“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Vaping 2019__

(Davide Ragusa, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Marc Albiol i Perarnau, a 22-year-old medical student who is completing his 5th year at the of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The e-cigarette is a fairly recent reality. But in recent years, in several countries the commercialization of this product has grown rapidly, doubling or tripling the number of users every year especially among the young population. Despite the popularity of these devices and the alternative that it is to tobacco, there are still many doubts between consumers and health professionals.

What are you smoking when using an e-cigarette? The rechargeable liquid contains nicotine (usually between 6 and 24 mg), propylene glycol (used in drugs in the form of nebulizers or inhalers) and additives that give different flavors. However, due to the lack of regulation and quality controls, the composition may vary between different brands and within the same brand, containing other toxic substances that do not appear in the labeling.

But are electronic cigarettes truly effective to help giving up smoking? Are they safer? This is where science goes in. The effectiveness of e-cigarettes for quitting smoking has not been scientifically proven. There are no controlled clinical trials on the effectiveness of these devices or to stop smoking or as a reduction strategy for damages. On the other hand, it is true that some preliminary studies seem to indicate that this product is useful to alleviate the desire to smoke, mainly because the inhalation of hot steam gives a feeling similar to that of tobacco smoke, along with the effect of the nicotine that contains the smoking liquid, but it does not mean that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco (or even less harmful).

Although there are no studies that demonstrate the safety in the consumption of e-cigarettes especially in their long-term use, the publication of studies on this matter is recent but of fast and continuous growth. The main possible side effects are described to be similar to those of tobacco, including dry mouth and irritation of the mouth and throat due to the irritant effect of propylene glycol when inhaled. It is also necessary to take into account the contraindications typical of nicotine (children, pregnancy, breastfeeding, cardiovascular or respiratory pathology…). Preliminary studies show that e-cigarettes are less toxic than conventional ones because they do not generate tobacco smoke but steam. The common belief is that their use is innocuous, but so far there are no studies that demonstrate the safety of these devices and there are no studies on the potential effects of exhaled passive exposure to steam neither.

To sum up, e-cigarettes are not considered drugs to stop smoking or reduce tobacco damages. Therefore, public health care can not recommend their use in the same way as with alternative therapies have not proven their efficacy and safety and their use is prohibited in the same way and areas as tobacco. So, if you want to stop smoking and you are thinking about using an e-cigarette, maybe you should first try changes in lifestyle habits or consult your doctor so that you may receive the indicated and effectively demonstrated medications and methods.

About the author

Marc Albiol i Perarnau is a 22-year-old medical student who is completing his 5th year at the of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). During the entire university stage, he has been an active member of the Catalonian association of health science students, federated in IFMSA. He is currently working with the Smoke-Free and Anti-Tobacco Committee of Sant Pau’s Hospital to be the representative of the medical students of the faculty.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Inflation and interest rates indicate urgent need for action

Manufacturing is finally entering a new era

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners

The metamorphosis of the categorical imperative in medical students

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

Peace will be ‘paramount’ issue for incoming Afghan Government: UN mission chief

G20 GDP growth nudges up to 1.0% in the second quarter of 2018

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Terrorist content online: companies to be given just one hour to remove it

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Access to health in the developping world

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

Canada grants asylum for Saudi teen who fled family: UNHCR

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

4 ways to make your wardrobe more sustainable

Not faith, ‘but those who manipulate the faithful’ driving wedge between religions, UN-backed forum in Baku told

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

Sudan: ‘Violence must stop’, says UNICEF chief, ‘gravely concerned’ over 19 child deaths since military backlash

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

Syria’s Idlib ‘on the brink’ of a nightmare, humanitarian chiefs warn, launching global solidarity campaign

Guterres says justice must be done following deadly Burkina Faso convoy attack

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

Rising inequality affecting more than two-thirds of the globe, but it’s not inevitable: new UN report

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

The global liberal order is in trouble – can it be salvaged, or will it be replaced?

Civilian death toll continues to mount in Syria, UN relief chief tells Security Council

Brexit update: Will the EU grant extention to Britain preventing economic chaos?

4 big trends for the sharing economy in 2019

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Why trust and technology go hand-in-hand

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s