E-cigarettes, battery-operated devices that allow individuals to inhale
an aerosol (vapor) containing nicotine or other substances, are a growing
popular trend across the nation, especially amongst the youth. Many individuals
claim that they’re “better” than traditional cigarettes,
but in actuality, they are new tobacco products that still have largely
unknown public and individual health effects. Not only are health affects
unknown, but e-cigarettes are unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), which means that there are no safety checks or requirements for
what chemicals can go into one.
The main component of an e-cigarette is the liquid found inside. The e-liquid
is a mix of extracted nicotine and a base, plus flavoring and coloring.
As previously mentioned, The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes, so there
is no way to know what kind of chemicals are in the various vape pen brands.
In almost every e-cigarette brand, nicotine is a main ingredient, even
if the product claims to be nicotine free. Nicotine is highly addictive
and harmful to developing fetuses, newborns, and adolescents. In addition
to nicotine, initial FDA testing has found detectable levels of cancer-causing
toxins in e-cigarettes. Statistics also show that there has been an increase
in calls to poison control centers from exposure to e-cigarette emissions.
Because there is still so little known about the consequences of vaping,
the best thing to do is avoid it. Many tests still need to be done in
order to see the health effects e-cigarettes may have on an individual,
as well as an increase in regulation from the FDA.