According to a new study, the word 'cigarette' might appear in the term 'e-cigarette' but that is as far as their similarities extend. Assuming e-cigarettes are equal to cigarettes could lead to misguided research and policy initiatives.
Researchers at Northwestern University explained that comparing cigarettes to e-cigarettes can give us a false sense of what dangers exist because it misses the gap in understanding how people use them and how they can make people dependent. Lead author of the study, Matthew Olonoff said, "Before we start making policy changes, such as controlling nicotine or flavour options in e-cigarettes, we need to better understand what role these unique characteristics have."
The commentary distils articles and published studies that compare e-cigarettes to cigarettes and supports the importance of investigating e-cigarettes as a unique nicotine delivery system. There are enough key differences between cigarettes and these products, especially newer-generation devices, to show that they are not interchangeable nicotine delivery systems.
"From a research perspective, when we call it a 'cigarette,' we know how many puffs are typically in a cigarette, how people use it, the amount of nicotine in it," Olonoff said. "Even though it has the word 'cigarette' in it, e-cigarettes are not the same thing."
E-cigarettes have been commercially available since the mid-2000s. The technology has been advancing rapidly, which makes it nearly impossible to set up-to-date policy initiatives. The findings appeared in the Journal of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
Any which way, whether you choose to smoke or inhale the vapours, both are equally hazardous to health and have serious implications on the body. It enhances the risk of developing heart diseases and can even cause cancer.