E Cigarette Safety: What You Need to Know

E Cigarettes have been on both headlines and in shiny new TV ads lately and the press has been both positive and negative. Here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s look into the safety of e-cigarettes. Click the photo above to watch the video clip.

How Do E-Cigarettes Work?

The new electronic cigarette ads emphasize feeling clean with no smoker’s odor. When users inhale, there is no smoke or burning. Instead, in internal coil heats up liquid nicotine and releases a vapor. Because of this smokeless process, there are no tars and significantly less chemicals than when someone smokes regular cigarettes. It’s also the reason that e-cigarette lovers call their process ‘vaping’, not smoking.

Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden from the Centers of Disease Control, there hasn’t been enough research done yet on e cigarettes to make any grand statements about cancer risks. Dr. Frieden stated that they can’t speak on carcinogens in e-cigarette vapor because they don’t know yet what’s actually in all the different e-cigarettes on the market. However, he did list some specific risks that he felt could come from popularizing electronic cigarettes.

Negative Effects of E Cigarettes:

1. They might get kids hooked on nicotine.*
2. They might make smokers who want to quit smoking altogether into e-cigarette smokers.
3. The risk that people who quit smoking might now turn to e-cigarettes.
4. E-cigarette ads and image might re-glamorize the act of smoking.

*Minors are already banned from purchasing e-cigarettes

So the official stance from our government is that it’s too soon to say anything definitive about the safety of smoking e-cigarettes. However, an in-depth look from the New York Times on this issue found:

Public health experts like to say that people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar. And the reason e-cigarettes have caused such a stir is that they take the deadly tar out of the equation while offering the nicotine fix and the sensation of smoking. For all that is unknown about the new devices — they have been on the American market for only seven years — most researchers agree that puffing on one is far less harmful than smoking a traditional cigarette.