Tag Archives: e-cigarettes

E-Cigarette Users May be Unknowingly Ingesting Alcohol

E-cigaretteE-cigarettes have become popular, replacing cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. e-cigarettes are billed as a healthier way for users to ingest nicotine without the dangerous carcinogens. However, a new study conducted by researchers at Yale University shows that some liquid vapors used in e-cigarettes actually contain alcohol.

This discovery reveals that e-cigarettes may not be as healthy as some users consider. Levels of alcohol within the vapor cartridges can cause users to experience delayed reactions, test positive for alcohol in their system, and for those that have struggled with alcohol in the past, they could reignite cravings for more alcohol.

Researchers tested a variety of different vapors used in e-cigarettes and found low amounts of alcohol in some of them, but one brand had an overwhelming amount of alcohol. About 33% of the vapers tested contained no alcohol, and 40% of the vapers had 0.75 percent or less. However, a company that produces vapers for c-cigarettes called Virgin Vapor was found to be selling a product called Organic French Vanilla that contained 23.5% alcohol.

Another concern about the presence of alcohol is that there has been a surge of e-cigarette use among young people. Teenagers who use vapes, and parents who allow them to do this, are likely unaware that they are ingesting alcohol. While the use of e-cigarettes among this age group is not recommended, most people do not consider alcohol content when determining if they are going to use this type of cigarette replacement. Experts warn that with more teenagers being exposed to e-cigarettes, the chances they are ingesting alcohol is increasingly high.

“About 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the internet, in magazines/newspapers, or on TV/movies. Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth,” explained the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition to the potential for unintentional ingestion of alcohol, there is still ongoing concern regarding the health implications of other chemicals found in various vapors used in these devices.

Study Reveals Possible Connection Between Drug Abuse and E-Cigarettes

nicotinenejmAs an emerging alternative to smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes have become the subject of tons of research. A recent study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine explains results that nicotine in any form serves as a “gateway drug” priming the brain for harder drugs to keep the reward system satisfied. Husband-wife researchers, Denise Kandel and Eric Kandel, have been studying nicotine for years and their recent findings reveal risks associated with the newly popular e-cigarette.

Interestingly enough, when nicotine was administered to mice before cocaine, they responded more powerfully to the cocaine compared to the mice that did not receive nicotine. The reason is that nicotine stimulates a reward-related gene, which causes dramatically enhanced effects of cocaine. Lowered inhibitions are also a reported symptom of the nicotine/cocaine combination.

Once the reward gene is activated, the mice behaved differently on cocaine. They were more active and spent an excessive amount of time in the area where they received their food. The scientists believe that this is because they were craving cocaine and were attempting to satisfy that craving by seeking out more from the space where they were fed.

E-cigarettes were originally introduced as a healthier alternative to smoking. The devices do not contain the tar and chemicals that cigarettes do, however they do have the same amount of nicotine. The idea was that smokers could get their nicotine fix without the dangerous components that are in cigarettes. E-cigarettes were advertised as the best way to quit smoking. Many people have embraced e-cigarettes and big tobacco companies have become invested, but not that much research was available before they hit the market.

The connection between e-cigarettes and cocaine is alarming to some because a device that was intended to help people quit smoking cigarettes may actually lead to more dangerous behavior.

“This is a powerful facilitator for addiction to cocaine and perhaps other drugs as well. If people knew that this is in fact the danger they’d be much less enthusiastic about using nicotine,” explains Eric Kandel. Addressing the damage that nicotine has on the brain is a bit of a new take – as most people focus on the damage that it creates in the body.

“We’ve worked very hard to reduce smoking in this country, and I think it’s been a fantastic success,” Denise says. With the introduction of e-cigarettes, “Now I think we’re on the verge of destroying all of the progress that we’ve [made].”