Are electronic cigarettes bad for you? Electronic cigarettes are an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. These electronic devices produce a vapour instead of smoke, but what exactly is inside this vapour? Every electronic cigarette runs on what is commonly known as e-liquid. When breaking down the fundamental make up of typical e liquid solutions, you typically get three primary ingredients: nicotine, flavouring, and propylene glycol (a food additive generally accepted to be safe for human consumption). These ingredients are present in most electronic cigarette refill cartridges, and are absorbed into the mouth or lungs upon vapour release (also known as vaping).

Propylene glycol is a common food additive that is found in a wide range of food products. Nicotine is a stimulant that is found in tobacco products and whilst safe in controlled doses, it is worth remembering that it is highly addictive. Both of these ingredients are present in refill cartridges. Propylene glycol is the base of the liquid that allows it to be converted into a vapour when the atomiser heats it, resulting in a thick mist that looks and feels very similar to actual tobacco smoke.

The similarity ends there however, as the vapour produced by electronic cigarettes is safe in almost all respects, even though nicotine is an active ingredient. Nicotine not recommended for those who do not already have an addiction to it. However, it is not dangerous in low doses and cannot cause too much in the way of damage. Most electronic cigarettes are offered with different strengths or percentages of nicotine, ranging from high (2.4%) down to zero. Heavy smokers will most likely want to start using electronic cigarettes that have more nicotine, as this will help them smooth the transition from tobacco over to e cigarettes. Eventually, you can start smoking electronic cigarettes without any nicotine in them at all, although many smokers prefer to continue getting their nicotine fix.

Man in bed vaping a Vapestick Max

Some laboratory studies found that several e cigarette brand cartridges contained nicotine-specific nitrosamines, which are basically carcinogens. However, these carcinogens were present in only trace levels and not enough to cause any health concerns. Most health bodies agree that "electronic cigarettes bad for you" is not much of a concern. On the other hand, the health-related benefits that they could provide to smokers looking for an alternative are far more important than the slight chance that some of the trace elements in them could be dangerous.

Knowing this, it is safe to conclude that the e cigarette is a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes, and the marketing techniques employed by most manufacturers are true (even though some companies like to hype up their products even further). Of course, electronic cigarettes are not for everyone and should not be smoked by those who do not already have an addiction to nicotine. This is the main reason why they are illegal for minors to smoke in the UK, while those over the age of 18 can purchase them without any problems.

Making a decision

If you are a smoker wondering whether electronic cigarettes are bad for you, rest at ease. Tobacco cigarettes are dangerous, while electronic cigarettes present almost no threats. If you are not entirely convinced, you can find plenty of additional information on e cigarettes and the ingredients in e liquid by conducting some additional research of your own. You will find in almost all cases that electronic cigarettes were deemed to be safe products that are in fact recommended to smokers. Are electronic cigarettes bad for you? When compared to smoking tobacco, the answer is a definite no.