According to a study by US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the results of which were published last week, teens who are frequently exposed to ads for e-cigarettes are more likely to pick up the habit of ‘vaping’, as the act of using
e-cigarettes is referred to. Be it online, on TV, or printed in a store or magazine,the more ads they were exposed to the more likely they were to have vaped.

Vapers have increased in number over the past few years. So much so that users are surpassing number of traditional cigarette smokers in the Western hemisphere. They may look pretty, but don’t be fooled, since the health consequences of using these are unknown.

Are e-cigarettes safer than cigarettes?
Because e-cigarettes deliver nicotine without burning tobacco, they appear as if they may be safer and less toxic. But they still contain nicotine and other potentially-harmful chemicals. Nicotine is extremely addictive drug. Recent research suggests that nicotine addicts are susceptible to other addictions. Some e-cigarette contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals (formaldehyde and acetaldehyde), as well as potentially toxic metal nanoparticles from the vapourizing mechanism.

What are they?
Battery-operated nicotine delivery apparatus, designed to deliver flavoured nicotine with other chemicals to users in vapor instead of smoke. There are more than 250 different e-cigarette brands currently on the market.

Can resemble traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes, or even items such as pens or USB memory sticks.

Previously considered safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, little is actually known yet about associated health risks.

How e-cigarettes work
E-cigarettes consist of three different components:
Cartridge with a liquid solution of nicotine, flavour, and other chemicals
Heating device (vaporizer)
Power source (usually a battery)
In many e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The resulting aerosol or vapour is then inhaled (called “vaping”).

E-cigarettes are unregulated as they are not marketed either as tobacco products or as having therapeutic effects.

There is no standards for the liquids used in e-cigarettes. Consequently there are no measures to confirm their purity or safety

Users maybe exposed to potentially toxic levels of nicotine by using refillable cartridges used by some e-cigarettes.

Cartridges could also be filled with substances other than nicotine, possibly serving as a potentially dangerous method for delivering other drugs.

Can e-cigarettes help quit smoking?
Some believe e-cigarettes may alleviate nicotine cravings while smokers are trying to quit. However, there is a chance they may perpetuate nicotine addiction, thereby interfere
with quitting.

Not been evaluated in scientific studies.

Little data exists on the safety of e-cigarettes. Consumers have no way of knowing associated health risks.

Nicotine can affect brain development

Some e-cigarettes have candy
flavouring, which could make them appealing to kids

They don’t leave behind a tobacco-like smell

So it’s harder for parents to know if their kids are vaping.

'Pretty' dangerous (2)