E-cigarettes have become a new topic of discussion in the public health field. The nicotine-based vaping device is considered to have minimal health impact compared to smoking regular cigarettes. But is vaping really better than smoking nicotine?
The annual survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse measures the use of nicotine and other substances like marijuana, opioids, and alcohol. The survey covered more than 44,000 students from 8th to 12th grades in US public and private schools.
The results show that the percentage of students who used nicotine-based vaping devices has increased by nearly 30% over the past year. E-cigarettes are a divisive topic in the public health community. Some focus on the potential benefit of switching smoking to less harmful products. On the other hand, some believe that it is a newly found addiction by the young generation.
The increased vaping among 10th and 12th-grade students have seen the largest year-on-year jump for any substance ever measured. The usage of e-cigarettes is quite high among high school seniors as well. More students are switching to e-cigarettes. In 30 days alone, the users of e-cigarettes have doubled to 20.9 percent from last year.
What are Electronic cigarettes or E-cigarettes?
An electronic cigarette is a handy electronic device that simulates the feeling of smoking. It works with a liquid that heats to generate an aerosol. The liquid in e-cigarette contains nicotine, propylene, glycol, glycerine, and flavorings. However, not every e-liquid has nicotine in it.
The health risks of vaping are uncertain. They are considered to be safer than regular tobacco cigarettes. But it is unclear whether they really help in quitting smoking. Less serious adverse effects include throat and mouth irritation, coughing, vomiting, and nausea feeling.
E-cigarettes create an aerosol, which is commonly called vapor. Its composition may vary, the percentage of toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke are absent in e-cigarette aerosol. However, aerosol contain toxicants and heavy metals at levels permitted in inhaled medicines. In France in 2014, 7.7-9.2 million people tried e-cigarettes and 1.1-1.9 million use them on a daily basis.
Here’s why smokers are using e-cigarettes
- For recreational use
- To reduce or quit smoking
- Because they believe vaping is healthier than smoking
- To find a way around smoke-free laws
- Because e-cigarettes are odorless
- They are quite cheaper in some jurisdiction
The WHO in August called for stiff regulation of e-cigarettes as well as a ban on its indoor use, in the latest bid to control the rising three billion dollar market.
Vaping in India
India is considering a ban on e-cigarettes over the risks to public health that they may cause, as per Senior Health Ministry official. This, therefore, means no local manufacturing, no retail sales, no imports and no advertising or promoting of any Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems(ENDS).
These bans are already across Indian states including Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Kerala. Whereas, some states are marching to ban ENDS under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and others have placed it in the Poisons Act of 1919.