Electronic cigarettes are battery powered drug delivery machines that allow a consumer to breathe in a high dose nicotine aerosol. (See previous article “Electronic cigarettes, nicotine and antifreeze?” with research source citations in the comments section at Examiner.com/Roanoke Longevity Examiner.) No tobacco is used in the plastic machine cartridges, just pure nicotine in an artificially flavored liquid. Many scary questions have arisen about e-cigs:
Just how much nicotine gets in your brain when you vape one cartridge? Without extensive animal testing this question is not answerable. Extensive animal testing has not been done on e-cigs. The amount of nicotine that you take in from e-cigs will depend on how many cartridges you suck on, how deeply you inhale, how often you partake, and to some extent, how much money you have to buy replacement cartridges. Manufacturers may make claims about the actual dose received but without pharmacological and physiological testing, the answers don’t have meaning.
Are e-cigs more addictive than tobacco cigarettes? Again, no one knows yet. The product is too new, and too few people have used it to date. A full blown epidemiology study is required.
Can e-cigs make you sick? Electronic cigarettes use nicotine extracted with petroleum-based chemicals from tobacco leaves and, as such, are artificially flavored. Nicotine is deadly when blood levels reach about 60 mg in a 150 pound male. Quick smoking of sixty tobacco cigarettes would be required to reach this level. One Roanoker, Gus T. Castros, flatlined from a heart attack after he smoked 80 cigarettes over seven and a half hours. He had accidentally reached the 60 mg toxic dose plus some. When nicotine is inhaled, it inhibits blood flow to the skin which is one reason why smokers don’t heal well after surgery or from wounds and why smokers develop loads of wrinkles. Also when nicotine is inhaled, it is converted to amino ketones which can cause kidney damage.
The most frightening aspect of electronic cigarettes is that consumers who do not seek out data and who do not think critically might be convinced by the old hackneyed ad line: “This is Safe!” This same line was shouted by physicians in the 1950’s about tobacco cigarettes before the data was in and the truth was known-decades and millions of deaths and inpatients later. We just don’t know yet, but if you want to be one of the first poor guinea pigs who reveals the dangers and illnesses associated with e-cigs feel free. Vaping is your right.
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