E-cigarettes have emerged as a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. Created by a pharmacist in China, they offer a less toxic method for ingesting nicotine, compared to traditional cigarettes. A liquid solution containing propylene glycol, water, flavoring, and nicotine is heated, producing the vapor.
Although the companies that manufacture e-cigarettes and the many available accessories claim that they are a safe alternative to smoking, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to back that claim. In fact, the federal agency has proposed banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and is in the process of requiring companies that make these products to place warning labels on them. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control have stated that there should be more regulations limiting the sale and advertising of these products to minors.
Beyond the health implications, there are concerns regarding whether the devices are safe. A recent article described one incident in which an individual was using an e-cigarette when the battery inside it exploded, causing him to suffer third-degree burns. Although the incident occurred over one year ago, the individual is still experiencing damaging effects and requires daily treatments and care.