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E-cigarettes: To Use Or Not

By Author: Julia Jackson

I have been questioning my feelings about the use of the e-cigarette — a seemingly harmless plastic cigarette that emits a water vapor to simulate smoke and that purportedly helps smokers wean themselves from the real deal. It’s also a way for cigarette smokers to still “smoke” in our new smoke-free establishments without the actual smoke injuring others.

Is this really the case? Are they harmless? Are they helping wean smokers away from their strong addiction? What could be the harm, I questioned?

But are electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, as benign as they claim? After looking into this a little further, and reading articles on both sides, I’ve come to the conclusion that e-cigarettes are indeed something to advocate against and stay away from.

According to Alicia Smith, CADCA’s Tobacco Programs manager and someone with a Masters in Public Health, “ e-cigarettes are gaining steam judging from the growing number of brands popping up all over. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used e-cigarettes, up from about 10 percent in 2010. Overall, about six percent of all adults have tried e-cigarettes, with estimates nearly doubling from 2010.”

So what exactly are e-cigarettes? Smith further states that e-cigarettes are “battery powered devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine as well as a substance that helps a product retain water which helps produce the vapor and flavorings to the user. While they don’t contain tobacco, they do contain nicotine and other chemicals, and we know little about their safety.”

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, e-cigarettes are also being marketed as smoking cessation aids. A study recently reported by the CDC Office on Smoking and Health in Nicotine & Tobacco Research concludes that awareness and use of e-cigarettes have increased among U.S. adults between 2010 and 2011, and research shows many smokers are making the switch to their electronic counterparts. Roughly one in five smokers have tried e-cigarettes.

Article Credit: www.hometownlife.com

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