Q&A: How do e-cigarettes work?
Manufacturers to face tough new tests before they can sell devices that help smokers avoid the lethal effects of tobacco
For the first time e-cigarettes are to be regulated as medicines – meaning they will have to meet strict safety standards or be banned.
Q. How do they work?
A. E-cigarettes are battery-powered and contain liquid nicotine. As you inhale on the device, the nicotine is drawn into an atomizing chamber, where it is heated and turned into a vapour. The vapour is inhaled just like with a normal cigarette. A small electric light comes on at the end of the device on inhaling. The vapour does not smell. Nicotine cartridges must be replaced regularly. One e-cig cartridge contains equivalent nicotine to around 40 ordinary cigarettes.
A. Many smokers say that e-cigarettes help them to cut down on smoking, acting in much the same way as other nicotine-replacement products such as patches, gums and inhalers. Because they contain the addictive element of tobacco – nicotine – without the other harmful chemicals in tobacco, they are considered much less harmful than normal cigarettes.
A. They are currently very lightly regulated and little is known about their long-term safety. The full range of ingredients found in various different brands is not known by health authorities. The MHRA found during tests that many products contained ingredients that were not adequately listed on the label. Nicotine by itself, though less harmful than cigarette smoke, is still extremely addictive and can damage blood vessels, making it a risky substance for people with heart conditions.
Q. How new regulation works
A. The new regulation effectively upgrades the status of e-cigarettes from consumer products to medicines. To be licensed they will now be required to meet “recognised standards of quality, safety and efficacy” in line with existing nicotine-replacement products. Accurate information on ingredients and safe use must be included on the label and manufacturers will be banned from advertising to children. However, the products will still be bought over the counter in shops and once licensed could also be available on prescription. An MHRA spokesman said an age limit of 18 could be imposed.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...