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Negative Health Effects of Electronic Cigarettes


I have recently started smoking electronic cigarettes and stopped regular analog cigarettes.  I’ve read a lot about the obvious benefits of switching to electronic cigarettes and I feel that compared to regular cigarettes they are “healthier”.  But with all the positive information out there, I want to also post about the unhealthy effects of electronic cigarettes.  Many times when scouring the internet for information about a product, you get lost in all the marketing gibberish especially for such a hot new product like the electronic cigarette where a ton of sites have sprung up to try and sell you their version of the e-cig.  I wrote a post earlier about the benefits of electronic cigarettes, this post is to play devils advocate and show you what other people are saying are the bad effects of electronic cigarettes.

Carcinogens Found in Electronic Cigarettes

Although not all brands of cartridges were found with carcinogens, the FDA reported trace amounts in various brands of electronic cigarette.

In one sample, the FDA’s analyses detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze that is toxic to humans, and in several other samples, the FDA analyses detected carcinogens, including nitrosamines

Nicotine is Highly Addictive

Nicotine, a highly addictive substance is the prime ingredient in most of the flavor cartridges.  Although it is being absorbed differently than smoking regular cigarettes, your nicotine blood level increases after using electronic cigarettes.  This can cause addiction to nicotine and in turn tobacco cigarettes.

Children Friendly Flavors

The special flavors such as apple, cinnamon, bubble gum and so forth are appealing to children who discover the electronic cigarettes.  This may lead cause the electronic cigarette to be a “gateway drug” to regular cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes are Inconvenient

Electronic cigarettes can be annoying if you have to carry extra cartridges or batteries around.  If you don’t you risk running out of either the e-cig battery or cartridge and going back to smoking regular cigarettes.  The weight of the electronic cigarette is also a negative factor.  It is far heavier than regular cigarettes and makes it annoying for times you want to just have the cigarette in your mouth without holding it in your hands.

Nicotine Poisoning

Nicotine is a poison and although it takes a lot to kill somebody, there is a risk of nicotine poisoning that should be considered when using electronic cigarettes, especially because the effects can creep up on you since the nicotine is absorbed at a slower rate than regular cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes and Socializing

It’s difficult to bond with the other smokers while smoking your electronic cigarettes.  When people ask you to take cigarette breaks, its not the same when you bust out your e-cig.  Although you can smoke indoors, it’s still a bit odd and not socially accepted to bust out your SmokeStik or Cigana cigarette yet!

E-Cigs are Illegal

At the time of this writing, in many regions of the world such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zeland and others countries, electronic cigarettes have legal limitations.  For more information on this check out the wiki page on electronic cigarettes.

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Reviews (37)

Review from Norbarellis Trellis on December 6, 2009
Overall RatingNot Rated

This is a little bit of a silly article, designed primarily for people who enjoy silliness.

Review from frankief on December 6, 2009
Overall RatingNot Rated

I agree it is a bit silly, please let me know if you know of new studies or research that indicates real negative effects of electronic cigarettes though. I’d love to stay well informed.

I just started using them less than a month ago and so far they’ve been good to me. Other people may have had bad experiences with them and i’d like to hear about that as well.

As far as medical research and things of that nature, the product is still too new to have conclusive evidence of bad effects and I understand that. I try to put a disclaimer out to people that try products like this on this post here and not to mislead people into thinking that e-cigs are the end all and be all solution for smokers.

Review from J on December 11, 2009
Overall RatingNot Rated


Review from VV on December 16, 2009
Overall RatingNot Rated

Carcinogens Found in Electronic Cigarettes: Similaer level as in nic gums or loszenges. 10000 times less than in real cigs.

Children Friendly Flavors: Alcools too have many flavors. Adults also like flavors. Ecigs too expensive for kids. They better start with eCaigs that with real cigs.

