For some individuals, the idea of using smokeless cigarettes to help them quit smoking may seem ironic. However, these smoking devices are being used by most smokers because they are a lot safer than tobacco cigarettes. Instead of filling their bodies with thousands of toxic and carcinogenic components, they can enjoy smoking in a safer way.
Can E-Cigs Help You Quit Smoking?
About a few months after people purchase electronic cigarettes, at least 30 percent of them claim that they are able to quit smoking while only two-thirds report that they can cut back the number of cigarettes they smoke each day. These are quite impressive figures since more people were able to quit successfully after about six months of using electronic cigarettes. Although some health experts remain skeptical about these numbers, there are still a number of researchers who believe that electronic cigarettes can indeed do people some good.
According to Michel Eriksen, a tobacco policy expert and director of the Institute of Public Health at the Georgia State University, the use of electronic cigarettes may have some value. He claims that there is a potential for the use of electronic cigarettes although its benefits in smoking cessation still remains unestablished. Thus, there is a need for proofs that will determine if electronic cigarettes indeed help people quit the habit of smoking. Health specialists also ask for proofs that electronic cigarettes may be used safely as a device to help them quit smoking.
FDA and Banning of E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes use a type of heater powered by a battery, which helps vaporize the liquid nicotine and flavoring inside the small cartridge. To make this vapor more visible, the cartridge also dispenses propylene glycol, which is used primarily for theatrical smoke or fog machines. Users inhale or puff the vapor coming from the mouthpiece of this device.
For most people, this may appear as a device that delivers nicotine to the body. However, just because nicotine is obtained from tobacco plants, the federal court decided to rule that electronic cigarettes are indeed tobacco products instead of devices that deliver nicotine to the body. As a result, the FDA does not have any jurisdiction to regulate these devices as a device or drug while they remain marketed without any actual proofs of therapeutic benefits.
Use of Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation
The FDA has a different view when it comes to the topic of electronic cigarettes being used for smoking cessation. They believe that e-cigarettes may encourage minors to get into the habit of smoking, which can lead to nicotine addiction and cigarette use. The cartridge may also contain toxic and carcinogenic substances. In fact, there is one study by the FDA that proved the minimal amount of a chemical used in anti-freeze in one cartridge, although there were 16 other clinical studies that failed to discover any contamination. Based on the quantity and types of chemicals found in the cartridge, there is nothing to be worried about when it comes to one’s health.
Electronic cigarettes are yet to be tested for safety and efficacy, and the FDA claims that these products are produced in other countries with minimal oversight when it comes to their manufacturing practices. Since they are not regulated, there is no way of knowing more about the purity of the components that smokers inhale. Moreover, since, e-cigarettes contain different amounts of nicotine, they may find themselves rather confused in terms of the dosage they should get, which is suitable for their needs.
Further Studies about Electronic Cigarettes
Anna Trichounian and Prue Talbot, researchers at the University of California, reported some safety concerns about electronic cigarettes. These issues include leaky cartridges that may get a few amounts of nicotine to a user’s fingers. There are also cases that may pose risks in using the device such as lack of instructions on how to use the device.
However, you cannot dismiss the fact that these devices are used by smokers instead of tobacco because they want to slowly get rid of the habit of smoking regular cigarettes. After all, there is more danger in tobacco once its components are burned and turned into toxic chemicals.
The bottom line is that people should consider the fact that electronic cigarettes are certainly much safer than regular tobacco cigarettes. Although this does not mean they are proven to be safe, there are less risks in any smoker. What’s more, there is no such thing as withdrawal symptoms or addiction, unlike with nicotine gum or patches. There are some people who continue to use nicotine gum even if they have already stopped smoking their regular cigarettes. While electronic cigarettes make a person appear as though he or she is smoking, it is still much better than using tobacco.