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Dr Russ Blog - E-cigarettes - Yay or Nay?
E-cigarettes - Yay or Nay?
Created on 10/22/2013

E-cigarettes - a product that many thought would disappear altogether is now disappearing off store shelves in rapid fashion. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

A recent story on NPR addressed the issue and shared opinions both for and against e-cigarettes. For now, I think e-cigarettes are a bad idea.

E-cigarettes are mechanized "cigarettes" that do not contain tobacco - thus, those who "vape" ("smoke" an e-cigarette) do not get exposed to many of the dangerous chemicals found in tobacco products. That's good.

But e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and potentially harmful, and in some instances many other chemicals. Is this safe for vapers? Is it safe to be exposed to the second hand vapor (essentially vaporized liquid)?

We don't yet know - there is  serious lack of research in this area. And that's bad.

Yet, because thse products do not contain tobacco, they cannot be regulatd as tobacco products and thus can be "smoked" in public places, unlike tobacco products.

E-cigarettes have been promoted as a way to help smokers quit - but a big issue is so-called "dual users" - those who use both tobacco products and e-cigarettes (the latter especially in public places where tobacco products may not be allowed). In addition, there is little in the way of research suggesting that these products can help people successfully quit the use of tabacco.

One of the biggest concerns has to do with the potential appeal of e-cigarettes to children. In fact, many products contain flavorings with direct appeal to kids. Could the use of e-cigarettes lead to future tobacco use? That is a big concern that has yet to be answered adequately.

At the present time e-cigarettes do not appear to be a good idea. Once we have more information, more research, we'll have a better idea of whether e-cigarettes should be considered safe or not. 

If you smoke tobacco, please seek help to quit as soon as you can. It's the single best thing you can do to promote your optimal health.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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