Jan 28, 2014

What's in E-Cigarettes?

"We don't know what's in e-cigarettes."

If I could get a dime every time I heard that, I'd be a rich woman sunning myself on a beach in the Caribbean.

We DO know what's in e-cigarettes. But plenty of people would rather push the fear button than to do a little research.

The main ingredient in e-cigarettes is the same stuff that's in asthma inhalers.
The fact is that over 60 studies have been done on e-cigarettes, and the most comprehensive one, by Drexel University, studied over 9,000 e-cigarette uses. Their conclusion? "It's about as harmless as you can get."

We’ve all heard the rumor that e-cigarettes contain a deadly antifreeze chemical in them. That rumor came after the FDA found a trace (1%) element of diethylene glycol (DG) in one brand of e-cigarettes four years ago. DG is certainly not in the any e-cigarettes these days. Isn't it about time that rumor died?

Then there was the rumor that e-cigarettes had toxic levels of nanoparticles in them. That sounded pretty suspicious to me, so I did a little investigation, and found a research article that read a little like a science-fiction movie.

These researchers dissected used cartomizers, took out the elements and put them in a centrifuge. Then, they spun them around at 14,000 cycles per minute to see what would happen.

Researchers put cartomizer elements into a centrifuge and spun them at 14,000 cycles per minute.
Now that’s a ride I think I'll skip! It was a little like “Will it blend?” performed on e-cigarettes.

After spinning the crap out of these cartomizers, they concluded that they could see trace elements of metals after looking at them under an electron microscope.

Turns out the research they did has “no clinical significance,” because even when you forgive the bizarre methods they used to examine e-cigarette safety, these small particles are not present in vapor. Also, because only the teensiest particles can actually get absorbed into your lungs, this “dust” is also not an issue.

Then I learned that there are 880 times less particles in e-cigarettes than in real cigarettes. I already knew there was only four main ingredients, compared to 4,000 chemicals and 57 known carcinogens in traditional cigarettes. The main ingredient, propylene glycol, is the same stuff that's in asthma inhalers, nebulizers, fog machines, drinks and even cake mixes.


Heck, they even give it to cows that are depressed and anorexic. Would I kid you about a thing like that?

So next time you hear someone say, "we don't know what's in e-cigarettes," please, do me a favor. Tell them we DO know what's in them. But they have to take their heads out of the sand long enough to listen.


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