E-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers, are markedly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Being ‘electronic’, it is an easy compromise between getting a nicotine kick without any harm, but are there health implications we need to consider?
Some doctors are worried that these e-cigs will give younger people a taste for nicotine
It has been reported that just like regular cigarettes e-cigs can function as a gateway drug into harder drugs (the clue’s in the name). It may be obvious that since tobacco isn’t being burnt, the lungs and heart aren’t at risk, but what about the brain? Researchers have shown that once laboratory mice and rats are on nicotine they are more addicted to cocaine as nicotine lowers the threshold for addiction.
The World Health Organisation has reported that e-cigarettes are becoming popular amongst children. With candy flavours available and no laws on youth access, is this $3 billion business using nicotine to push the new generation onto other drugs? Some doctors are worried that these e-cigs will give younger people a taste for nicotine; if kids are walking around with cigarette-like ‘toys’ they’re trialing out what it’d be like to be a smoker, picking up habits. Since there’s not a tobacco like smell it’s harder for parents to tell if their children are vaping. Surely they should only be designed for addicts wanting to give up and not people who have never picked up a cigarette before. For this reason there’s the possibility that e-cigarettes could make things worse by getting people hooked on nicotine from an early age.
It has been clinically proven to double the chances of you stopping smoking compared to just using will power.
Unlike nicotine patches, gums and mouth sprays e-cigarettes aren’t licensed medicines and so their safety can’t be determined. Perhaps a better method for stopping smoking would be the NICORETTE QuickMist, a pocket size dispenser that gives you relief from cigarette cravings in a minute. It has been clinically proven to double the chances of you stopping smoking compared to just using will power.
Sadly it is thought that the most effective way of stopping smoking is cancer. It seems it is the people diagnosed with cancer and their friends and family who vow not to touch a cigarette again. Unlike tobacco cigarettes where there is a direct link with cancer e-cigs don’t pose such a risk. Cancer research reports that around half of all regular smokers will be killed by their habit if they continue to smoke, the other half will lose one or two decades of life compared to non-smokers. In this sense some may say e-cigarettes are preferable to cancer.
However e-cigs haven’t been proven to support smoking cessation, which suggests that the use of e-cigs is temporary and thus doesn’t necessarily stop existing smokers going back to tobacco. It could even render useless the recent progress in getting people to stop smoking. More trials are needed to compare how the use of e-cigarettes compares to other quitting methods. At present if you’re trying to quit it would be better to use an FDA approved method like nicotine patches, recommended by doctors.