Electronic cigarettes and the use of e-liquids

Electronic cigarettes and the use of e-liquids

Electronic cigarettes and the use of e-liquids with or without nicotine are said to help smokers quit smoking.

Based on this premise, inhalation should produce an amount of vapor similar to that of a burst of cigarettes. Other uses, such as creating huge clouds or holding skill competitions with steam, are far from the purpose of the interesting device, but the human mammal always finds ways to justify questionable uses of almost anything that goes through his hands.

There are studies indicating that the risk reduction in tobacco use achieved with the use of electronic cigarettes can be up to 95%, which is a really interesting number, provided the use is correct. This includes the quality of the electronic device, the composition and quality of the e-liquids and a moderate and reasonable consumption. In my opinion, this last advice applies to all substances that we consume and to the activities that we carry out.

All e-liquids on the market consist essentially of propylene glycol or PG and vegetable glycerin or GM in different proportions or percentages and flavors. They can also contain a small percentage of distilled water. And they shouldn't contain other types of additives, which is an important fact, as we'll see later.

There are e-liquids with CBD and terpenes in different percentages of CBD and terpene profiles. In this case, terpenes could be classified as flavors. Current legislation in Europe prohibits the marketing of products containing CBD as a dietary supplement, but use in e-liquid would not be a food.

Propylene glycol (PG) should be the basic component used in e-liquids. It is a colorless, tasteless and odorless organic alcohol compound. The acute oral toxicity of a single dose of PG is very low. Chronic oral toxicity too. Because of this low oral toxicity, PG has been widely recognized as safe for many years, and even bactericidal properties have been attributed.

Their applications are very wide: as humectants in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and tobacco, as aroma and color solvents in food (cheese, ice cream, milk, etc.) and beverages (food additive E1520), as antifreeze for food, in artificial Smoking machines for the training of firefighters and for theater productions, as a component of cosmetics, baby products, in many medicines, hand disinfectants, antibacterial lotions and salt solutions.

Up to now, the use in foods for human beings in the countries of the European Union Consumption regulated by the European Parliament and Council Directive No. 95/2 / EC for food additives that are not colorings or sweeteners. Carcinogenesis has also been studied and is negative.

All of these studies relate to the use of oral or topical PG, but there are not many studies on medium and long-term administration or inhalation. However, it must be borne in mind that electronic cigarettes have been used for 16 years and no pathology that can be associated with the correct and reasonable use of these devices has ever been identified epidemiologically.

Vegetable glycerin or glycerin ( GV) is a clear, odorless liquid made from vegetable oils, especially palm, soybean or coconut oil. The GM has a number of valuable uses, including cosmetic products, food, and as a substitute for alcohol in botanical and herbaceous tinctures.

The vegetable glycerin used in food production is recommended by the US Pharmacopeia. USA (USP) must have a purity of more than 99% and a sweet taste. Vegetable glycerin is metabolized differently from sugar and used in low-carb foods to provide sweetness and moisture. Unlike sugar, glycerin does not cause dental problems.

GV can be used as a diluent and as an alcohol substitute for the production of herbal extracts or tinctures. This is an advantage for people who want to avoid alcohol.

Vegetable glycerin, due to its lipid properties, can cause breathing problems if consumed excessively. We always have to check the percentage of GM that the e-liquids contain. The higher it is, the more opportunities we have to create problems if we consume it excessively. The health problems that arise from the use of electronic cigarettes are directly related to the percentage of the GM. The higher the percentage, the greater the likelihood of breathing problems.

