Ease of use and low price make e-cigs attractive even to minors despite the prohibitions. However, nicotine salts are four times more addictive and even fruit-only flavors are not harmless with tooth decay and pre-cancerous lesions
They are colorful, elegant, completely similar to penne USB and release aromas much loved by teenagers in the taste of raspberry, mint, cola, melon and much more. It’s disposable e-cigarettes, the latest arrivals in the variegated world of the vape. When you smoke these cigarettes, the nicotine-based or nicotine-free liquid is heated and produces aerosol. The vapor that is formed is inhaled just like it happens with traditional electronic cigarettes but, unlike these, they cannot be recharged because they are disposable.
The ease of useil low price (about 8-11 euros)combined with the fact that the devices are displayed in full view next to the chewing gum in the tobacconist’s, make this very attractive product for children who easily circumvent the ban on selling to minors under 18 by buying on the web or by entrusting an adult friend with the purchase. In the United States, one in four boys use them. Worldwide, taking into account the global market that includes all the different electronic cigarette devices, the vape one is a booming economic sector that went from 17 million euros in 2018 to 20 in 2022. Estimates say that the cigarette market electronics should achieve a turnover equal to
35.70 billion in 2026
: a doubling in just eight years.
Hardly visible aerosol
E-cigarettes are circulating in schools and even in the classroom. They are available in various colors and are cheap, which is why they seem to like them. Disposable e-cigs they do not emit smoke, but only an aerosol which is not very visible comment Robert Boffi, head of Pneumology and director of the Anti-Smoking Center of the Milan Cancer Institute. In the classroom, teachers are hardly able to understand if the student is consuming nicotine, not even from the smell that is covered by that of the aromas. Disposable e-cigarettes are experiencing a sensational boom – he confirms Luisa Mastrobattista, psychologist, researcher at the National Center for Addiction and Doping at the Istituto Superiore di Sanit – because the prices are accessible even for the very young. Many e-cigs are nicotine-free but still contain more substances which they could be toxic: they are found in the refill liquid or are released during the aerosol. Let’s not forget that kids often start with nicotine-free products and then move on to those with nicotine. Numerous studies now prove it, but this is precisely what we must avoid.
How many vapers are there
Officially according to the latest report of the Istituto Superiore della Sanit gli vapers are 2.4 percent of the populationequal to one million two hundred thousand people and most of them are dual smokers, i.e. they also smoke traditional cigarettes (often in an attempt to quit smoking they ended up using both). Over 70% of e-cig smokers choose those with nicotine. Added to these numbers is 3.5% of the general population who said they had used the e-cig in the past. But in reality there is all the submerged adolescents that escape from official statistics: they could not use electronic cigarettes, but they do it anyway (and they don’t even hide it).
Lack of perception of danger
More and more teachers, even in middle school, are reporting that their students vape. Among other things, there are more and more calls to the anti-smoking toll-free number, made available by the Istituto Superiore di Sanit, from parents asking for information on disposable electronic cigarettes. They often ask if it’s true that they don’t hurt. it is clear that there is a false perception of their real impact on health underlines Luisa Mastrobattista. The aromas go to mask the taste of nicotine – he adds – ecthe vape does not feel the annoyance or perceive the danger. These aromas for are those tested only for food use, but not for inhalation use: to date we do not know if they can create problems if taken through the respiratory tract.
The results of a survey commissioned by the ISS are disturbing. 25% of the population surveyed believe that e-cigarettes are a medical device; 24% of the general population and 34% of smokers believe that vaping has no health consequences. 30% of smokers believe that the e-cig is not addictive.
The knot of nicotine salts and addiction
important to raise awareness on the subject and explain that electronic cigarettes, however, they are not without dangers and there are more and more scientific studies that prove it. It is true that with e-cigs aerosol is inhaled and not smoke, therefore there would not seem to be a direct link with lung cancer. However, scientific evidence is accumulating on other negative effects on the body. A study of the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted that the new e-cigarettes, many of which contain nicotine salts, provoke
four times more addictive than the nicotine contained in traditional cigarettes and thus represent the gateway to real tobacco warns Boffi. Nicotine salts are absorbed faster compared to the nicotine contained in traditional cigarettes and quickly reach the central nervous system.
Cavities, bronchitis, hoarseness and heavy metals
The problem with these electronic cigarettes with fruit flavors is theirs high addiction potential because those who consume them take a lot of nicotine in a short time. E-cigarette liquid, even without nicotine, can also contain potentially harmful chemicals as the propylene glycol o to glycerinwhich can irritate teeth and gums and promote bronchitis, hoarseness, sore throat and worsening of asthma. As a recent study on Jam open
Vaping increases the risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, and precancerous lesions. In e-cigs – underlines Boffi – there are also important concentrations of heavy metals as the nickel, titanium, silver, cadmium, chromium which are generated by the overheating of the battery: they are far from harmless, but we do not yet know the long-term effects.
Another work just published on
Nicotine & Tobacco Research
concluded that vapers and smokers experience similar levels of DNA damagemore than double those found among non-smokers. The more you vape, the greater the damage, and also applies to those who use fruit or mint flavors. The damage to the DNA of the cells of the mucous membrane of the mouth predisposes to tumors and inflammatory diseases
. Recently another work has shown that electronic cigarettes, just like traditional ones, could also cause damage to bones. Added to all this is the danger of the illegal market: in fact, it is not uncommon to meet young people on the street with 1200 puff donuts, twice as many as sold on the market, the contents of which are totally unknown.
The environmental damage
The concerns are not only about health but also environmental. Disposable cigarettes have a limited life, about 600 “puffs” which means two days of vaping if used regularly. On the packaging highlighted that once consumed e-cigarettes should be disposed of with used batteries or electronic waste, but very easy to find the colored tubes in the bins on the street or, worse, along the sidewalks. A recent British study suggests that half of all vaporizers are thrown straight into the bin. Second Material Focusa non-profit organisation, 1.3 million single-use vapes (enough to cover 22 football pitches a year) are thrown away every week in the UK. The 10 tons of lithium contained in the discarded devices could charge 1200 electric vehicles a year.
The Istituto Superiore di Sanit provides the anonymous and free toll-free telephone service against smoking (800-554088) dedicated to those who want to quit smoking, which is answered by a team of psychologists from Monday to Friday from 10 to 16.
February 26, 2023 (change February 26, 2023 | 09:20)
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