The Italian government conducted a study on electronic cigarettes which concluded that they may not be an effective aid in smoking cessation. Since electronic cigarettes also release nicotine into the body (even if they deliver a smaller amount of the substance) the study warned against the use of these devices, as they still pose a serious risk to health.
ABC News reported that the Italian Health Ministry also expressed concern on the increased use of electronic cigarettes amongst the younger population, which see them as “fashion gadgets”. The study also states that electronic cigarettes can, in fact, lead young people to start smoking tobacco cigarettes.
An association of electronic cigarette producers reacted to the report, highlighting that these devices are mainly aimed to traditional cigarette smokers and that one of the main purposes of the e-cigarettes, is to help people to gradually stop smoking.
Electronic cigarettes are electronic inhalers that consist of a plastic cartridge (mouthpiece), a battery, a reservoir for a liquid solution and an “atomizer” that turns the liquid into vapor.
Many of the liquid aroma solutions contain nicotine, although this is available in different concentrations. The nicotine is delivered when the vapor that simulates the act of tobacco smoking is inhaled and released into the bloodstream through the lungs.
Roberta Pacifici, director of Italy Observatory on Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use at the National Health Institute declared that while it is true that electronic cigarettes are less toxic, it doesn’t mean they are completely safe. She concluded that a cautious approach to this device is required, given the fact that there is very little information about its toxicity and there is the lack of studies that confirm its effectiveness in helping people to stop smoking.