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The answer begins with the elementary description of the typical e-cigarette. The basic components of most disposable or rechargeable e-cigarettes include a cartridge containing a liquid solution of propylene glycol with or without nicotine , a battery and a heating element This latter component reaches high temperature and aerosolizes the e-liquid to be inhaled.
Consequently, it can conceivably ignite in the presence of oxygen. Although the human health effects of e-cigarettes have already been the subject of studies and at least one systematic review 13 , we could not retrieve any case report of burn accident in e-cigarette smokers on home oxygen in a Medline search.
This man was discharged from hospital five days later. This incident was reported to Health Canada, the Canadian health regulation authority that has since released a warning of fire risk to oxygen therapy patients from e-cigarettes Burn accidents in patients receiving oxygen therapy are, therefore, not only plausible, they have occurred. It is, therefore, our position that patients receiving oxygen therapy should definitely not use e-cigarettes.
The provision of home oxygen therapy to active smokers including those who use e-cigarettes remains a difficult issue. We cannot provide firm recommendations but only some suggestions. First, we would not typically screen for resting hypoxemia in stable patients who smoke. Advantages of home oxygen must be balanced against its risks; arterial blood should be drawn only in patients in whom a clear advantage of oxygen therapy is expected to occur.
If it is believed that the patient will not comply with the safety procedures and, especially if there is good reason to believe that the patient will smoke or vape while on oxygen, then it is medically justifiable not to prescribe it. Second, the indication for home oxygen therapy must be clearly ascertained if it is to be offered despite active smoking. In our opinion, indications of home oxygen therapy that are not clearly evidence-based should be reconsidered. An example would be the prescription of oxygen to prevent exercise-induced desaturation.
Third, if severe hypoxemia persists at the outset of a hospitalization for an acute exacerbation of COPD, active smokers may often be discharged safely without oxygen following a short period of observation without oxygen, especially when their partial pressure of arterial oxygen approaches 55 mmHg.
This should also offer the opportunity to reassess smoking status and to carefully reconsider the utility of oxygen therapy in patients who have resumed smoking while recovering from the exacerbation, irrespective of the presence or absence of blood gas indications for LTOT. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Can Respir J v. Can Respir J.
Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Telephone , fax , e-mail ac. All rights reserved. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Current smokers who are prescribed home oxygen may not benefit from the therapy. Got a match? Home oxygen therapy in current smokers. Randomised trial of ambulatory oxygen in oxygen-dependent COPD.
Eur Respir J. West GA, Primeau P. Nonmedical hazards of long-term oxygen therapy. Respir Care. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 9, Art. Shafer, Deesha Patel, Kevin C. Davis, and Timothy A. Preventing Chronic Disease 14 Harvard Health Blog. Although giving up nicotine products altogether might be the ultimate goal, there may be health benefits to a smoker who becomes a long-term vaper instead, though this remains unproven.
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Thomas Kiklas, cofounder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, said he's not heard of any cases of e-cigarettes igniting oxygen. Kiklas said there have been a few reports of e-cigarettes exploding. He said those cases involved e-cigarettes that were overcharged or users who put the wrong batteries in them. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported a dramatic increase in calls about e-cigarettes to poison control centers.
Many of the calls involve children who got sick after swallowing or touching liquid nicotine. The U. Food and Drug Administration also has received at least four reports of e-cigarettes causing fires. Those reports are listed on its website.
Three of the reports indicate e-cigarettes exploded while the devices were charging. Those reports say the explosions burned an e-cigarette user, set a 3-year-old's clothing on fire and ignited a house fire. A fourth report says an e-cigarette exploded while the user was driving a car, causing second-degree burns to his mouth and face. The York Press, a British newspaper, recently reported an e-cigarette exploded in a crowded pub, scorching the dress of the bartender.
There is no government regulation of e-cigarettes. The FDA is expected to issue proposed rules governing e-cigarettes soon. The FDA says e-cigarettes have not been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Limited laboratory studies by that agency found significant quality issues. The FDA says cartridges labeled as containing no nicotine contained nicotine. It also found three different electronic cartridges with the same label that emitted a different amount of nicotine with each puff.
Since the fire, St. Joe's has been telling patients e-cigarette use is not allowed. The hospital has a policy that prohibits tobacco use inside its buildings or outdoors on its campus. The policy also prohibits e-cigarette use. Sulik said some e-cigarette users who have quit smoking regular cigarettes do not consider themselves smokers and assume anti-smoking rules do not apply to them.
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