The gradual demise of traditional cigarettes has sparked some new health concerns related to the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes, as well as new “designer drugs” like synthetic cannabis. Designer drugs are synthetic analogs of illegal or prohibited drugs, devised to circumvent drug laws.
The dangers of e-cigs may not be as obvious as those of traditional smokes, but according to CDC, accidental poisonings are soaring, most notably among small children who come in contact with liquid refills for vapor versions. More than half of the poisonings have been occurring in children age five and younger.
For children to be poisoned by a traditional cigarette, they must eat one. But just touching the liquid refills for some e-cigs is dangerous for young children because the chemicals can be readily absorbed through their skin and even their eyes. The toxic effects of synthetic cannabis are also proving deadly.
Nothing Natural in Electronic Cigarettes or Fake Pot
One of the reasons e-cigarettes and are causing so many poisonings is that they are unnatural—synthesized in a lab—and often loaded with heavy metals, solvents, and a hodgepodge of toxic chemicals.
With synthetic marijuana, there is no end to the potentially deadly combinations of laboratory-fabricated chemicals. Various versions are being imported, mostly from Asia, under the guise of potpourri, herbal incense, and even “plant food.”
There are so many versions that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) can’t keep up with them. Every time one chemical is banned, the “cooks” just substitute another, none of which have been safety tested of course. Many are causing severe, disabling, and even fatal reactions.
The rate at which poisonings are escalating argues in favor of the legalization of marijuana. While not completely safe, marijuana is a natural herb that offers many health benefits. These synthetic drugs offer NONE of the health benefits—only the risks.
Smokeless Does Not Mean Harmless
Instead of lighting up, e-cigarettes work by a mechanism that heats up a liquid—typically containing nicotine, flavoring agents, and solvents—which turns into a vapor that you inhale and exhale. This is called “vaping.” In spite of industry’s claims that e-cigarette vapors are harmless, testing has revealed toxic metal nanoparticles in these aerosols.
One of the problems unique to e-cigarettes is how easy it is for anyone to smoke them—and in the process, expose you to secondhand fumes. In most offices, you can just vape away at your desk—no need to trek outside to the nearest smoking area.
Some people are vaping at work all day long. If the fumes were truly only “water vapor” as the manufacturers would have you believe, then this wouldn’t be an issue… but they aren’t just water vapor. According to Tim McAffee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“We just don’t know what’s in them, and we don’t know how much of what’s in them would get out into the environment — but the assumption would be that it would.”
E-cig vapor has been shown to contain tin, copper, nickel, and silver silicate beads. In some cases, the levels are greater than what you might be exposed to from smoking a conventional cigarette.
Breathing metal nanoparticles has additional risks because they can more easily enter your bloodstream and body tissues, as their microscopic size allows them to better evade your body’s natural defenses. They also carry the potential for harming your developing fetus or newborn baby.
According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), secondhand e-cigarette aerosol contains at least 10 chemicals identified on California’s Proposition 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins, listed in the table below. Scientists have also found measurable amounts of propylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines.
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