Review from Venu on January 31, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

I started smoking e-cig a couple of months ago and felt good as of now. My teeth stopped turning yellow. wrinkles and acne on face easing which were my problems. Although I dont have that real cigarette feel, its ok for now. But e-cig cant be that good, there must be some long term bad effects to inner body parts. If anyone who used it from long time, please post their experiences. If its too dangerous I want to quit.

Review from Ron Paul Johnson on March 22, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

I have been using them for 3 weeks. I had a 2-3 pack a day Marlboro addiction. I now suck on chocolate and coffee flavored proplyne Glycol vapor and haven´t even thought about a regular cigarette. The craving doesn´t cross my mind. In the past, I tried everything to quit. Patch, gum and even experienced the extreme depression of Chantix. I worry too about what I am smoking in this vapor. But man, I quit using the tobaco. I´m walking every day now. Riding my bike. I don´t stink. I´m going to keep using these bad boys. I know the cigs will kill me. Hope they turn out to be harmless.

Review from admin on March 22, 2010
Overall Rating55555

2-3 packs a day to 0 is pretty amazing, I’m not sure if using electronic cigs is useful if you only smoke a couple cigarettes a day since the ecig may be more addictive.

good luck with you and even if these things are bad for you, I’m quite sure that they are better for you than smoking 2-3 packs of marlboro a day!

Review from lori on October 17, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

1/2 pack a day for roughly 40 years and after starting ecigs i haven’t bought a pack of cigs in 2 months and haven’t really missed them. i have smoked a few regular cigs with friends but haven’t enjoyed them as much as i thought i would.

Review from Abdul Aziz on October 19, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

I would like to know if e-cigarettes cause accumulation of water in the lungs .

Review from Nelson Fitpatrick on October 25, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

I am most intrigued by the complete bias within this article.. pushing towards the one side tat e-cigs are harmful, more than harmless.

As for the ‘gateway drug’ idea it appears to be grasping at straws for something to fume about. As the E-cig can be with or without nicotine, those who want their nicotine fix can be satisfied using the e-cigs. the majority of users as well are already previous analog smokers, rendering this argument somewhat invalid…

when it comes to child friendly flavours, just because something is “apple” or “cherry” flavoured doesn’t mean that kids will use them because of the flavour; look at flavoured condoms, you don’t see kids sitting in parks tasting those do you? (ludicrous but proves a point to mention).

Even though studies have not been completed on the overall safety of E-cigs, it can at least be certain that they are better in every way when compared to real cigarettes. And the fact that they can have ZERO NICOTINE is even better!

I say, if e-cigs DID prove to be a “gateway” of some sort (HA!) to real cigs for a child, then the least they can do is smoke the non-nicotine stuff; also, if they can even get their mits on one in the first place, people should point fingers at their parents, and the vendors; NOT the E-CIGS THEMSELFS!

Review from Nelson Fitzpatrick on October 25, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

Oh, also E-Cigs are not “ILLEGAL” in some of the countries you posted as you are implying they are. They are only not approved by the FDA as not enough studies have been done. you make them sound like something they aren’t when you present them that way

Review from admin on October 26, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

Hi nelson, thanks for the comments, this article was just to give a different perspective on some potential negative effects, especially from the viewpoint of those that are against them, you made good points as well.

E-cigs are in fact illegal in some countries, for example, hong kong, here’s an article of actual seizures and arrests made because of the use of electronic cigarettes:

Thanks again for the information, if you have more specific research on the subject please feel free to forward them to us!

Review from Kern on October 31, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

e cigs are not socially accepted? Who gives a rats ass what people think when you bust out your e cig. This article is just plain rubbish. Get some real facts

Review from shawn on November 18, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

I was talking with a woman today, who smokes and had considered getting the e-cig a few months ago, i asked her today if she was still interested in getting them. She told me that she had talked to some people who were on it for a few months and they had acquired strep(?) throat from it. As i was talking with her, another person chimed in and said he had a friend who was on it for a month and it was working good so far. I asked him that i would be interested in knowing after a few more months of how they are feeling. just thought i would put this forward.

