Myths About E-Cigarettes

Myths About E-Cigarettes

Myths About E-Cigarettes

I personally think E-cigs are great but advocates tout that e-cigarette are a clean alternative to old-fashioned tobacco, one that can even help people quit smoking. But although the companies making these largely unregulated products promote e-cigarettes as safe and pure, the reality is a little more complicated. Here are four common misconceptions about e-cigarettes, and the scientific evidence against them.

Myth 1: Vapor from e-cigs is pure.

The liquid “vaped” in an e-cigarette contains nicotine, water and a solvent (usually glycerine or propylene glycol). It may also contain flavoring agents, such as oil of wintergreen. Although this mixture may sound pure enough, neither the liquid (called the e-liquid) nor the device’s delivery system are regulated; this means e-cigarettes could produce harmful chemicals.

In fact, recent studies have identified impurities ranging from formaldehyde to heavy metals in e-cig vapor. And vaporized propylene glycol is a known eye and respiratory irritant.

One recent study found formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone in the vapor of several different e-cigarette models and liquid nicotine products found formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone. “We found nicotine, of course, but we also found some potentially dangerous compounds,” said study researcher Maciej Goniewicz, an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York.

What’s more, users can amp up the voltage of an e-cig delivery device, resulting in a denser, more nicotine-rich vapor. Goniewicz and his team found that at a higher voltage and hotter temperature, levels of harmful chemicals increased, too.

The vapor had a lower chemical content than tobacco smoke, but there was “huge variability” among the products tested, Goniewicz told Live Science. “It doesn’t mean that each product will expose users to high levels of formaldehyde, but there is a risk for sure,” he said.

Myth 2: E-cigs are safe.

In addition to potential toxicity from chemical byproducts, which could harm users over the long term, e-cigs carry another safety risk. Liquid nicotine is extremely toxic when swallowed, and in some case reports, infants and children have accidentally ingested the substance.

The chances of this happening may increase with flavored liquid nicotine, which may come in enticing-looking packages and can smell tempting, according to new research.

“It mistakenly has this reputation for being safe because it’s purchased over the counter, but it easily can be fatal if it’s taken in high doses,” said Dr. Robert A. Bassett, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Bassett and his colleagues reported a case of liquid nicotine poisoning in a 10-month-old infant in the May 7 issue of JAMA.

The boy recovered within a few hours, but nicotine poisoning could easily be fatal, Bassett said. A teaspoon of standard liquid nicotine would be enough to kill a person who weighs 200 pounds (90 kilograms), Bassett and his colleagues noted in their report.

Myth 3: E-cigs can help you quit smoking.

The few studies looking at whether or not using e-cigs helps people kick the habit have had mixed results. Some studies have found people who tried e-cigs wound up smoking fewer regular cigarettes, but they were no more likely to give up smoking entirely.

Overall, the authors of a recent scientific review conclude, “studies that reflect real-world e-cigarette use found that e-cigarette use is not associated with successful quitting … Taken together, the studies suggest that e-cigarettes are not associated with successful quitting in general population-based samples of smokers.”

And there is even some evidence that e-cigs may get non-smokers hooked on nicotine. Studies have found as many as one-third of young e-cigarette users have never tried conventional cigarettes.

Myth 4: E-cigs don’t produce harmful second-hand smoke.

A main selling point of e-cigs is that they can be used anywhere, because they don’t produce toxic smoke that puts others at risk. But breathing in second-hand vapor,  also known as “passive vaping,” may not be harmless. In fact, experts say although The level of toxic chemicals in second-hand vapor is smaller than that in second-hand smoke. But experts say e-cig smoke contains a similar amount of tiny particles of heavy metals and other substances that can damage the lungs.

The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would permit the agency to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products. If the proposal becomes final, the agency said, it will be able to use regulatory tools, such as age restrictions and rigorous scientific review of new tobacco products and claims to reduce tobacco-related disease and death.

 

Source:  livescience.com

Mosquito Invisibility Cloak

Mosquito ‘invisibility cloak’ discovered:

 

Mosquito 'invisibility cloak' discovered

Mosquito ‘invisibility cloak’ discovered

 

 

A naturally occurring substance found in human skin could yield a viable alternative to existing mosquito repellent, scientists say.

They say the chemical could help render people “invisible” to the insects.

At the American Chemical Society meeting, they revealed a group of compounds that could block mosquitoes’ ability to smell potential targets.

When a hand with these chemicals was placed in a mosquito filled enclosure, it was completely ignored.

The team says their work could help prevent the spread of deadly diseases.

Mosquitoes are among the most deadly disease-carrying creatures. They spread malaria, which in 2010 killed an estimated 660,000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ulrich Bernier of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) who presented the work, said his team was exploring other options to Deet – a repellent which some do not favour.

These chemical compounds, including 1-methylpiperazine, were found to completely block their sense of smell.

The compounds could be added into many cosmetics and lotions, Dr Bernier added.

“If you put your hand in a cage of mosquitoes where we have released some of these inhibitors, almost all just sit on the back wall and don’t even recognize that the hand is in there. We call that anosmia or hyposmia, the inability to sense smells or a reduced ability to sense smells.”

Commenting on the work, James Logan of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was exciting to find out exactly which chemicals repelled mosquitoes.

“Although we already have good repellents on the market, there is still room for new active ingredients. The challenge that scientists face is improving upon the protection provided by existing repellents.

“If a new repellent can be developed which is more effective, longer lasting and affordable, it would be of great benefit to travellers and people living in disease endemic countries,” Dr Logan told BBC News.

But he said that it would take many years before a new product would make it to market.