There’s Bad News for People Who Smoke E Cigarettes Image Credit AP

E cigarettes have been getting a bad rap lately. They’re not just tacky and overpriced, say the critics, they’re actually physically dangerous. A scathing New York Times feature recently discussed how the liquid nicotine capsules used to refill them can easily poison children. And never mind their potential to, well, explode though at least they don’t cause people to melt in their chairs when they fall asleep.

But perhaps most potentially damning of all is recent data that suggests e cigarettes can still cause cancer. A new study published in Clinical Cancer Research reveals that e cig vapor affects human bronchial cells in “strikingly” similar ways to regular cigarette smoke. It can do so by causing mutations in gene expression, explains team member Avrum Spira, and the findings have prompted researchers to plan further investigation into whether affected bronchial cells will behave more like cancer cells in the future.

“They may be safer than tobacco , but our preliminary studies suggest that they may not be benign,” says Spira.

As VICE’s Meghan Neal notes, previous studies have demonstrated that nicotine alone can “promote or exacerbate” certain kinds of cancer, which doesn’t bode well for the e cig industry’s hopes to promote their product as a safe and healthy alternative to lighting up. And they may have addictive properties of their own, or at the very least fail to wean people of their nicotine dependencies. Another recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that “although 85% of smokers who used e cigarettes reported using them to quit, e cigarette users did not quit more frequently than nonusers.” In fact, U.S. “e cigarette users were less likely to have quit at 7 months than nonusers.” Their popularity among youth suggests that even if e cigarette use doesn’t lead to smoking, it can still be a habit on its own.

Unfortunately, it’s looking more and more like e cigarettes aren’t the long awaited panacea to the global tobacco industry, which kills six million people a year according to World Health Organization estimates. That’s a damn shame, because we could really use something like this to help people stop smoking. But did anyone really think vaporizing and inhaling chemicals that can easily poison you wouldn’t have some drawbacks?

Fire safe cigarette – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fire safe cigarettes, abbreviated “FSC”, also known as lower ignition propensity (LIP), reduced fire risk (RFR), self extinguishing, fire safe or reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes, are cigarettes that are designed to extinguish more quickly than standard cigarettes if ignored, with the intention of preventing accidental fires. In the United States, “FSC” above the barcode signifies that the cigarettes sold are fire standards compliant (FSC).

Fire safe cigarettes are produced by adding two bands of fire retardant to the cigarette paper during manufacture in order to slow the burn rate at the bands. Because this process simply decreases the burn rate and does not prevent unattended cigarettes from igniting nearby materials or tinder, the term “fire safe” has been called a misnomer which could lead to a false sense of security. citation needed

The bands may be made from many materials manufacturing methods are multitudinous and multifarious among multiple makers and marketers of cigarettes, including cellulose, other polymers or entirely different materials such as thicker bands of paper citation needed ) for the speed bumps in order to comply with regulations. citation needed Many patents have been registered for potential materials, including EVA polymer (ethylene vinyl acetate). When burned, the polymer of EVA becomes unstable, and the health risks of inhalation are not known. EVA and PVA (polyvinyl acetate) polymer adhesives have been used by the tobacco industry for many years, and are the industry standards. citation needed A similar quantity of PVA polymer is required to glue the paper seam in a fire safe cigarette as in a standard cigarette. citation needed

EVA polymer must not be conflated with the EVA monomer, citation needed which is a reactive species with some toxic properties.