What are the side effects of e-cigarettes? Are they safe?
It is not known how safe or how unsafe these products are. September of 2019 saw a rash of nearly 500 cases of respiratory illness linked to vaping throughout the US, according to the CDC, which reports symptoms to include cough, chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, vomiting or diarrhea. As of September, six had died of "vaping lung disease." The exact component of vape fluid had not been identified as of that time, but illness seems to affect users of both nicotine and cannabis e-cigarettes.
“While this investigation is ongoing, consider not using e-cigarette products,” the CDC advised as of Sept. 6. They further state, regardless of the ongoing investigation, youth, young adults and women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
Nicotine is considered to be very addictive, and that seems to be a cause for concern. Low doses may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and eye irritation. High doses of nicotine may cause tachycardia, high blood pressure, seizures, coma, and death. Moreover, the FDA reported detecting ethylene glycol in some of the e-cigarettes and cancer-causing substances called nitrosamines in others. In addition, some e-cigarettes have caught fire and/or exploded because of faulty batteries or malfunctioning battery chargers.
It took several decades to determine problems associated with tobacco use. It is likely that it will also take some time and study to determine how safe (or unsafe) e-cigarettes are. Experts claim that in order to stop cigarette smoking, it is probably better to use studied material such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches and/or counseling than to use e-cigarettes. They also suggest people do not start smoking e-cigarettes for fun or for quitting any tobacco products.
The CDC published a report about the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine. The proportion of calls to poison centers increased from 0.3% in 2010 to 41.7% as of February 2014. The bulk of these calls are related to small children that open the liquid nicotine containers. The liquid nicotine containers are not childproof; they appeal to young children because of the candy and fruit flavors. They can cause vomiting, and eye irritation.