Tobacco Vs. Electronic Cigarettes
As we have seen on other sections of this site, the central difference between electronic cigarettes and the conventional variety is tobacco.
A quick comparison
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Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and are focused on the delivery of the principal addictive substance in tobacco – nicotine. Unlike caffeine, a very similar natural pesticide and stimulant, nicotine is highly addictive because it stimulates the pleasure centres of the brain, in a similar way to opiates like heroin. The more you smoke, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms you may experience if you suddenly quit.
However, nicotine is not otherwise harmful in normal doses and even has some positive effects – it boosts mood, memory and concentration, decreases appetite and discourages the formation of fat (one of the reasons many weight-conscious women are keen smokers).
But light up a conventional cigarettes and the smoke you inhale will contain much more than nicotine. Like any organic substance, tobacco is highly complex and its smoke contains an extraordinary mix of more 4000 different chemicals, including over 50 known carcinogens.
Carcinogens in Tobacco:
• Tar (used in tarmac)
• Arsenic (a powerful poison)
• Creosote (a derivative of tar, used as a wood preservative)
• Formaldehyde (a preservative used in forensics laboratories)
Other Toxins in Tobacco:
• Ammonia (a gas commonly used in cleaning products)
• Hydrogen cyanide (otherwise used as rat poison)
• Carbon monoxide (a toxic gas emitted by car exhausts)
It is these substances which cause the lung cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses associated with smoking – NOT nicotine. So potent is tobacco smoke that ‘second hand smoking’ – the inhalation of other people’s cigarette smoke by non-smokers – can provoke the same illnesses as those which afflict smokers themselves.
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ElectronicCigarettes.co.uk was established to provide consumers with impartial, practical advice and information on E-Cigarettes and the electronic cigarette industry.
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