Are e cigarettes safe?
It’s now generally accepted that vapour-producing e cigarettes are a much safer alternative to smoking, but some users are worried about possible health risks of using e cigarettes in the longer term. Here are a few of the most common current e cigarette safety concerns, followed by some tips to help you to avoid or minimise these possible dangers.
e cigarette risks and how to minimise them
chemical additives in e cigarette refills
The most commonly-cited e cigarette safety risk is the possible danger of chemical additives contained in refills and eliquids, many of which are manufactured in China, and which may not always be subject to stringent health and safety regulations and checks that would be expected in countries such as UK. Chemicals present in some refills are said to contain compounds that might inflame the human lung or even be carcinogenic.
You can minimise the risk of inhaling dangerous unknown additives by ordering your e cigarette kits and refills only from e cigarette suppliers that manufacture their eliquids and refills in the UK, and whose manufacturing processes comply fully with EU and national health and safety regulations. Suppliers such as Intellicig UK and Ecigwizard supply locally-made e cigarette refills and eliquids that are produced in approved clean room environments that ensure higher levels of safety.
If you want to play it even safer, you can avoid flavourings altogether and mix your own unflavoured eliquids from unflavoured UK-made nicotine base liquid and vape-safe dilutants, such as vegetable glycerine or PG. Products like these can be ordered from the suppliers previously mentioned above.
old or “dirty” e cigarette refills
Some experts have raised concerns that e cigarette refills may not always be clean, and that they may sometimes produce a dirty vapour due to overuse or burning that can occur inside some e cigarette cartomisers or refills.
It is possible to reduce the risk of dirty vapour emissions from your e cigarette by changing your refills regularly (at least once a day) if you use a mini e cigarette, or by switching away from cartomisers to a mesh clearomiser, if you prefer to use a big-battery e cigarette. Though these tips will not eliminate all possible burning within your device, they will certainly help to keep it to a minimum. As always though, if your e cigarette ever begins to taste burnt or dry, it’s probably safest to throw away the cartomiser refill or clearomiser you are using and switch to a new one as soon as you can.
breathing difficulties caused by e cigarettes
Also of concern to some experts are the possible negative effects of nicotine from e cigarettes on the human airway, which they say can become constricted when vapour is inhaled from these devices. People with asthma or other existing breathing problems should probably avoid e cigarettes for this reason, though it should be mentioned that tobacco cigarettes are unlikely to be any safer in this regard.
To minimise the risk of damage to your lungs from e cigarettes you can choose e cigarette refills or liquids that are low strength or that do not contain nicotine at all if you wish. Of course, if you experience any breathing difficulties while using an e cigarette, it’s probably best to stop using it and to switch to a form of NRT instead, as advised by your doctor or pharmacist.
Exploding e cigarettes!
Occasional reports of e cigarette batteries exploding or causing fires are also of concern to some e cigarette users, though usually it seems that devices in question are cheap foreign imports from questionable manufacturers, and have often exploded due to poor electrical safety checks either before or after being imported to the UK.
You can of course reduce the risk of buying risky devices by again ordering from reputable suppliers that manufacture their products locally and whose devices comply with EU or UK electrical safety regulations. In addition, as with any rechargeable device, it’s a good idea to charge your e cigarette in a safe place away from pets, children or flammable materials, and to never leave your e cigarette battery charging while unattended.