Before we go into this topic, let's go back to 2014. The first case of lipoid pneumonia diagnosed in Spain (the second worldwide) was diagnosed in A Coruña in 2014. The patient, a "primary smoker", consumed some two packs of tobacco daily. But when he switched to the electronic cigarette, he consumed five loads a day, or five packs. His addiction intensified to such an extent that this consumption of e-liquids with a high proportion of vegetable glycerin endangered his life and he had to be hospitalized until his recovery. After he was released, the man returned to traditional tobacco despite trying to reduce its consumption. What caused the problem was the accumulation of vegetable glycerin, a lipid that accumulated in the patient's lungs and prevented proper oxygenation. "If the consumption of electronic cigarettes is maintained, more cases of lipoid pneumonia will be diagnosed in a short time," said Carlos Jiménez, director of tobacco research at the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery. And it goes even further: "It is a disease that can be serious and even fatal if it affects a person with a previous deficiency" (3). Obviously, this consumption is too high, and surely the e-liquids contained a percentage of GM of at least 50%, which facilitates the occurrence of problems, always related to abuse and the percentage of GM. To date, despite the outdated regulation of products and the abuse of electronic cigarettes by many users, no further lipoid pneumonia has been identified.

What is currently happening in the United States? An "epidemic of vapers" occurs, which causes serious breathing problems in connection with the inhalation of THC-containing e-liquids. This was the first news!

The first medical analysis is aimed at lipoid pneumonia, but will soon be ruled out:

"Although we cannot rule out the possible role of lipids, we have nothing seen, which suggests that this is a problem caused by the accumulation of lipids in the lungs. Instead, it appears to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what you could do when exposed to toxic chemical vapors, see toxic gases and toxic substances, "says Dr. Brandon Larsen, surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic Arizona and national lung pathology expert (1).

The health problem in the United States that is directly related to the use of electronic cigarettes and THC deserves a thorough one Analysis because the explanation is simple, but unfortunately at the time of writing this article 39 people have died and more than two thousand have consequences or are seriously ill. If we use contaminated e-liquids or are incorrectly formulated with toxic products, we have problems. If the components of an electronic cigarette, such as the e-liquid tank, are contaminated by bacteria or fungi, or handled and filled without the necessary hygienic conditions, there is a problem. Many users of electronic cigarettes make their own e-liquids or market them in a market without regulation or control. Therefore, the hygienic conditions and the quality of the products used determine if the end product is suitable for consumption or can cause problems. If we have used a cannabis-derived product to make an e-liquid, for example if the herb or extract is contaminated with pesticides or heavy metals, the end product will cause problems in the short or medium term, and it will no longer depend on even the use of the electronic cigarette. If the components of the e-liquid are incorrect or the concentrations are wrong, we can of course even cause death.

Tocopherol acetate (Vit E), which has antioxidant properties and is used in the food or pharmaceutical industry, was one of the causes of this disaster since Honey Cut (2) has marketed an alternative diluent for this product PG and GV with an explosive composition, 90 to 95% pure vitamin E acetate! And the other other forms of vitamin E. Honey Cut has also achieved very high market values ??for e-liquid diluents. Reason why this fact has exacerbated the number of people affected. If we follow the production chain, this already very problematic honey cut diluent reaches, for example, the already accused brothers Huffhines (5) from Winsconsin, who produce a mixture of the diluent with cannabis extract that is contaminated with myclobutanyl, hexane. Butane, propane, etc. Neither the hygienic conditions are correct nor the knowledge to carry out these formulations. In the state of California alone, there are approximately 2,800 stores that sell these products without control. This leaves the situation for the government to face the problem and regulate this market to avoid serious health problems caused by the lack of regulation and control of the products.

However, the original intention was clear Using the situation to attack the electronic cigarette and cannabis without objective data and with scientific confusion, accompanied by a lack of knowledge on the subject by the social actors who coped with the crisis. We also have to evaluate the products that come from the Chinese market without the controls or the necessary information about the products and their composition. I think regulating this market is a global problem because we can avoid health problems and use a very useful resource for smokers who want to quit the toxic tobacco habit that has so many negative effects on our health. If we estimate the latest information, it has become clear that the states that have regulated the cannabis market have had better control of the situation by being able to exercise more effective control to withdraw illegal products. Most cases have occurred in unregulated countries. It is clear that the black market and lack of regulation are the basis of the problem in the United States. It must be said in their favor that licensed cannabis products and lots (approximately 5000) have been licensed in the state of California (5) in the past year and a half due to mislabeling, pesticide presence, solvent residues, or heavy metals withdrawn. Legal access to these products makes their control effective or does not exist. Obviously, it is clear that the problem that has cost many lives has nothing to do with the electronic cigarette or the habit of vaping. The reason is the lack of regulation and control of this market. I hope that this situation has no impact on other countries' legislative stances, as was the case with cannabis in the middle of the last century, and culminated in the 1961 signing of the UN Convention in Geneva, where cannabis became a narcotic in List 1 .

