E-cigarettes, including e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah and e-cigars, are known collectively as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). E-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale aerosol (vapor) containing nicotine or other substances. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes generally are battery-operated and use a heating element to heat e-liquid from a refillable cartridge, releasing a chemical-filled aerosol.
The main component of e-cigarettes is the e-liquid contained in cartridges. To create an e-liquid, nicotine is extracted from tobacco and mixed with a base (usually propylene glycol), and may also include flavorings, colorings and other chemicals.
Because there is no consistent and informed regulation of these products, nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes are on the market, all without a way determining what’s in them. So there is no way for anyone—healthcare professionals or consumers—to know what chemicals are contained in e-liquids, or how e-cigarette use might affect health, whether in the short term or in the long run.
Based on the current scientific evidence and recommendations from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Canadian Lung Association has determined electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are potentially harmful to lung health and are NOT an approved smoking cessation product aid. There are many Health Canada approved therapies to help someone quit smoking; the e-cigarette is NOT one of them.
The Canadian Lung Association is calling for:
• More research into the potential health effects of e-cigarettes.
• Legislation to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes until e-cigarettes are properly researched and receive Health Canada approval.
• All laws related to smoke-free areas should include e-cigarettes.
Source: American Lung Association, Canadian Lung Association, Health Canada