Are E-Cigs Really the Healthy Alternative?


| 4 Comments

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about electrocigs.jpgnic cigarettes. This novice, convenient device not only keeps the average smoker from inhaling all of the terrible things that are found in cigarettes, but releases vapor to prevent second hand smoke. Sounds like the perfect compromise right? This new sensation has sparked my interest into investigating a little more about the "e-cig". Are they really a healthier alternative to the traditional cigarette?

According to a study from NBC News , electronic cigarettes are a way for smokers to try to put an end to their addictions. The study monitored a group of smokers and compared the effects of the e-cig to a nicotine patch, as well as a placebo e-cig. The results showed that e-cigs did help people cut down on their tobacco use, but failed to show whether or not they were harmed by the new device. In fact, much of the studies I researched weren't able to conclude whether or not they were healthy because they are not yet aware of the long term effects.

However, the Huffington Post provides a list of facts that should be known to the public about the new alternative.  Among the list is information that explains the harmful chemicals that the electronic device contains, and how it is sold to children because it is not yet regulated or taxed like traditional cigarettes. Interestly enough, they also mention the vast amount of advertising that occurs around them, despite the lack of health evidence.

So, I decided to weigh out the pros and cons. E-cigs contain nicotine, which is still an addictive substance. The media wants to make sure that everyone sees the great things an E-cig can do. Is that maybe to cover up all the bad that can potentially come with it?  They are able to be used everywhere, and are sold to almost anyone, which make them extremely attractive and convenient to the public.

I think that it is safe to say that E-Cigs are in fact a healthy alternative to the traditional cigarette, however, we still do not know if the electronic cigarette itself is healthy. My advice,when in doubt, do without.

Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/embargo-6-pm-saturday-e-cigarettes-good-patches-helping-smokers-8C11098306

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/03/electronic-cigarettes_n_3818941.html

 

4 Comments

I completely agree that the effects of e-cigs has not been tested yet so it is too early to tell if they are safe or no. But i guess everyone can agree that they're the better alternative then cigarets. It is very logical to understand they are better. First of all it is better because if you do not burn the tobacco you do not take in the tar and the carcinogens that come along with it. So that automatically cuts down the risks of e-cigs. Tar and the carcinogens are known as the biggest cause of cancer and here there is one product which is dealing with the two biggest evils of smoking cigarets. Apart from that the smoker is getting the dose of nicotine he craves so that gets sorted too. I agree that it is a very grey area to say that the smoke you're inhaling in an e-cigaret is better than the smoke of a normal cigaret but atleast it seems to be better than the normal cigaret and the step motherly treatment that the product is getting from the FDA smells of an effort to curb the sales that would drop if e-cigarets become mainstream.
http://nypost.com/2013/10/23/the-lunatic-war-on-e-cigarettes/

Initially I thought that smoking e-cigs was just a waste of time. Even though it’s meant to help people avoid the negative aspects of smoking, it still contains nicotine, which is still an addictive substance like you said. In my opinion, smokers looking to quit might as well just skip the e-cigs and go straight to more conventional methods of quitting like nicotine gum or counseling. But I came across this article that shows that apparently, using e-cigs are equally as effective as nicotine patches! Check out this article because it’s pretty interesting!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265801.php

This study I found on PubMed discusses how the same studies you have written about are inconclusive, but in the introduction to the study it talks about the FDA's main concerns with E-cigs. The FDA is concerned with e-cigs being a gateway for youth and non-smokers to smoking real cigarettes, the second concern is the lack of evidence that e-cigs are really any less harmful than actual cigarettes (e-cigs haven't been around long enough to cause diseases like lung cancer or emphysema like traditional cigarettes have), and lastly that e-cigs could contain chemicals that are harmful to humans (kind of goes in line with the FDA's 2nd concern). I found the study really interesting, and I would encourage anyone thinking of using the e-cig whether as an aid to quit smoking or general use to look over it. The study focuses on the YouTube presence of e-cigs and how they are promoted. As with anything, a grain of salt should be taken and multiple reliable sources should be considered before taking action. After reading this study, I believe it is obvious, even more so than it was before, that if you are a non-smoker you should not pick up an e-cig. Even though there is not conclusive evidence that e-cigs are any less/more/equally as harmful as actual cigarettes, there is no reason to take the risk. If you are a smoker looking to quit, perhaps a talk with your doctor and trying other methods first would be beneficial.

When you ask people what they think about e-cigs their answer usually comes from something they heard and never from pure fact. I can say that before this reading this blog I was the same way, I thought e-cigs were actually better for you and a healthier option if you still wanted to smoke. But now that I have read this blog and done some research of my own I know that that doesn't make much sense based on the facts of e-cigs. According to discovery health, we really don't even know how bad e-cigs even are for us because the effects of inhaling pure nicotine (which is basically what you are doing with an e-cig) have yet to be studied. In addition to this quality control is also an issue because many companies are actually putting more nicotine in their products then they are being labeled and sometimes these e-cigs can even contain more nicotine than a regular cigarette. So are e-cigs the healthy alternative? No probably not, but because proper research has yet to be done we really cant say for sure.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm

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