Through responsible vaporization and quality control of e-liquids, we can reduce the possible risk of consuming e-liquids in addition to using suitable vaporizers. If we compare the risks of vaping with tobacco use, we can significantly reduce the risk of the health problems derived from its use. In fact, vaping is an alternative to stopping tobacco use, and if you replace it, the health benefits are more than remarkable. The quality of the flavors, CBD or terpenes that we find in the different e-liquids is important to avoid problems due to toxicity or even contamination. Many vapers use e-liquids, the composition of which they do not know, and it should really be the governments that regulate and do not prohibit these smoking alternatives that so affect some pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, even if it is easier for their abilities Champix -Product (Varenicline), the only product in Spain that funds the public health system to quit smoking. According to the newspaper Der Spiegel (4), this pharmaceutical company has financed campaigns against the electronic cigarette in Europe, and if this news is true, it is because they are concerned about losing the market with their pharmaceutical product, given the effectiveness of the electronic cigarette who quit smoking habit. Obviously, using the electronic cigarette does not guarantee success in smoking cessation, the main instrument is the willpower and the motivation to quit.

Technical tips on the use of electronic cigarettes

We suggest using countercurrent , because the use of the electronic cigarette currently promotes evaporation under ohms with very low resistances of 0.15 / 0.30 ohms and powers of more than 200 W in some devices, resulting in almost instant light bulb resistance, temperatures of up to generated at 400º. By adding a high proportion of GM in the e-liquid (40 to 80%) an extraordinary amount of steam is achieved. But we don't get the best taste, its use focuses on the production of vapors in large quantities, not in order to achieve complex flavors with many nuances.

Is this a logical use of the electronic cigarette? We don't think.

Vaping sessions should be productive, but we don't have to wait for lush clouds of steam. We chose an adequate amount of vapor that can mimic a cigarette stick. This is achieved with e-liquids with a low percentage of GM, a maximum of 20% would be advisable, but we currently cannot find them on the market with this formulation! The problem is the GV, the PG is more secure, although probably not harmless. Adequate consumption and correct use.

The taste level can be increased if we use resistors of 1 to 2 ohms in our atomizers, both repairable and "all in one", which is reflected in a slower rise in temperature, without reaching the light bulb of resistance. and therefore at high temperatures (300º to 400º). These temperatures can produce compounds such as acrolines or formaldehyde and are not necessary for the transport of e-liquids. Therefore, we minimize that carcinogenic substances are produced efficiently if we compare them with those that result from burning a cigarette. We also recommend evaporating between 15 W and 30 W in evaporators with wattage control. The vaping "pods" devices that we find on the market already follow these guidelines. Reason and logic were finally installed in these devices if we compare them with the use of "mods" and atomizers with 0.15 ohms and up to 200 watts of power! Fast light bulb of resistance and high temperatures that carcinogens can generate, always in relation to the quality of the components of the device and obviously the e-liquid.

Don't forget to maintain and clean the tank regularly, e.g. B. with isopropyl alcohol and warm water, and replace the heating elements according to the frequency of use. If we change the e-liquid without cleaning the tank and changing the resistance, the flavors mix first. For gourmets, you can try the different e-liquids with several atomizers without mixing the flavors. Remember that you shouldn't throw the e-liquid out of the atomizer as it can burn cotton and the burning taste is inevitable. We need to change or repair the resistance if we use repairable atomizers.

Electronic cigarettes are not intended to begin vaping as a first step towards later tobacco use, nothing further from their indication. We think it is interesting for tobacco smokers who want to replace the habit of vaping with the cigarette, which significantly reduces the risk of inhaling smoke after burning cigarettes.

I will continue to use the electronic cigarette defend and always apply the risk prevention measures and their consumption philosophy that we recommend.

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