The E-Cigarette has been skyrocketing in popularity in the last few years. Although the electronic device, which vaporizes nicotine so it can be inhaled, has not yet been federally approved, some experts are now saying that the e-cigarette could be the path to smoking cessation for a large group people (18 percent of Americans) still addicted to regular cigarettes, which contain dangerous chemicals such as tar, ammonia, formaldehyde, lead, arsenic (which is used in rat poison), methanol (a rocket fuel component), and acetone (which is found in nail polish remover), just to name a few.
Nicotine (which is often used as an insecticide), is the addictive drug in cigarettes. However, as opposed to regular cigarettes, the E-Cigarette only has nicotine, combine with propylene glycol and glycerine (which are essentially harmless, as they are used in toothpaste, inhalers for asthma, and a variety of other substances which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration). The nicotine in the E-Cigarettes is vaporized and then smoked by itself, instead of with a combination of dangerous chemicals, making it less dangerous as far as experts can tell. Also, because the E-Cigarette is only emitting a cloud of vapor, and not harmful tobacco smoke, it is often permitted in restaurants, bars, and stores, while in some states, regular smoking has been banned in these places altogether.
Many smokers have tried giving up cigarettes a number of times, but the addiction has proved difficult to kick. In a recent study, heavy smokers, who smoked about 25 cigarettes a day (a pack and a quarter), had tried smoking cessation methods to quit, including the patch, the gum, the lozenges, and other FDA approved methods. However, when they tried the E-cigarette, almost all of them gave up regular cigarettes altogether for over a month… and counting, for many.
There are concerns about E-cigarettes among health experts, who worry that, although early studies may be indicating that E-cigarettes could ultimately be a path to smoking cessation for regular smokers, they are still not a government approved smoking cessation method yet. Experts are concerned about the health risks the product could potentially be posing since it has not been thoroughly tested by government health specialists. Also, some health professionals are worried that since use of E-cigarettes is becoming more widespread and accepted throughout the United States and other countries as well now, that they may possibly become a gateway drug to smoking for younger teens. Recent data released says that almost 2 million middle and high school age kids had tried E-Cigarettes, with one out of five of these children having never tried regular cigarettes. The American Lung Association in strongly promoting government regulation in an effort to keep this from happening. However, there are still age restrictions on how old a person has to be to purchase the product.
With the E-Cigarette still being a relatively new product, there is still a decent amount of testing to be done. However, there has still been pretty substantial evidence indicating that the E-Cigarette could be the path to smoking cessation, but only time will tell.
By Laura Clark