Electronic cigarettes – are they save?

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid (usually but not always containing nicotine), turning it into a vapour that can be inhaled.  It comes in a variety of designs. Some are sold with filled cartridges, while others are designed so that users can add a solution that's purchased separately. The solutions typically contain vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol as the main ingredients, varying amounts of nicotine, flavourings and other additives.

Most e-cigarette manufacturers claim that their products are a safe alternative to conventional cigarettes. Because e-cigarettes don't burn tobacco, most experts agree that they're likely to cause fewer harmful effects than traditional cigarettes, but there's no scientific evidence that using e-cigarettes is safe.  Researchers have found that some e-cigarettes have nicotine amounts that are very different from what's on the label. Some flavouring agents and other additives have also been shown to be toxic.

The long-term health effects of inhaling vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol and other additives are not known. 

Will e-cigarettes help me quit smoking?

Studies to test whether e-cigarettes can help people stop using tobacco have had inconsistent results. At best, e-cigarettes are no more effective than nicotine replacement medications in helping people quit.  Current evidence is insufficient to recommend electronic nicotine delivery systems for tobacco cessation in adults.

If you're looking for help to stop smoking, there are a number of approved medications that have been shown to be safe and effective for this purpose. A combination of medication and counselling has been shown to work best.  Speak to your general practitioner – help is just around the corner.

Source: Mayo Clinic


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