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Do Electronic Cigarettes Have Side Effects?

electronic cigarette side effectsOne of the top motivations for switching from analog cigarettes to electronic cigarette (or e-cigarettes) is the promise of improved health through tobacco cessation. Traditional tobacco cigarettes are undeniably terrible for your health, in addition to the other unpleasant side effects associated with the habit. A lingering smoke smell, increasing costs, inability to get a nicotine fix indoors almost everywhere- the side effects of tobacco use could fill several blog posts on their own.

The side effects of electronic cigarettes are a hotly debated topic nowadays, with information sought not only by e-cig sellers and users, but also ostensibly several government agencies seeking grounds on which to regulate and potentially ban the massively popular devices. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new innovation, particularly when compared with their tobacco counterparts- invented in 2006, they are still being studied to determine the full impact they may have on health.

What we do know about electronic cigarette side effects, though, comes largely from what they are not: tobacco. E-cigs don't contain tobacco, a substance proven to cause cancer, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiac disease and strokes, among a lengthy list of deadly conditions. It should be noted that nicotine is not the substance in tobacco that causes various forms of cancer.

One of the selling points of e-cigarettes is that they deliver nicotine, reducing or eliminating the desire to smoke cigarettes. Users of electronic cigarettes could experience side effects associated with nicotine consumption. Paradoxically, the substance is both a stimulant and a relaxant, precipitating both calm and alertness in users.

Nicotine is known to stimulate the release of adrenaline, and it also enhances the ability to concentrate. It's also well-known as a metabolism stimulant as well as an appetite suppressant, and one of the side effects associated with quitting smoking cold turkey is mild to moderate weight gain.

Nicotine is delivered in e-cigarettes through a fluid known as juice, e-liquid or a number of names depending on manufacturer and distributer. The great variety of choices benefits e-smokers in providing a number of options, but the variances seen between products makes potential side effects for each brand difficult to gauge. Some users report difficulty in using liquids completely composed of propylene glycol, and prefer vegetable glycerin based juices.

Long-term users report the small number of side effects associated with e-cigarettes often dissipate when they adjust their consumption and become used to the device. Sore throat, headache and dry mouth are often reported by new users who are determining how to often to use their electronic cigarette, or are no longer encumbered by the necessity to leave the house or their desk to use their e-cigs, facilitating frequent "vaping."

Many electronic cigarette users report no detectable side effects from switching to using e-cigs, but this could be influenced by the improvements in health due to smoking cessation in general. Have you made the switchover? Have you noticed any side effects you attribute to electronic cigarette use?

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7 Responses to Do Electronic Cigarettes Have Side Effects?

  1. mary watson April 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm #


  2. Chris June 14, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    I’ve been using my e-cig for two weeks now. The first day I used it I got a headache, but I know I was over using because to me it was a “new toy”. since then I have noticed a minor dryness in my throat when I vape consistently for too long, however if I moderate my intake then all I notice is that I feel more alert. I’ve had a mild cough for the past year or so from smoking and that is starting to disappear, I also feel like I have more energy in general. So in my opinion the harm, at least for now, is very much outweighed by the benefits.

  3. Terri June 28, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I am 59 years of age and have smoked since I was eleven years old. I had tried everything and failed and had no desire to try the ecig as I’d watched my oldest son fiddling about with putting drops of nicotine into his cartomizer and over-doing it and feeling sick etc. etc., so I decided that wasn’t for me either. In mid March of this year (2011) I had made yet another major effort to give up smoking and had managed two weeks but I knew that (as always) that surge of enthusiasm was waning and along with it, my resolve was also slowly dissipating. I decided that next morning (when the shop was open) I would buy a packets of cigarettes. That same evening, wallowing in self-recrimination at my weakness I was checking out the books on Amazon when – quite by accident – I came across a website showing a ‘new’ e-cig. It looked really good. It was simply ‘plug ‘n’ play’ … no fiddling … no drops to count out … you simply choose your own level of nicotine in the screw in cartomizers. I decided to go for it and despite the hell of waiting 48 hours for the kit to arrive (I was anxious not to lose the ground I’d already gained) I was determined to give this a go. When it came – I was over the moon. It felt like I had just taken my first few steps with a walking stick – after 48 years of being in a wheelchair. It’s now 4 months since I stopped smoking and 3½ months on the ecigs. I found the high & med nicotine levels too strong for me and I settled for the menthol flavoured low nicotine and I really enjoy them. My health has improved, I can breathe better, I don’t smell and I’m saving over £60 a week. I will NEVER smoke a cigarette again!!

