E-cigarettes: good or bad for your health?

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E-cigarettes: good or bad for your health?
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E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are electronic devices which heat a refillable liquid so that its vapours can be inhaled. This is what is called “vaping”. So what is the liquid contained in electronic cigarettes made up of? What is the impact of e-cigarettes on our health? And is it an effective way of stopping smoking?

What are the liquid refills for e-cigarettes made up of?

The compounds used to make the liquid refills for electronic cigarettes differ from brand to brand and between the available lines. They come in many flavours, and are often available with or without nicotine. Consulting the websites of the numerous specialised online boutiques is a good way to be able to take the time to inform yourself about the composition of these products.

The liquid refills that are marked ‘organic’ do not always have independent label certification, but they often offer more detailed information on their components.

They generally contain:

  • glycerin (vegetable or otherwise; organic or otherwise) 
  • propylene glycol, or glycerol
  • one or more flavouring (which may or may not be food based/artificial/organic)
  • water (good quality or otherwise)
  • alcohol (organic or otherwise)
  • a certain amount of nicotine (although some come without it)

To avoid nasty surprises, buy from companies based in countries where you know the regulation of ingredients is fairly strict. Also try to go for organic products, or even make your own DIY liquids!

What are the effects of vaping on your health?

Are e-cigarettes less addictive than regular cigarettes?

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There are more than 7,700 different flavours available, which can make it more difficult to give up vaping, or to dissuade young people from starting, as people may be tempted to try out new flavours, which are ever more numerous.

However, contrary to the nicotine present in cigarettes or in the vapour of electronic cigarettes, the flavours themselves are not addictive. With e-cigarettes, the person controls the quantity of nicotine that they take in. They can choose to reduce the amount of it, but the difficulty is always the same: successfully in giving up.

Did you know that certain foods can be effective in helping you naturally stop smoking?

Are e-cigarettes less harmful than cigarettes?

In 2016, the French public health authority reviewed a number of studies, which showed that certain compounds in the liquid refills could be toxic, such as diacetyl. If this product is inhaled without having been heated during vaping, it can damage the lungs. 

If such toxic compounds are not used, e-liquids are less harmful than regular cigarettes, because when they are burned, they remove or significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer, as long as only electronic cigarettes are used.

If you are pregnant and you want to use e-cigarettes to help you stop smoking, ask the advice of your doctor beforehand. 

According to certain reports, a smoker who uses e-cigarettes reduces their consumption of tobacco by around 9 cigarettes per day, which further reduces the risks of developing certain illnesses or cancers, but not fully.

Vaping is generally forbidden in the following places:

  • schools and services for minors
  • enclosed public transport
  • enclosed common work spaces

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