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Unveiling the Dangers: Why Electronic Cigarettes are Problematic for Your Health

While there are several techniques for quitting smoking, no single method is universally effective. Electronic cigarettes were created as a gradual way to quit or as a potentially safer option, but their potential health risks are a subject of debate. This article aims to cover various aspects of electronic cigarettes in terms of information and perspective.

Reuters HEALTH
Published February 05,2024

Although various methods have been developed to quit smoking, it is not possible to speak of a method suitable for everyone. Electronic cigarettes, developed for reasons such as quitting gradually or opting for a less harmful alternative, have controversial health risks. In this article, we tried to present information about electronic cigarettes with different aspects.

What is an electronic cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes are generally battery-powered systems designed to mimic cigarette movement and smoke, allowing users to inhale nicotine in vapor form along with various amounts of flavorings (coffee, mint, confectionery, fruit flavors, etc.) or other chemical solutions instead of smoke.

Risks, problems

The substances contained in e-cigarettes, their quantities, and the harm they cause to health have not been regulated or approved by national and international health organizations.

Nicotine, being more addictive than many other substances, poses a serious risk as nicotine levels in e-cigarette cartridges vary.

Although introduced as a harm reduction strategy, almost 80% of e-cigarette users continue to use both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, so reducing harm is not possible.

Some e-cigarette products have been found to contain toxic metals, carcinogens, and toxic chemicals.

Since cartridges can be filled with addictive or harmful substances other than nicotine and are not regulated, they indicate a potential danger.

Since there is no ban on the sale of tobacco-containing products under a certain age, e-cigarettes have become a preference among young people.

There is concern that it may be a "gateway" product that leads young people to try other tobacco products.

It has been found that e-cigarettes contain 3000 times more particles (nanoparticles) harmful to the lungs than environmental smoke.

It contains 100 times more metals (lead, chromium, tin, silver, nickel, copper, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury) than regular cigarettes.

Symptoms such as dizziness, throat irritation, and coughing are observed in e-cigarette use, which are also seen in regular cigarette smokers.

Prolonged exposure to nicotine in e-cigarettes can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, while inhaling nicotine can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Aromatized liquids containing nicotine used to fill cartridges can pose a danger to children at home. Children's interest in these liquids and related poisoning rates are increasing.

Nicotine can negatively affect the development of the prefrontal cortex in adolescents, leading to attention deficit and impulse control disorders.

While the substances in the liquids used in e-cigarettes are not harmful alone, they can turn into toxic compounds when heated.

More than 80 compounds have been identified in e-cigarette aerosols, and we have no knowledge about the possible interactions between all these chemicals. A compound that is harmless at a certain concentration can interact with other compounds at low concentrations to produce harmful effects.

Studies supported or conducted by the tobacco industry have serious conflicts of interest. Studies conducted in collaboration with e-cigarette manufacturers also contain conflicts of interest that may affect the results.

Batteries used as power sources in e-cigarettes have been shown to carry the risk of explosion.


Electronic cigarettes are less deadly than regular cigarettes.

The biggest benefit of electronic cigarettes is that they do not produce tar or toxic gases found in cigarette smoke when compared to regular cigarettes.

Although the majority of studies on e-cigarettes have shown that they are not helpful in quitting smoking, very few studies have found them to be beneficial in reducing smoking.