Electronic cigarette, vape, juul, smok, e-cigarettes e e-cigar. The name may even change, but the essence is the same: a device presented in different formats (cigarette and pen, for example), with a battery (usually lithium-ion) and a deposit where a liquid is inserted to be heated and inhaled. (which, for the most part, contains nicotine).
The growth of interest in e-cigarettes is on the rise all over the world. A simple Google search and you’ll find an infinity of stores and profiles on social networks selling the device and the lifestyle that goes with it, as well as teachings about the “art of to smoke o vape“.
Its origins date back to the 1960s, but the creation of the 1st commercial model is given to the Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, founder of Dragonite International. Since then, the electronic cigarette, which emerged as a strategy by its creator to stop using conventional cigarettes (he smoked a pack a day since he was 18 years old), became the new health villain. We’ve gathered here 7 things you need to know before venturing to smoke a vape.
1. How does an electronic cigarette work?
Usually in a cylindrical shape, the electronic cigarette has a tip that acts as a cigarette holder, a tank for the liquid and the base where the battery is. The battery is responsible for heating the liquid so that it can be inhaled, simulating the act of smoking.
Even though it doesn’t have tar and the carbon monoxide from cigarettes traditional vape can contain nicotine, a substance responsible for chemical dependence. In addition to it, liquids, also known as juices, have solvent products such as water, propylene glycol, glycerin and flavorings to add flavor.
2. What are juices, liquids inhaled when smoking an electronic cigarette, made of?
The main substances that make up the juice (also called e-juice Where e-liquid.) are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. Not everyone has flavorings or essences to add flavor and aroma to the vapor, the same goes for nicotine.
Vegetable glycerin is a colorless and odorless substance, viscous and has a sweet taste, being considered safe for consumption. It is she who ensures in the act of smoking a vape that the smoke exhaled is dense and white.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic compound whose function is to enhance the flavor of flavorings. Although its toxicity is low, it can cause irritation to the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper airways, leading to bronchitis and asthma.
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3. Is smoking electronic cigarettes bad for your health?
This is a question that still has no conclusive answer. In Science, it is known that nicotine is harmful and causes dependence, but there are still no studies that prove all the harm caused by electronic cigarettes.
It is known to be useful in certain cases of smoking cessation treatment, acting as a transition tool between the common cigarette and the end of the habit of smoking. to smoke, but even this is not a consensus.
According to National Cancer Institute (Inca), the steam emitted by the devices can increase the chances of lung infections, such as pulmonary emphysema, in addition to causing dermatitis, cardiovascular disease and, in the worst case scenario, cancer.
4. If I smoke a vape, am I at risk of becoming a smoker?
In an article published by the National Cancer Institute (Inca), it was possible to identify that using electronic cigarettes increases the risk of experimenting with regular cigarettes by more than three times and by more than four times the risk of using e-cigarettes. cigarette.
like most of the e-liquid contains nicotine, the user who smokes can become addicted to this substance and, consequently, start looking for other smoking products.
As is known, smoking is one of the main avoidable risk factors that is responsible for deaths, diseases, decreased quality of life and overload in the public health system. For this reason, experts in Health recommend that non-smokers do not use electronic cigarettes.
5. Is it safe to carry an e-cigarette in your pocket?
Carrying an electronic vape in your pocket poses the same kinds of risks as carrying a cell phone. News sometimes circulates narrating explosions caused by e-cigars, both in the pocket and in the hands, causing burns and serious injuries. However, the battery of electronic cigarettes usually has safety control, which avoids major catastrophes.
6. Am I at risk of catching covid-19 using electronic cigarettes?
In the last year, the Brazilian Medical Association published an article stating that the use of hookah, electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco increased the risk of infection by covid-19.
In 2019, vape users had lung injuries, which resulted in acute respiratory failure, ICU admission and even deaths, a clinical condition called EVALI (something like “lung injury associated with the use of electronic cigarette or vape” , in free translation), that is, due to its pulmonary toxicity, users of this type of device present an increased risk for covid-19.
7. Is it illegal to smoke one of these electronic devices?
Since 2009, a resolution by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) prohibits the marketing, importation and advertising of electronic smoking devices. The ban takes into account not only the health risks of using the substances, but also the risks of explosion and burns, as well as trying to prevent the spread of the devices among young people.
However, the regulatory agency has been discussing the possibility of updating this resolution, as new research on the subject is being prepared. It does not mean that electronic cigarettes are in the process of being released for sale, and may even receive even more restrictions.