E-cigarettes work by heating a flavored nicotine-containing liquid, and Japanese scientists have discovered that they contain up to 10 times more cancer-causing substances than regular tobacco.
A team of researchers from the Japanese Health Ministry analyzed the vapor content emitted by e-cigarettes, utilizing in their study a special ‘puffing’ machine which inhaled 10 to 15 puffs of vapor.
After analyzing several types of e-cigarette fluids, the researchers found carcinogens, like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, in concentrations that exceeded traditional cigarettes by a factor of 10.
“Especially when the… wire (which vaporizes the liquid) gets overheated, higher amounts of those harmful substances seemed to be produced,” said researcher Naoki Kunugita.
Kunugita wanted to inform the public that “some makers are selling such products for dual use (with tobacco) or as a gateway for young people” as a sneaky method of getting people hooked on nicotine.
Through clever marketing, e-cigarettes are pushed as a method of smoking that is not harmful to one’s health. From this study we know that this marketing claim, like many others before it, is a complete lie.
Since the invention of e-cigarettes in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist in Beijing, their use has ballooned, turning sales into a market worth about $3 billion.
Like many other countries, Japan doesn’t regulate electronic cigarettes, so they can easily be purchased online, though they are not always available in physical stores.
After submitting the report to the National Institute of Public Health, Kunugita and his team reported that Japan’s Health Ministry is now examining the results to develop ways to regulate e-cigarettes.
In August of 2014, the World Health Organization called for the prohibition of e-cigarette sales to minors, as well as the ban of e-cigarette use in indoor spaces, claiming the devices pose a “serious threat” to unborn babies and young people.
In september 2014, just one month later, France banned e-cigarette smoking in schools, on public transport, and in enclosed workplaces. In an attempt to end smoking through regulation, e-cigarettes have become illegal in Punjab, India.
Putting an end to E-Cigarettes Forever
Before you celebrate the aforementioned bans on e-cigarettes, let’s quickly think back to the alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s in the U.S., and reflect on what happened once alcohol was prohibited.
The CATO Institute, a public policy research organization, has stated in a report called Alcohol Prohibition was a Failure:
“Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became “organized”; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant. ”
It is clear that regulation, or the creation of laws to ban the use of e-cigarettes (or any substance) will likely increase its use. No press is bad press, and even the banning of e-cigarettes is likely something that e-cigarette manufacturing companies are celebrating and reaping financial benefit from.
The way to end the production and use of e-cigarettes is through information, and by making research such as the study presented in this article more widely known. If people care about their health, then all it will take is a study like this to encourage them to change their ways.
Whether the information makes them quit smoking these cancerous e-cigarettes or not is ultimately up to them, but at least you’ve done your job in giving them the opportunity to inform themselves and change.