Dr. Robert Axelrad Dental Office

Making Brampton Smile Since 1997

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E-cig

I remember, a slogan (from many years ago – I believe the early 70’s) geared towards women who smoked cigarettes. It went something like this …. “You’ve come a long way baby.” It was considered modern and hip for women to smoke.

Nowadays, it isn’t considered ‘cool’ for anyone to smoke … actually the reverse. Modern times have focused on getting away from smoking. We will discuss ways to ‘kick the habit’ in a future blog.

Today we will take a brief look at the E- Cigarette …..I guess you can say “technology has come a long way baby.”

E Cigarettes:

Facts:
– Work on the principle of replacing the nicotine found in a traditional cigarette.
– Unlike cigarettes, tobacco is not ‘burnt.’
– They contain cartridges that are filled with nicotine and other chemicals.
– The nicotine is in the form of a liquid that is converted into vapor or steam when inhaled.
– It is actually a tobacco ‘solution’ that is found in e cigarettes.

This solution contains: A toxic chemical that is found in antifreeze.

: Nitrosamines, which are cancer causing chemicals.

Issues:

Is there a potential for nicotine addiction?

The fascination of e-cigarettes has attracted a whole new generation > teenagers who may not smoke traditional cigarettes. The past few decades have focused on methods to stop smoking. Will the e-cigarette become a new high tech way to get young people addicted to nicotine? On the flip side of this, one can argue that existing smokers are better off with e-cigarettes than actual cigarette smoking, as they may be inhaling lesser amounts of toxic chemicals than with traditional ones.

Comparison
The e-cigarette may be to an actual cigarette what methadone is to heroine > an aid to avoid the worse and more toxic addiction.

Since the e-cigarette is considered a relatively new concept, research is required to show their true effectiveness. I.e. are they safer than tobacco ?

Mechanism of Action: The concept of the e-cigarette is similar to a regular cigarette. Upon inhaling, the end of it glows and when exhaling the result is a ‘puff of cloud’ > this looks like smoke, but is in fact vapor.
A battery within the e-cigarette charges a heating element which acts on a cartridge of nicotine and other liquids/flavors.

Safety:

The nicotine within the e-cigarette can cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms when stopped. In addition, the nicotine can be harmful to arteries over time.
However, the e-cigarette appears to be safer than traditional cigarettes because there is no smoke (which is the most harmful aspect) ……. E-cigarettes do not burn.
There are also a much lower level of harmful chemicals emitted with an e-cigarette as compared to a traditional one.

Conclusion

Time and research are required in order to determine the long term risks and side effects associated with e-cigarettes and also the effects of second hand smoke on individuals……Let’s hope for the best!

Till next time,

Dr. Robert Axelrad, Brampton Dentist