Review from admin on November 22, 2010
Overall Rating55555

@shawn, that’s pretty surprising to hear, I’d definitely look up some information about the correlation of strep throat and electronic cigarettes.

Review from jmaxix on December 17, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

After about 3-4 years I quit smoking cigarettes and I’ve been using my Joye eGo for about two months, and haven’t had any negative side effects. It is a little weird using it in public, but it’s not a huge deal. I have gotten in arguments with people who are ignorant towards the idea of electronic cigarettes and think that they’re just as bad as cigarettes or just a waste of money, though. I wish there was more research available about these. xP

Review from admin on December 18, 2010
Overall RatingNot Rated

How would you compare them to regular tobacco cigarettes? I don’t feel the rush as fast as nicotine but I do eventually feel it, would you say you get the same response?

Review from RM on December 19, 2010
Overall Rating44444

I got the humor, thanks. Here’s some more sarcasm. “Of course, ingesting a class A poison into your lungs on a regular basis is a harmless act!

I’m a non-smoker. My girlfriend has been trying to quit by using one of these alternative coffin nails and was using it in close proximity to me in confined spaces. I can tell you that I think they stink and the harmless nicotine vapor made made me deathly ill.

God it’s a horrible habit. I bless all of you who are addicted in your attempts to quit!

Review from kathy on March 7, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

I’ve been using them for about a month now because I have been diagnosed with mild emphysema and have to quit but I’m have had blistering of my tongue and mouth and a sore area in the right side of my throat. I don’t know what to make of it. The dr doesn’t either.

Review from michael gross on March 19, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

If you read the article in it’s entirety you won’t be upset by what’s written. The author is saying that he supports e-cigs, but is trying to be devil’s advocate. That’s what i’m reading anyway. As a user and reseller of a popular brand at what i believe is the lowest cost for the value they are fantastic. It’s true the nicotine doesn’t get into your system as fast as regular cig’s however, with our system you can up to 24mg or 36mg’s which is more than the typical 18mg cigarette. Feel free to email if you want more information.

Review from Jack on March 23, 2011
Overall Rating44444

Good article, but I dont think your right about them being unhealthy. Dude its the difference between smoking regular tobacco, inhaling smoke and chemicals, vs pure nicotine. Now I agree if you wanna quit you shouldnt smoke ecigarettes at all. But its at least a better alternative. I review electronic cigarettes at my blog and you can read the reviews people leave saying how much healthier they feel and whatnot. Again, its not the best, but its something better than regular cigarettes.

Review from cr on April 4, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

playing devil’s advocate is fine, and admirable when reviewing a product, but please do it with some substance.

4 out of 6 of your arguments make no sense, at least to me, and i would assume any free thinking adult without mental deficiencies.

1. e cigs are illegal ……….. who cares? you cited only one country where they are illegal. the FDA/big tobacco are doing their best to suppress them here. some governments are run by fascists. should we consider their laws? laws don’t set the standard of public health and morality, nor should they.

2. difficult to bond with other smokers …….. AGAIN, WHO CARES? you have problems if you care about this.

3. e cigs are inconvenient ………. really?! this is a valid argument against e cigs? no, it’s not. people can read what they are buying when they buy, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how long the battery lasts and buy what u need to make it work, do some research to get a brand with long batt life, buy extra batteries, extra parts and carts, etc. – all possible since e cigs are much cheaper than real ones. and why would u take the time to say that it’s inconvenient to hold them? it’s inconvenient to pick up a cigarette, ash it, keep the smoke out of your eyes, and make sure it doesn’t burn down your frickin house, etc.. i’ll hold my e cig all day if it keep my lungs healthy and cancer free! this is not a real argument against e cigs.

