping reduce toxins.
4. Boston University study finds there is no gateway of e-cigs to addict youth. Published Jan. 2017
5. Oxford University study finds that e-cigs can keep children from exposure to dangerous smoke. Published Jan. 2017
6. Center for Addictions Research at University of Victoria (B.C.) finds that e-cigs are replacing smoking, not encouraging smoking. They also found that e-cig vapor is less harmful, containing only trace amounts of some chemicals found in cigarette smoke at much higher levels. Published Jan. 2017
Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced repeal and replace legislation for the vaping industry in April, 2017. The Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act is designed to offer reasonable regulation and harm-reduction strategies moving forward. Click to learn more.
Existing Research Citations: (3.31.2016)
Overview: Comprehensive Rolling Stone Dec. 2015 article on e-cigs.
Are e-cigs safe?
Any substance inhaled into the lungs is not 100 percent safe. However, recent studies have found that e-cigs are 95 percent less harmful than traditional combustion cigarettes. Tobacco addiction specialists are beginning to point out the difference between nicotine and smoking since mounting evidence shows it’s the smoke that kills, not the nicotine.
The landmark 2015 Public Health England comprehensive study on e-cigs found they are 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
The first long-term study of e-cig users here in the US showed that vapers who had been smoke-free for three years had 61 percent of smoke-induced health ailments resolved and their risk for contracting other smoke-related disease dropped 94 percent.
Nicotine has been found to have about the same qualities as caffeine in recent studies. It is being successfully used to treat cognitive ailments as well as nervous disorders. Note, the nicotine patch and nicotine gum are approved for over-the-counter use by the FDA.
Myths about chemicals
present in e-cigs
The base ingredient for e-liquids is Propylene Glycol which is considered GRAS (generally recognizes as safe) by the FDA and EPA. This versatile substance is used in many foods, cosmetics, medicines and fog machines during stage performances. Other myths about e-liquids have also been debunked.