This article adresses the facts about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) that you may not have known. It includes the good, the bad and the “we don’t know yet”. A preliminary study recently found that the nicotine released from electronic cigarettes leaves a residue on indoor surfaces that could expose non-smokers to dangerous carcinogens.
We may be familiar with “second hand smoke” which is when a non-smoker breathes in the nicotine and toxic chemicals from a near-by smoker. E-cigarettes pose a threat to “third hand smoke”. When nicotine and other chemicals fall on household surfaces and even clothes, people can touch, ingest and even inhale these toxins long after smoking has ceased, even for years. Children and infants are especially vulnerable due to their increased exposure and sensitivity.
Regulation is another issue. Opponents for regulation say that e-cigarettes are recreational and should not be FDA regulated. On the other hand, you may not know what you’re getting. A recent study found a more than 20% difference in nicotine concentrations from the amounts indicated on the product label in 1 of 4 e-cigarette products. Researchers also detected nicotine in some refill solutions that claimed to be nicotine-free.
We don’t know the long term consequences of inhaled nicotine vapor from e-cigarettes, but we are finding out that it effects the people around those who smoke. They may not be as safe as we think.