E-cigarettes can be called by different terms such as vape pens or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDSs). The chemical composition of e-cigarettes liquids usually includes nicotine, the addictive and toxic substance found in tobacco. Along with the rapidly increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes, there are growing concerns about their safety.
What Are E-Cigarettes? Facts & Stats
For vaping newbies, e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes may sound like confusing terms. However, the differences are very much clear. E-cigarettes are vaping devices that heat e-liquids to vaporize them for inhalation. The liquid solutions contain nicotine and flavorings that promote the retention of moisture and production of aerosol vapor by heating them. Even though some flavorings have been endorsed by FDAs, the health hazards relating to the long-term consumption of these products are not yet understood.
In November 2019, there was a jump in the number of people who had lung diseases. Around that time, about 39 people lost their lives in the USA as a result of vaping-related lung diseases. 2051 people were also reported to be suffering from lung diseases. What is even more disturbing is the fact that about 80% of the lung cases were in people who had used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Regulators responded to the e-cigarette menace by discouraging vapers and non-smokers from patronizing over-the-counter vaping materials of any kind.
Some experts argue that the very idea of vaping is misguided. This is because vaping does not only produce vapor — it also produces aerosol (small particles). These particles come from the vape liquid as well as the metal frame of the heating element. When inhaled, this aerosol can negatively affect your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cells.
Generations of Electronic Cigarettes
E-cigarettes have a history that can be traced back to around 2007. When the first electronic smoking devices were launched onto the market, they took different shapes. While some e-cigarettes looked like normal cigarettes, other models resembled USB devices.
Researchers then decided to classify electronic cigarettes in order to account for the different versions of products that were fast taking over the market. And bingo! They came up with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations of e-cigarettes.
A typical 1st generation e-cigarette looks like a conventional cigarette, and it can be disposed of after use. 2nd generation e-cigarettes are rechargeable electronic cigarettes that are bigger than 1st generation e-cigarettes and shaped like pens. Finally, 3rd generation electronic cigarettes are advanced. Unlike combustible cigarettes, they feature large batteries and replaceable parts. Also known as mods, the 3rd generation e-cigs are refillable.
In 2015, high-end e-cigarettes entered the market featuring sleek designs and super-powerful batteries. JUUL went on to become a popular high-tech e-cigarette product. 2 years later (in July 2019), over 73% of electronic cigarettes on the market were of the JUUL brand.
2019 came with breakthroughs in the regulation of e-cigarettes in the USA. The FDA approved the sale of the very first tobacco heating systems in America. The device was manufactured by Phillip Morris International. Since then, the topic of e-cigarettes has been hotly debated among experts as people question their long-term health effects.