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Electronic Cigarettes: Better, But Still Not Good For You
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on May 07, 2013 @ 7:16PM
Created on May 07, 2013 @ 6:24PM
Everyday you may see someone smoking a cigarette. In fact, that person might be you. And health professionals are constantly telling you how bad smoking is. If you're dead set on not quitting, but want to be a little healthier there may be a solution.
Electronic cigarettes are very similar to regular ones, but also have some differences. First and foremost, e-cigarettes do have nicotine in them just a different kind. Instead of lighting the tobacco, nicotine fluid is heated up and vaporized so there's no smoke inhaled. Both types of cigarettes look the same and put toxins into your body, but there's one major difference, the smoke. Since the e-cigarettes don't have you inhale smoke, it's not harsh on your lungs. But both the real thing and the electronic version still hurt your heart and make you more prone to strokes and heart attacks.
According to Dr. Adam Hansen at the United Hospital Center, an electronic cigarette puts a thousand times less toxins into your body. A lot of people think this is a good option to help you quit, but recent studies have shown it doesn't. It makes you feel better since your lungs are healthier, but there's more of a nicotine intake. Dr. Hansen said it's a little better for you, but still not a good choice.
"If you have the choice of no nicotine product versus one that is a little cleaner than the other. I'm going to choose no nicotine product, but for my patients that really have not decided they wanted to quit yet, I will recommend this as a good alternative to smoking," said Dr. Hansen.

Dr. Hansen said electronic cigarettes can be used as an option to try and help, but he said because of that recent study the bad outweighed the good.
A different specialist said the best way for you to quit is in four steps.
  1. Set a date that you'll quit and stick to it.
  2. Tell the people around you so that you're more accountable.
  3. Use some type of nicotine therapy, like a patch or gum to help you get past the cravings.
  4. If the reason you haven't stopped is connected to food, see a nutritionist to set up a food plan to help get over your fears of gaining weight.

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Comments (4)
May 09, 2013 at 8:32 AM
Nictoine, caffeine, alcohol are ALL 'drugs.' They are habit-forming; thus a drug. None are good for you. Anything that enslaves you, that you MUST have will control you; you won't control yourself because your body is 'addicted' to the substance and you therefore must find a way to get it. THIS is why I am quitting and have successfully gone from 1 1/2 packs/day down to 7 cigarettes a day without any use of any nicotine therapy be it patches, gum or e-cigs. It really doesn't matter 'how' you get nicotine; it's still bad. But now get seem to get below the 7 cigs a day. I suspect that is the amount my body needs to prevent getting side effects of withdrawal completely from the nicotine; therefore I will use patches to wean myself off the last 7. It really doesn't matter what therapy you use....they will ALL work; but none of them work UNLESS "YOU" are adamant and seriously determined to stop for your health. That, I am. So I know I will succeed. Success from any habit DEPENDS on 'wanting' to do it and getting yourself disciplined and taking control of your self instead of allowing habit-forming things to control you.
May 08, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Please let the "different specialist" know about electronic cigarettes. According to a Boston University School of Public Health study, they are at least twice as effective as other nicotine replacement therapies. Nicotine is one of the LEAST harmful aspects of smoking and e-cigs do away with all the rest. I'm a non-smoker after a 20 year pack-a-day habit thanks to electronic cigarettes, and no thanks to the patch, gum, prescriptions and hypnosis that I tried many times.

A little google research goes along way towards dispelling the myths. Here's a link to the BU study as well as some good ecig info.
May 08, 2013 at 9:26 AM
Nicotine intake, no matter where you get it from...tobacco, NRP, gum, etc. is a substance that triggers reactions in the brain and bodily dependence. With that being said, what are tobacco and alcohol? These products are and always have been available for consumption. We are all for warnings attached to products but we live in a free society and if nicotine is acceptable in one form or another, what is the difference in choosing to use electronic cigarettes? Articles like this with their headlines just try to make the public scared or concerned and eventually tell people what they can or should do or not do.

Robert Monroe
May 08, 2013 at 12:00 AM
"Use some type of nicotine therapy, like a patch or gum to help you get past the cravings"

Here is where Dr. Hansen's logic is inconsistent. Nicotine from an NRP is somehow good, but nicotine from an e-cigarette is bad despite it being the same nicotine. In fact the FDA study reveled fewer tobacco specific impurities than the Nicotrol Inhaler. The FDA has no issues with long term NRP use, which is good as 12 week programs have a failure rate of 95%. But at least Dr. Hansen accepts the pragmatic reality that smokers who are unwilling or unable to quit should consider this. It's sad that he's describing what is estimated as 99 to 99.9% less harmful as "a little cleaner then the other" or a slight elevated risk of stroke similar to that of someone who consumes coffee as an unacceptable risk.
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