Smoking is harmful: even if it’s electronic cigarettes. Although the medical-scientific community has never considered these “alternatives” to cigarettes a healthy alternative, this is reiterated by a study by Duke University, which pointed out that vaporization produces the release of chemicals potentially harmful to health. The substance, so far not yet classified in detail, does not appear in the ingredients of the e-cig, but the compound irritates the respiratory tract, creating possible health risks. In addition to being addictive, of course, because they contain nicotine. We talked about it with Dr. Licia Vanessa Siracusano, Medical Oncology and Hematology Aid of Humanitas.
A potentially dangerous palliative
“Consumers of e-cigarettes do not have the faintest of substances to which they are exposed by inhaling aromatic vapor – said Sven Jordt, professor of pharmacology and one of the authors of the study published in ‘Nicotine and Tobacco Research’. Even if the alleged ingredients are written on the e-cigs, in fact, this compound derived from solvents does not appear. This was discovered by researchers at Duke University who identified the new chemical substance, which may be responsible for irritation of the nerve endings of the throat and chronic inflammation that can lead to asthma and emphysema.
As the study points out, electronic cigarettes work by heating a liquid called ‘e-juice’, composed of various flavors, propylene glycol, glycerine and often nicotine. All this is then heated and vaporized. It is precisely in the vaporization process that the compound called ‘PG aldehyde acetal’ is formed. This is the substance that reaches the respiratory tract. But precisely because the compound is not one of the basic ingredients, but is formed during vaporization, its presence is not mentioned.
The word of Humanitas
“We must be very clear,” said the specialist, “that electronic cigarettes irritate the respiratory tract, emit harmful and carcinogenic substances, are addictive if they contain nicotine and are therefore not considered harmless. Let us not see them as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, but only as a transitional instrument to definitely stop smoking”.