What exactly is an e-cigarette?

In fact, the so-called “e-cigarette” generally refers to all devices that use battery heating to replace traditional smoking products. It can be further divided into two categories: heated tobacco products that use electronics to heat “tobacco” and electronic cigarettes that atomize “vape oil”.

According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, about 5.4 million people around the world die from smoking every year, and an average of one person dies from smoking every six seconds. The health hazards caused by smoking include: respiratory diseases, 전자담배 액상 사이트  cardiovascular diseases, digestive tract diseases, and lung cancer, which ranks first in the top ten cancer mortality rates among Chinese people for a long time. Among them, the most intuitive and most frightening one is lung cancer. Because of this, I believe everyone has passed this statement:

“Smoke replacement artifact, zero tar electronic cigarette”

“Zero-tar, nicotine-free smoking cessation artifact──E-cigarette” 

Many people who used to smoke have switched to using e-cigarettes, thinking that they will not harm the body, are healthier, and can have the pleasure of smoking. But is it really… so?

“Dr. Xie, are you talking about tongue twisters? What the hell is that?”

Don’t worry, tell everyone slowly.

Heated smoking products: tar is not the only carcinogen

Heated tobacco products mainly press real tobacco into “tobacco bombs”, and then use batteries to heat the tobacco to release the aroma, nicotine, and other substances in the tobacco.

 “How is it different from traditional cigarettes?”


The biggest difference is that there is no ignition and no burning, so no tar will be produced. Tar is the dark, viscous liquid that tobacco produces when it burns: it’s the main reason you see those black lungs on cigarette packs. There are many carcinogens in tar, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and various compounds containing benzene rings, which can be said to be one of the main causes of cancer-causing smoking. 

“If it doesn’t burn, there will be no tar, and it won’t cause cancer?” 

This is indeed something that many people who smoke e-cigarettes believe deeply, and it is also the main axis of many e-cigarette advertisements. However, I must be very frank: the answer is no. 

Because the carcinogens in tobacco are not only tar. N-Nitrosonornicotine (N-nitrosonornicotine, NNN), a nitrosamine, is a primary carcinogen; the metabolites of NNN, Nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK), and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-( 3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), which is also a carcinogen. 

NNN, NNK, NNAL, as long as the tobacco is heated, it will be released and does not need to be burned. So it is unrealistic to think that if you avoid tar, you will stay away from lung cancer. 

E-cigarettes: whether there is nicotine is the key point, but not all 

E-cigarettes use electronic equipment to atomize “smoke oil” to generate smoke to achieve the pleasure of smoking. The main components in the e-liquid are solvents, glycerol (glycerin) and propylene glycol that produce smoke, and then there are various essential oils and artificial flavors. Of course, some will add nicotine. 

“Nicotine! As long as I choose the one without nicotine, is it safe?” 

This is also a common myth. Let’s first understand nicotine! 

First of all, nicotine is not a carcinogen, but it is the main source of the “pleasure” of smoking. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine, which produces feelings of well-being and relaxation. But like drugs, it can cause addiction and dependence. This is also the origin of the so-called “smoking addiction”. Nicotine has also been proven to have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. 

In addition, many people are very concerned about the effect of nicotine on sexual performance! Nicotine will promote capillary contraction, resulting in a decrease in blood supply to the penis, and will also affect the erectile center, so it will have adverse effects on the congestion and erection of the penis; in addition, nicotine will also reduce the function of the gonads (testis and ovaries), resulting in a decrease in libido. 

Is everything OK without nicotine? Not necessarily. Although propylene glycol and glycerin are relatively safe, the impact of inhaling a large amount of atomized alcohol on body functions is still unknown. In addition, essential oils, artificial fragrances… the ingredients are actually very complex, and it is impossible to inhale a large amount after heating and atomizing without affecting your health. 

“E-cigarettes are not harmful to second-hand smoke?” 

Of course not! As long as there is smog, it will increase the suspension of PM2.5 particles, which will of course have an impact on indoor air quality. In addition, the chemical substances produced are stained on the clothes, and the impact on the people around us cannot be underestimated. 

“Can e-cigarettes help quit smoking? Can they replace cigarettes?” 

According to the 2019 report of the World Health Organization (WHO): “At present, there is no scientific evidence to prove that e-cigarettes can help quit smoking. E-cigarettes also pose health risks to both users and non-users.” 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also pointed out: “E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved smoking cessation aids, and there is currently insufficient evidence to prove that e-cigarettes can assist smoking cessation.” 

“Then, Dr. Xie, is there no other way to enjoy the pleasure of puffing, but it is not harmful to health and can quit smoking?” 

The answer is definitely: “No!” You can’t have both, and quitting smoking is a long road. The simplest and most direct way is to truly quit smoking through the assistance of legitimate medical channels, which is the best choose! 

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