If you are a smoker, you may have a history of numerous efforts to quit—including the most recent craze on the market: e-cigarettes. An e-cigarette is a smokeless device that uses nicotine and flavored liquids to simulate the effect of a real cigarette without the cloud of carcinogenic smoke. While this may sound like a safe alternative to smoking or a helpful tool for quitting, it may be too good to be true.
Uncertainty about e-cigarette safety
Because e-cigarettes do not actually contain tobacco, they are currently not regulated by the FDA. This means that there could be any number of ingredients in the vaporized liquid that you are ingesting. Furthermore, there has been no research on the long-term effects of e-cigarette use or the secondhand effects of its vapor. Still, e-cigarettes are pushed as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, and some companies even promote them as a device to help smokers quit.
High doses of nicotine in every puff
When you “light up” an e-cigarette, you actually ingest much more nicotine than you would from a regular cigarette. There is little research related to the effects of ingesting this much nicotine, but it is known that nicotine is highly addictive. In fact, switching to an e-cigarette could put you at a higher risk for withdrawal symptoms. Smoking habits with the e-cigarette also affect the dose of nicotine delivered to the body. You can use an e-cigarette nearly anywhere, so you might find yourself mindlessly puffing away more often. In terms of trying to quit nicotine altogether, an e-cigarette would likely do more harm than good.
Dangers for underage users
One of the most pressing problems with e-cigarettes is their lack of regulation through the FDA. Since they are non-tobacco products, underage smokers can easily get their hands on these devices—especially by purchasing them over the internet. Another problem that has been recently observed is household poisonings with e-cigarette liquid. The appealing colors and scents of the e-juice may be appealing to kids and toddlers, who could accidentally swallow this potentially fatal concoction.
Are you trying to kick the habit of smoking for good? Consider speaking with a MeMD medical provider to help you break your nicotine addiction and live better for years to come. Our team of healthcare professionals can offer guidance and support – and even write a prescription when medically necessary.