Anna Bednarek, Wojciech Giermaziak

E-cigarettes – lesser evil?

E-cigarettes – lesser evil?

Prolonged inhalation of nicotine, a psychoactive substance contained in tobacco, leads to addiction and it is one of the main causes of death. Searching for a safer alternative to a conventional cigarette was sought to create solutions that would cause the least damage to the human body. Electronic cigarettes over the course of 15 years have dominated the market, gaining more and more popularity among adults and youth. According to the assumption, as a safer alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes were to be a golden mean in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). They are giving hope smokers to overcome an addiction. The advantage of e-cigarettes over conventional cigarettes is mainly connected with replacing in these products the combustion reaction, heating the inhalation solution or tobacco. The variety of available models of devices and their questionable safety forced governments to introduce new legal regulations ensuring the protection of social health. E-cigarettes can be bought only by adults and their distance selling is prohibited in Poland. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes gained much popularity among youth. It is important to delay the process of tobacco initiation by teenagers and to educate young people and warn them of possible experimentation with e-cigarettes also enriched with various psychoactive substances. The reported tests results are not able to clearly determine the effectiveness of the use of electronic cigarettes in the fight against nicotinism and their safety for the users and his environment. E-cigarettes can actually reduce tobacco-related damage. The positive health and social effects of smoking cessation are undeniable, so the best solution would be to quit smoking altogether. Scientific reports indicate a lower health risk associated with using electronic nicotine inhaler compared to smoking cigarette, but there is very difficult to estimate the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes. Experts agree that there is the need to continue research that will increase the pool of datas, which are necessary to draw firm conclusions.

Keywords: electronic nicotine delivery systems, cigarette Smoking, risk, nicotine replacement therapy, safety.

© Farm Pol, 2019, 75(10): 549–560

E-cigarettes – lesser evil?

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