However, he said, “traditional paper cigarettes contain a lot of other carcinogens, and the burning of their tobacco, tar, carbons and other harmful chemicals creates tremendous toxic side effects. So, in many ways, nicotine is the least of a smoker’s concerns.”Cristine Delnevo, professor and director of the Center for Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Research at the Rutgers School of Public Health in New Brunswick, agreed.
“There are over 7,000 chemicals in traditional cigarette smoke, hundreds of them are toxic, and 70 of them are known to cause cancer,” she said. By contrast, “there are usually only a few ingredients in e-cigarette liquid/vapor and, while an e-cigarette’s nicotine content and toxicants can vary greatly from one brand to another, the research to-date suggests that the levels of toxicants found in e-cigarettes are on an order of magnitude lower than those found in traditional cigarette smoke.”That’s not to imply that nicotine addiction is without its hazards. While more research has yet to be done on the dangers of nicotine addiction as an isolated substance separate from the other carcinogens contained in paper cigarettes, “nicotine is what addicts people to smoking cigarettes,” Lahita explained. “It wraps around the brain and provides both energy and a calming influence in a cyclical pattern so that people crave more.”
According to Lahita, the use/overuse of nicotine can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, back pain, depression, anxiety, nausea and sleep disturbances â€” all reasons why the FDA considers nicotine a drug and potential poison and regulates the sale of tobacco products.But another way it can be harmful is direct contact.In most of the country, you must be 18 or older to purchase cigarettes, though in 2006 New Jersey became one of four states to increase the minimum purchase age to 19.”In addition, the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes is a higher and more pure dose of nicotine than contained in traditional cigarettes,” he nsaid.He noted that, while the industry is still investigating the impact of that, “We know that nicotine isn’t good for you over the long haul and that it creates dependency,”a particular concern for kids who may be purchasing it illegally online.A cessation solution?
At Lighthouse Cigars in Hazlet, where owner Ralph J. Seber III has been selling e-cigarettes for three to four years, he observed that these smokeless substitutes do fill a need.