Are E-cigarettes Better Than Regular Cigarettes?

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The fight against the tobacco industry has come a long way, states like Illinois have passed laws prohibiting smoking in the work place and in public places. But still there are products like e-cigarettes that are taking over the smoking industry, becoming the fastest selling products with sales of up to $1.7 billion.

A recent study found that e-cigarette vapor could contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes. When these electronic cigarettes are operated at high voltages, they can produce vapor with large amounts of these chemical compounds. Formaldehyde is a human carcinogen; it’s a colorless, gas, commonly used in glues and as embalming fluid.

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Unfortunately e-cigarettes have been on the market for less than 10 years, so the amount of research is limited. In addition many regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and health experts aren’t sure how safe they are.

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In 2009 the FDA found some cartridges of liquid nicotine contained about 1% diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical also found in antifreeze. Plus there are concerns about the disclosure of the ingredients that these e-cigarettes include, as well as the safety claims provided by the manufacturers.

Since there is very little regulation on e-cigarettes, some manufacturers market them as green cigarettes that can be smoked anywhere. They make them seem like they’re smokeless tobacco products with no health risks and because of that they’re allowed in smoke-free environments.

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