In recent years, liquid nicotine has been touted as a less risky replacement for smoking cigarettes. This can be delivered to the system in an electronic cigarette or vaporizer. These are known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
These battery-operated ‘e-cigs’ and ‘vapes’ atomize the liquid nicotine by applying heat but without the harmful, oxidative effects of burning. Liquids are available in a range of strengths and flavors.
Current evidence suggests that using liquid nicotine is a safer alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke, as nicotine in itself is not classified as carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
It may also help people that are trying to quit smoking mimic some of the addictive behaviors of cigarette use, such as raising the hand to the mouth or seeing smoke inhaled, that other types of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) cannot imitate. Liquid nicotine can help replicate these behaviors without the harmful effects of tobacco use.
Any form of nicotine is highly addictive, so e-cigarettes and vaporizers remain unsuitable for young people and those who do not already smoke. Liquid nicotine can act as a gateway to cigarettes for those not already regularly taking in nicotine.
The use of e-cigarettes rose from 1.5 percent to 16 percent among high-school students and from 0.6 percent to 5.3 percent in middle-school students between 2011 and 2015, with 81 percent of young e-cigarette users putting their use of the products down to the wide availability of flavors.
There are also other chemicals present in e-cigarette and vaporizer liquid that could be harmful, and these chemicals will be different in various brands, products, devices, and uses. Some products that are available online may also contain dangerous concentrations of nicotine.
While nicotine does not itself cause cancer, some of the other substances in liquid nicotine may well contribute to it. For example, a flavoring called diacetyl, used in some e-liquids, is also associated with severe respiratory problems seen in workers at a factory that produces microwaveable popcorn, known as “popcorn lung.”
These products have been regulated by the FDA since 2016 and, as of 2018, must bear the nicotine addictiveness warning on packaging and marketing materials. However, as a relatively new technology, the full effects of liquid nicotine are not known, and caution is advised.
Source: Medical News Today
By Adam Felman | Last updated Thu 11 January 2018