Vaping is the new ‘cool’ thing for youngsters all around the world. And notably, the youth are not the only demographic that are obsessed with these e-cigarettes.
Smokers too have opted for this alternative to try and quit their tobacco smoking habits. But a recent research, conducted on the behalf of Japan’s health ministry, claims that it might be even worse than regular cigarettes.
As mentioned before, many people take up E-cigarettes in an attempt to battle their smoking addiction. The primary reason being is because it is less harmful than regular cigarettes in terms of consumption of harmful carcinogens, which are a byproduct of smoking.
But in the tests conducted during the research, one particular carcinogen named formaldehyde was found in an alarming quantity in the smoke of e-cigarettes – 10 times more than the quantity of a regular cigarette to be precise.
The particular experiment tested different brands of e-cigarettes on a machine which mechanically inhaled 15 puffs, in sets of 10. In this experiment ,the amount of formaldehyde, as well as acetaldehyde, was found abnormally large in e-cigarettes when compared to normal cigarettes.
It is to be noted that the former is the same chemical which is used in the process of embalming and also the main culprit behind the notorious sick building syndrome. Not to mention, one of the foremost runners in cancer causing substances.
On taking a closer look, it was found that the high production of formaldehyde was owing to overheating of parts in the e-cigarette. The main wire, which is responsible for heating and thus converting the liquid into vapor, is creating these chemicals as part of the same process.
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As problematic as it is for the regular user, the impact could be a lot worse for youngsters who have made a fad out of turning these vapors into artistic creations of their own (hence the obsession with vaping). In case you need to take things into perspective, 15 puffs of the e-cigarette involved in the experiment produced up to 1600 micrograms of formaldehyde.
Although the research is less than full proof at the moment, it has successfully relaunched the dialogue on the relative ‘safety’ of e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking. If these results are substantiated with more proofs from around the world, the whole claim of e-cigarettes being non or less harmful falls flat.
The World Health Organisation has already expressed concern over the growing use of e-cigarettes and their impact on a person’s health, especially young children. Hence, WHO called for a ban on the sale of this product at least to minors and instructed the governments of all countries to comply.
However, experts and researchers are also claiming that this particular research is not enough to completely ban e-cigarettes, which have apparently brought down the smoking population’s numbers quite spectacularly in very less time.
The two main factors why this particular result cannot be taken as the gospel truth are because, first of all, these findings were based on a particular brand’s particular sample. Even though the brand’s name has not been disclosed, this is not a reason enough to ban the entire brand, let alone e-cigarettes all together.
Secondly, it was only one carcinogen, namely formaldehyde, which was found in such large quantities. Regular cigarettes have that, and a hundred others in addition to it. So the relative harm is yet to be adjudged empirically.
There are quite a few studies which have shown a direct relation between switching from tobacco to vaping devices and decrease in deaths caused by the former. The jury is still out on whether or not this alternative is the correct alternative.
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