Dr Murray Laugesen who is New Zealand's most experienced researcher in regards to smoking policy and cigarettes claims that electronic cigarettes are between a 100 to a 1000 times safer than standard tobacco products.
Laugesen is currently focused on policy and advocacy alongside his research. His aim is to reduce cancer and heart disease and create a healthier, cigarette-free New Zealand. He advises world-wide.
According to Laugesen nicotine is one of the safest drugs, however it usually comes with dangerous tobacco in the form of a cigarette. Nicotine itself presents a very low risk factor compared to cigarettes. Laugesen mentioned that E-cigarettes have been on sale in the UK since 2007 and the US since 2008 and no harm or scandals have been reported by the media so far. He also says that "it is a product that potentially just might assist smokers to quit and therefore cut the 1 in 2 cumulative death rate in smokers".
Electronic cigarettes contain only vapour and nicotine, therefore they pose minimal risk of use. They can potentially help with quitting smoking. They are deemed to be much more effective than nicotine patches and related products because they give the user a nicotine rush that smokers crave. This is why it is much more likely to keep tobacco users stay away from tobacco products.
Another interesting point made by Laugesen is that whilst using standard cigarettes most of the substances are absorbed the lungs. It only takes 7 seconds for nicotine to reach the brain after inhalation causing instant reaction aiding the addiction process. Nicotine from electronic cigarettes is more likely absorbed in the upper airways rather than in the lungs and therefore it is delivered much slower to the brain. The slower the absorption rate of nicotine, the lower the risk of addiction.
He also notes that because most electronic cigarettes contain low amounts of nicotine - they not be satisfactory as cigarette substitutes. Luckily KIX supplies a number of atomizers with varied strength.
The main ingredient of e-cigarettes vapour is known as propylene glycol. It is proven to kill airborne flu virus and bacteria and tends to protect those exposed to it in inhaled air. On the contrary, tobacco cigarettes double the risk of death in a flu epidemic. There's unfortunately no direct data as to the amount of propylene glycol inhaled from an electronic cigarette needed to prevent flu.