Skip to main content

E-Cigarettes: A Subtle Danger?


By Zack Griggy, San Marin HS

          E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are marketed as a healthier and safer cigarette. But is it really? Multiple organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have found that they are not at all safer that traditional cigarettes.
Newer e-cigarettes sometimes don't resemble
traditional cigarettes at all.
          A traditional cigarette burns the leaves from the tobacco plant. Tobacco is a plant that naturally contains nicotine, the main addictive agent in cigarettes. Nicotine is also used as a strong insecticide and is so strong that a drop of pure nicotine can kill a person. When tobacco is burned, nicotine is released in the smoke. The smoker can then inhale the smoke and experience a high feeling, which is caused by excess levels of dopamine from the nicotine. In addition to

tobacco,cigarettes can also contain thousands of toxic chemicals, the purpose of which could be anything from making cigarettes combustible to enhancing the addictive effects of the nicotine.
          An e-cigarette, on the other hand, vaporizes liquid nicotine, and releases vapor. The process of smoking e-cigarettes was dubbed "vaping" because of this process. The e-cigarette is composed of a cartridge that contains e-liquid, an atomizer that heats the e-liquid, a battery, a sensor that determines when someone is taking a drag and activates the atomizer, and, sometimes, a light that simulates smoking. When a person decides to take a puff of the vapor, the sensor detects this and activates the light and atomizer. The atomizer, once activated, vaporizes the e-liquid and then releases the vapor so it can be inhaled.
E-cigarettes are composed of five parts. The orange section is
composed of the sensor and cartridge. The metallic silver section is the
atomizer. The white section is the battery and light.
          E-cigarettes are widely marketed as a safer way to get high off of nicotine, but the FDA has found that contrary to the marketing, e-cigarettes are not safe. E-cigarettes are not yet regulated by the FDA. This means that e-cigarette manufacturers do not have to list any or all of the nefarious substances found in the e-liquid. So, when someone "vapes," they inhale all sorts of unknown chemicals. With
e-cigarettes, one might be inhaling a few toxic chemicals or a few thousand. However, e-cigarettes are slightly healthier than traditional cigarettes, mainly because e-cigarettes do not result in as much smoke as traditional cigarettes.
          To make matters worse, e-cigarette use is on the rise. E-cigarettes were invented in 2003, but has only recently gained popularity. Now, it is the most commonly used tobacco product in US high schools, and from 2013 to 2014, e-cigarette use among high school students tripled from 660,000 students to over 2 million students. E-cigarette use is clearly a growing problem. Marketing, mostly the TV marketing, was attributed to this recent spike in e-cigarette usage.
          E-cigarettes in spite of their marketing, are not safe products. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a poisonous chemical, and all sorts of other unknown toxins. Because of marketing, e-cigarette use is increasing. E-cigarettes are slightly healthier than traditional cigarette because there is not nearly as much smoke produced.
       
Sources
1.http://healthliteracy.worlded.org/docs/tobacco/Unit4/1whats_in.html
2.http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/tobacco/what-are-medical-consequences-tobacco-use
3.http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/vaping-101-how-do-e-cigarettes-work-n88786
4.http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/5-facts-about-e-cigarettes-fda-no-its-not-ban-n88746
5.http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0416-e-cigarette-use.html

To learn more about e-cigarettes and the risks attributed to them and other important health issues, be sure to join us Wednesday, October 7th, to hear Julie Pettijohn MPH of the California Department of Public Health discuss these important topics at Terra Linda High School, 320 Nova Albion Way, in Room 207 

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Invention in Medicine this Wed. 10/26/16

Marin Science Seminar for Teens & Community Presents Invention in Medicine How Medical Devices get Invented and Go to Market with Art Wallace MD PhD of UCSF & VAMC SF
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 7:30 - 8:30 pm Terra Linda High School, Room 207 320 Nova Albion, San Rafael, CA 94903 


Art Wallace started out in experimental surgery and radiology studying imaging of the heart using CT
scanners. He has worked on a number of devices that originally were built for experimental studies that evolved into clinically useful devices including a cardiac output monitor, the off pump CABG, off pump aneurysm surgery, electronic sedation, and a selective coronary vasodialtor. Dr. Wallace will explain his experiences with the inventive process using examples from both device design and drug development. There will be a brief discussion of the importance of intellectual property, patents, venture capital, FDA approval, and business development in completing the invention process. There will …

An Interview With Diara Spain, Ph.D

By Rachael Metzger, MSS Intern

Ocean acidification is an issue becoming apparent in the effects on both sea creatures and humans. Diara Spain, the Associate Professor of Biology at Dominican University, came to Marin Science Seminar to talk to us about her studies in marine invertebrates and the damage ocean acidification is causing them. 

To learn more about Diara Spain and what inspired her studies we conducted an interview:


1. How did you get interested in biology? Is there a time, event, 
or person in your life that inspired you to pursue the study? I've always been interested in biology, really science in general. I grew up in rural North Carolina and as a kid it was expected that you'd spend most of your free time outside playing with your friends and pets.  One thing that sparked my interest in marine organisms were the summer vacations at the undeveloped beaches in North Carolina. 
2. Why did you specifically decide to focus on functional morphology, locomotion in echinode…

Marin Science Seminar Internships Still Available

Marin Science Seminar still has two high school student internship spaces available. Interns must be able to attend science seminars on select Wednesday evenings at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael. Interns arrive at 7 pm to set up, assist with the seminar, and can leave when the seminar is cleaned up by 8:45 pm. Specialties are also available for students interested in writing, photography, videography, and social media.

Start your application online today at this link!
See the calendar here: http://www.marinscienceseminar.com/calendar.html

More information about MSS internships can be found on the website at this link:
http://www.marinscienceseminar.com/interns.html

 Join us and learn!