4. children friendly flavors …………
do you live in america? we have what started out as a pure form of liberty, although we’ve lost much of it, and parents are responsible for their children’s choices, not the government, or anyone selling e cigs. this is not a bad effect of e cigs like you claim, it’s a sneaky way for regulators to get their paws on our freedom, and ban imports of products like these that help people, while letting big tobacco do what they’ve always done. you should be ashamed even mentioning the ‘it’s attractive to children’ bullcrap argument.

sorry such a long post. i’m just really surprised that you would use such silly arguments when you yourself are a user of e cigs. please do better in the future.

Review from cr on April 4, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

** 4 out of 7 arguments …. my mistake. i agree with the mention of carcinogens in e cigs, although from what i’ve read it’s waaaaaay less than real cigarettes, and since a huge majority of e cig users are coming off cigarettes, it doesn’t hold as much weight. i think it’s a wonder that we don’t all get cancer from the chemical nature of our foods/drinks/sweeteners, etc. these days.

Review from Michael on June 23, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

I was a smoker for 50 years. The last 20 years I smoked about 2 packs a day of Swisher Sweet Little Cigars. In July of 2010, I ordered my Ego and have not looked back since. I have read the negative stuff about personal vaporizers, and have concluded that most of it is personal opinion and not scientific research. Instead of being saying “It’s good that smokers have found something that will help curb their addiction”, they are saying “ohhh nooo, this will take away their second class citizen standing and I will no longer be holier than thou”.
To Kathy: The blistering in your mouth and on your tongue is probably an allergic reaction to polypropylene glycol. That’s why e-liquid manufacturers
produce a vegetable glycerin based liquid for people that have allergic reaction to PG.

Review from chaz on June 28, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

Well, i can tell you… I was worried about how much I been pullin on this E-Cig. That’s why I googled “harmful effects”. Never the less, after taking a look at that picture up top?…. I’m now scared shitless!! & I ain’t worried about my E-cig anymore at all! Well played….

Review from chaz on June 28, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

Infact, if I didn’t have it, I’d be lose’n my mind right now…

Review from rachel on July 14, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

A devils advocate for opposing e cigarettes? Really? Its not a healthier method whatsoever and all these replies are ridiculous. Pure nicotine is not better than actual cigarettes. They make additive free cigarettes people. They may be somewhat better for your lungs but when commercials come on the radio regarding them as “healthy” our society is truely fucked up. Each cartridge is equivalent to about 10 packs of cigarettes. Not too mention how messed up it is to be at a social event and have to go charge your cigarette. People need to realize these aren’t healthy and no better than actual cigarettes. If you want to quit then quit altogether.

Review from Poor smoker on July 17, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

After checking all these reviews again and again I am confused to buy it or not. I am chain smoker from last 16 years and really want to get rid from smoking but not in the price of more health hazards.Any kind person is requested to guide on this besides business.

Review from SP on September 17, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

WARNING: If you use the BluCig for very long, you will look like the thing in the picture. Notice the drool on its shirt.

Review from ExSmokerS on September 27, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

Oh, please people!!!! Get over yourselves. The E-Cig is a great invention. Big tobacco doesn’t want us to think so,and as far as the FDA goes…. why are they even checking out E-Cigs? Regular tobacco cigarettes are not checked AT ALL by the FDA, big tobacco paid them off to keep quiet many, many years ago.

Review from Luis on September 29, 2011
Overall Rating33333

OK, I want to thank the honest criticisms I found here. I was curious about these things and a little apprehensive, mainly because most of the reviews you find online are shameless sales pitches by the vendors, very loosely disguised as reviews. I get nervous when sales people step in and start their little games.

I did, out of curiosity and just really missing the good parts of smoking, decide to buy one tonight and, being an ex-smoker, I have some feedback. My biggest fear was rekindling an evil habit that really used to have a huge negative impact on my life.

It’s too soon to tell. The first thing I noticed was that it felt just like smoking. I got a tobacco-flavored one and instantly tasted the gross flavor (only gross because I’m a non-smoker now and have a clean palate again). I even got the twinges of shame I used to get from the first cig after a failed attempt at quitting. And I even got a little phlegm.

