Thursday, February 21, 2013

Latest Article on Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are still so new on most markets, many languages haven't yet decided what to call the users.

Should they be called "vapers," as some American smokers dub their colleagues who smoke smokeless cigarettes?

The word makes sense. If smokers are named after smoke, then "vapers" should be named after the nicotine vapor that electronic cigarettes emit instead.

Whatever one calls smokeless smokers, their number is growing rapidly.

A recent study by the British health campaigning charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that the number of people in that country who reported trying electronic cigarettes more than doubled, from 9 percent in 2010 to 22 percent in 2012.

Almost all the new users were people who already had smoked cigarettes and 40 percent of them hoped switching would free them from the usual hazards of smoking.

Those hazards include an increased risk of dying from cancer, mostly due to inhaling the tar and other toxins released by tobacco when it is burned.

How Much Safer?

But are electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, really safer than smoking?

Amanda Sandford, a research manager for ASH in London, says the only tobacco product the new devices contain is nicotine.

"Nicotine, compared to tobacco smoke, is relatively benign. It is the addictive component of tobacco, of course, and that is what keeps people coming back to smoking, but the harm [in smoking] comes largely from the inhaling of tobacco smoke," Sandford says.

"Nicotine itself, once it is isolated and extracted from tobacco and just used in its pure state, is relatively harmless."

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