Scientists have studied cigarettes for more than 50 years and know which chemicals from them cause cancer. E-cigarettes have only been around for more than 10 years, so we don’t know that much about them. Research is still new and already showing the harms of e-cigarettes. The next generation will probably know EVERYTHING harmful about e-cigarettes. It just takes time to study the long-term health effects of anything.
The best way to wrap our heads around the harms of e-cigarettes is to compare them to cigarettes since we know they share a lot of the same chemicals and burn or heat up a lot of the same chemicals.
Cigarettes are known for containing up to 70 dangerous chemicals, but when heated chemicals change causing there to be 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Yikes! Main takeaway: heating up any tobacco product including e-cigarettes creates more harmful chemicals.
Let’s learn more about cigarette chemicals, focusing on the cancerous ones that are found in a cigarette or created when the cigarette is heated. These chemicals can be hard to imagine, so let’s look at some everyday objects that already have or use these chemicals. In the box below are images of the following objects you may have seen or heard about (starting from the top and moving left to right):
Please match the object image with the chemical it contains. Remember these chemicals listed are all found in cigarettes or cigarette smoke and known to cause cancer.