So far I haven’t gotten the lethargic, sinking feeling I used to get in my stomach that smokers call “relaxing”.

I’ll have to try the sheet test to make sure there’s no yellowing. I remember when I quit that a friend of mine said I looked ten years younger and I definitely don’t want to risk that parchment face I used to have.

FYI: I used to smoke 3 packs of Camels a day, about 2 years ago. I won’t say which e-cig I bought as I’m not about to promote something I’m still skeptical of. I will say this: It feels good, tastes a little like tobacco, but more like hookah, and It was good to have a buddy for my beer tonight.

Hopefully it will be a joy and not a gateway but if it is, believe you me I’ll post again, with both barrels and no punches held. I’ll definitely recommend these to my mom as they can’t possibly be worse than the stock she owns in Marlboro.

Good luck all and thanks for the reviews.

Review from Nick on October 5, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

I’ll add in that I have been a pack a day smoker for 30 years. I switched to e-cigs over 6 months ago and have not looked back. I have worked my way down the nicotine levels and am now at 12mg. I will be moving down to 8, then 6 and finally to 0 over the next 6 months. I will probably continue to use them even at 0 because I enjoy them. I stick to a pg/vg mix right now, but will most likely change to only vg soon. Don’t knock what you have no concept about. If you have never smoked, don’t start. These are way better on your system then regular cigs. Find a good juice manufacturer and stick with them. Other than that, I breath a whole lot better and feel much better since I started using these.

Review from Moni on October 17, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

Thay 3rd comment had me rolling for 10 minutes lol!!!! My stomach hurts from laughing

Review from Jeremy Kibbey on October 23, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

I have been smoking for 15 years. 4 months ago I switched to the Joyce 510 e-cig. At first I got frustrated until I get cartomizers and have now been analog cig free for over 4 months. I will tell everyone that I started out at 24mg PG liquid. When I purchase my next bottle of liguid I will be going to 18mg as I have started getting too much nicotine. I am not sure whether this is due to puffing more or the fact I am slowing stepping down. All I know is my wife loves the “non stinky” smell and my kids are happy. My wife summed it up best with this: “Even if they are as harmful as regular cigs I would rather you buy the e-cig stuff for the “non-stinky smoke smell”. I am staying with them PERIOD!

Review from len cruz on December 6, 2011
Overall RatingNot Rated

before i smoke 2 packs of philipmorris everyday…f0r more than five years,then i bought my EGO T e cigs and used the mint flavor…now i do not smoke analog cigs anymore..i dont feel backaches anymore which is caused by calcium defficiency from tobacco smoking,,i feel much stronger now since my lungs are not deprived of oxygen,,

Review from jake on January 3, 2012
Overall RatingNot Rated

I used to smoke a pack and a half a day, that was a year and a half ago, I have been using e cigs ever since, I first stumbled across them hearing a radio station asking for volunteers to try them for free, so I called got chosen and fell in love with them, I have quite a collection, I have experienced no side effects, no blisters on the tongue no site throat, no head aches or things of that sort, I can finally run around with my kids and no gasp for air, I used to wanna quit smoking but never did because, one it’s hard and, two I thought I would eat my addiction, believe it or not I’ve lost weight and feel better, I’m not saying the e cig did that, but quoting smoking for a great alternative made me feel better, anyways take from this what you will but I enjoy them

Review from mark on January 31, 2012
Overall RatingNot Rated

Just Switched over to Pv’s 3 weeks ago, I ve stopped smoking many times in the past for long periods of time and I can tell you switching to PV’s is quiting with out quiting but feeling great (thus far) while doing it my wind is back and the wheezing in the morning is gone I strongly recommend to anyone trying to quit. P.S. not all brands taste or feel good so try and get the cheapest start up price and dont stock up on cartriges till you feel for sure you found the one you like.. expensive lesson learned.

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