More than a million people in the UK and seven million across Europe have converted to using electronic cigarettes as the motion of smoking is being developed into the healthier process of ‘vaping’.
Vaping is simply where by water vapor is inhaled into the lungs. Battery-operated e-cigaretes contain a cartridge filled with a liquid solution of nicotine, propylene glycol and a variety of flavourings.
Through the action of puffing, alike a smoking motion, it activates a heating element that vapourises the liquid in the cartridge, producing a mist that is inhaled.
The device is heavily used by those trying to give up or reduce smoking habits and latest studies have pushed e-cigarettes to the top of health and fitness agendas as Professor Robert West claims they could save millions of lives.
Opposed to inhaling toxic substances found in tobacco, e-cigarette users inhale vaporised liquid nicotine which is an estimated 95-99 per cent healthier, although absorbing any form of nicotine is far from advised .
The amount of nicotine inhaled from an electronic cigarette can also vary, depending on the strength of content in the liquid-nicotine cartridge. This is a choice of the customer, for users who want the sensory experience of smoking without its effects cartridges can contain liquid without nicotine.
Professor of health psychology at University College London, Robert West, announced his confident ambitions to delegates at the 2013 E-Cigarette Summit at London’s Royal Society along with 250 scientists, experts, policymakers and industry figures.
He said: “The big question, and why we’re here, is whether that goal can be realised and how best to do it… and what kind of cultural, regulatory environment can be put in place to make sure that’s achieved. “I think it can be achieved however that’s a hope.”
Although an EU proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as a medicine was recently declined, they will be license as a medicine in the UK from 2016 and there is still an ever growing calling for the e-cigarette industry to be fully regulated.
Speaking at the conference Konstantinos Farsalinos, from the University Hospital Gathuisberg, Belgium, said it was important for light regulation to be put in place ‘as soon as possible’.
“Companies are all hiding behind the lack of regulation without performing any tests on their products.” He said.
The debate over regulation was one of they key points discusses at the conference whilst opinions were also divided as to whether e-cigarettes could be a potential tool to quit smoking or how it may become a gateway to nicotine exposure for those who are yet to try smoking.
Chief executive of the Action on Smoking and Heath (ASH) pressure group, Deborah Arnott, said e-cigarettes could be a leap forward for public health whilst pointing out that it is tobacco companies who are snapping up the e-cigarette manufacturers.
She said:”ASH thinks that e-cigarettes have significant potential. They are a lot less harmful than smoking. Clearly smokers find them attractive, primarily as a way of quitting and moving away from the health repercussion caused by smoking,”
“The tobacco companies are moving in. For them it’s potentially a ‘Kodak moment’ because if everyone moved to e-cigarettes, they’d forfeit their market so they’ve got to be in there. A lot of the bigger e-cigarette companies have already been bought up.”
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