  4. Jay Walker July 20, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I used an electronic cigarette to quit and had no side effects. I was a smoker for 13 years and after having kids it really changed my perspective I wanted to see them grow old. Personally that was my reason to quit so I tried every method and came across Electronic Cigarette. I think the E-Cigarette worked for me because it simulates real cigarettes. Everyone has their own reasons and methods but I definitely recommend it for anyone really serious about quitting.

  5. Matthew August 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Ive been an avid smoker, puffing between 1-3 packs a day, and saw adds and what not on eletronic ciggerettes everywhere I turned. One day at a head shop in North Carolina, on a family vacation, I saw a display for an e-cig. Now though I’ve been smoking for well over 7 years on and off I have tried anything i can afford to quit for my health and family. At only $22 usd for the start-up kit and $12 usd for a pack of cartomizer refills I said the hell with it and purchased the whold 9 yards. After a week of vaping the craving for a real smoke has subsided Im noticing whole list of things that I didnt know smoking tobacco effected. Things from the odors, stains on my hands/fingers, taste of my mouth(when kissing my wife), the fact that Im limited where I can smoke(I have two kids so I dont smoke indoors or in the car), the taste of foods, not to mention the shortness of breath and coughing due to the tar in the ciggs, the overall cost of the smokes($5 a pack @ 1+ packs a day), ect. With the economy the way it is I couldnt afford to smoke to begin with but kicking such an addiction is all but impossable. So after taking a chance on the products I found a happy median where I can feed my addiction without, none so far, negative side effects and save alot of money in the process and the good thing is their isnt any smoke thats going to hard my wife and children. All in all even if your not trying to quit in my opinion an e-cig is the best thing to happen in the smokers world and its a win-win situation due to the face that, because of the water vapor instead of smoke, you can at the moment enjoy a smoke anytime, anywhere.

  6. Chris Dennis August 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    My step son had to be in the hospital for a few days and we got him an e-cig to smoke. When he got out he went back to the regular cigs, so I am smoking it now. I am coughing up some nasty shit and can breath better!! I am looking at getting the tank nicsticks. I think they are a hell of a lot better than traditional cigs!

  7. Heather S. August 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    My boyfriend and I just decided to quit smoking yesterday morning. We always smoke a cigarette in the morning before I go to work. Well, we both ran out at the same time. As we contemplated buying ourselves another pack he decided that we should try to quit. I went most of the day yesterday before breaking down and taking a few puffs of my co workers cigarette. Once I left work I met up with my boyfriend and we went to this small liquor store where we heard they were selling the Ecigs. We figured since our health was so bad and money was so tight why not give them a shot. (not to mention getting to pick different colors are pretty awesome). Anyways I’ve been smoking mine since last night when we purchased them. I’ve noticed that when I go out with my co workers to smoke, I’ll smoke my Ecig while they smoke their traditional cigarettes. Oddly enough…..I don’t feel the desire to smoke one. I don’t mind smelling it, or seeing it, or even inhaling the second hand smoke. I get my Nicotine fix from my Ecig. I’m not saying it will work for everyone. But aside from the slight head aches I was getting at first (which are now gone) I feel like I’m getting better. And the desire to have a cigarette has subsided. I recomend if anyone needs to quit or wants to quit and can’t seem to get past the nicotine craving and or habit, try the ecig. As of now I’ve seen nothing I dislike.

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