If you’ve been in a local bar or restaurant lately, chances are pretty good that you’ve seen a spike in electronic cigarette smokers. The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association estimated that 4 million Americans are now using e-cigarettes. While some people use e-cigarettes to help them quit, the devices are attracting a whole new generation of smokers. Why is this happening? Limited FDA regulations and flavors like vanilla and cherry are making e-cigarettes appealing even to non-smokers.
This technology is still very new. Scientists are reviewing it carefully to find out what the long-term effects are, compared to regular tobacco use. Here’s what is already known:
- E-Cigarettes still contain nicotine, along with other chemicals, making it unclear how safe the devices are to smoke.
- A French study has shown that e-cigarettes contain some chemicals equally as harmful as those in tobacco cigarettes.
- The University of Athens also determined that, while it is unknown whether they are safer than tobacco cigarettes, smoking e-cigarettes does cause lung damage.
There are studies in progress that are exploring how effective e-cigarettes are at helping smokers quit their tobacco addition. Until we fully understand the risks of using e-cigarettes as a quitting tool, it’s best to use existing Food and Drug Association-approved methods. For more information about smoking cessation programs, sign in to your HumanaVitality dashboard or visit Smokefree.gov.
Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons license courtesy of machechy. HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.