Elf Bars are a type of disposable e-cigarettes that have gained substantial popularity due to their wide range of flavors, sizes, and nicotine levels. They are called disposable because they are used until empty and then discarded. They've become increasingly popular in recent years, largely due to their user-friendly design, flavor diversity, and handiness.
Is using Elf Bars harmful?
Though not entirely risk-free, Elf Bars are deemed to be about 95% safer than regular cigarettes. Thus, while they do have some level of harm, they are a significantly safer choice for adult smokers as opposed to regular cigarettes.
The health implications of disposable vapes like Elf Bars should be examined in the context of their comparison to traditional cigarette smoking. Vapes were created as reduced-risk substitutes to cigarettes, and a significant majority of vapers are smokers or former smokers.
A few studies have been conducted to assess the health risks of vaping, including Elf Bars. According to Public Health England, a reputable British agency, vaping is "at least 95% safer than smoking". Furthermore, vapes "are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to assist smokers in quitting". The Royal College of Physicians, who initially found links between smoking and lung cancer, echoed this conclusion in a 2016 study.
Notably, a 2017 study observed the health markers of a group of vapers, who had never smoked before, over a period of 3.5 years. Their heart, lung, and circulatory health indicators were no worse than those of non-smokers. As per the authors, the study did not show any health concerns related to long-term use of vapes, even in young users who did not also smoke tobacco.
In short, for smokers who wish to quit, Elf Bars and other disposable vapes can be effective and user-friendly alternatives. But for non-smokers, we advise against picking up vaping and using Elf Bars.
Debunking the misconception that Elf Bars are worse than cigarettes
A recent Tiktok video, that has now gone viral, incorrectly equates an Elf Bar 600 to about 48 to 50 cigarettes. Dr. Onkar Mudhar, a UK-based dentist, incorrectly equated the nicotine content in these bars to that in cigarettes.
An examination of the actual numbers reveals a different story. Testing at Penn State University showed that the median nicotine content of all cigarette brands they examined was 10.2 mg per cigarette, meaning an average pack of cigarettes contains 204 mg of nicotine. In contrast, a UK Elf Bar can contain up to 2% nicotine or 20 mg/mL. The total nicotine content in the most popular model sold in the UK and Europe, the Elf Bar 600, which has 2 mL of e-juice, is 40 mg per Elf Bar.
However, the comparison should not stop there. Cigarettes are combusted, leading to a deadly mix of carcinogens and other harmful substances, while the vapor from an Elf Bar contains only a few potentially harmful chemicals in very small amounts. Tobacco smoke from a cigarette contains over 4,000 identified chemicals, more than 70 of which are carcinogenic.
Do Elf Bars and other disposable vapes have side effects?
Side effects may occur for users of e-cigarettes, even though they're not medical devices. Information on potential side effects from vaping is limited, with most research focusing on overall health and vaping. However, data from Google keywords, search traffic, social media posts, and threads have been utilized to understand the most searched for side effects.
The most frequent side effects from vaping, including Elf Bars, include:
Dizziness or headrush
Most of these side effects are actually caused by nicotine usage, which are also common to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches. However, a few of these side effects are specific to vaping. While vapes are not meant to be health products, they are considerably safer than smoking. For those who vape as an alternative to smoking, the mild side effects of vaping should be considered in comparison to the severe risks associated with smoking cigarettes.