No smoke, just steam. Smell of watermelon, tutti frutti, passion fruit or traditional. They also do not contain chemical compounds such as tar and carbon monoxide. But just like conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes (vapes) contain doses of nicotine and may be linked to increased cardiopulmonary problems or complications in young people.
There is a lot of talk about how these devices can help those who want to quit smoking. But, according to the pulmonologist of Santa Casa de Maceió, Miriã Silva, no work proves the help with smoking cessation. “On the contrary, it often happens that electronic cigarettes encourage those who have never smoked to start smoking because of the false feeling of having a product that is not toxic.
A concentrated nicotine liquid is placed inside, which is heated by a battery and then inhaled. In addition to nicotine, it also contains solvents such as water, propylene glycol, glycerin. This liquid may still contain heavy metals (lead and chromium) as well as flavorings to add flavor. What is the solution? We do not have the exact description of the components involved in the production of these devices, as they are manufactured in other countries with different legislation, and many components are toxic and carcinogenic,” he warns.
DISEASES Popcorn lung, the popular name given to bronchiolitis obliterans, is a condition in which the bronchioles become damaged and inflamed due to excessive inhalation of chemicals. Electronic device users can also get EVALI, a lung disease linked to e-cigarette use discovered in 2019 due to an outbreak of flu-like illness that progressed to respiratory failure in young Americans. Studies also show that the damage caused by the use of electronic cigarettes can affect the skin or the mucous membranes of the mouth: contact dermatitis, thermal burns and lesions of the oral mucosa, such as stomatitis, are affections constantly associated with the use of electronic cigarettes.
“The use of these devices by young people is concerning. They are more susceptible to chemical dependency than adults and we still see indiscriminate and unaware use of the harms e-cigarettes can cause. There is no specific treatment when the causative agent is vaping. Each disease is treated according to guidelines that already exist, such as COPD and cancer. In the case of EVALI, the treatment is much more favorable. It is important to have campaigns informing schools about the dangers of the product and to have greater control over sales, since they are prohibited,” concludes the specialist.
ALERT – The marketing, import and advertising of all types of electronic smoking devices are prohibited in Brazil, by resolution of the Collegiate Board of Directors of Anvisa: RDC nº 46, of August 28, 2009. This decision was based on the precautionary principle, due to the lack of scientific data to support the claims attributed to these products. Read more.