Do E-cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking?

If you think switching to an electronic cigarette is a safe way to give up smoking, you may want to hear what experts say about it.

“Some patients use them to quit smoking, but a lot of times you are swapping addictions,” said cardiologist Claude-Laurent Sader, MD, of theHeart and Vascular Institute of Cape Cod Healthcare. “I don’t think that they are that efficient in smoking cessation.”

Smoking cessation methods like a nicotine patch or nicotine gum are a better choice that inhaling anything into your lungs, he added.

The verdict is still out on whether vaping is less harmful than lighting up a real cigarette, anddoctors are divided over the health implications of e-cigarettes.

While some may think vaping is better than cigarettes because cigarettes contain over 600 ingredients, according to the American Lung Association. When burned, they release more than 7,000 chemicals into the body. At least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. There are only about five ingredients in e-cigarettes.

Other health professionals say that since the e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they can be a pathway drug to smoking. Research is showing this to be true – especially with adolescents.

“We’re seeing a lot of young people doing this,” said John Mendelsohn, MD, an emergency room physician and toxicology expert at Falmouth Hospital. “What’s happening is when young people use e-cigarettes they are becoming addicted to nicotine. So now you have a group of people who are more likely to move on to regular cigarettes.”

His concern mirrors that of public health officials that the rise in the use of electronic cigarettes can act as a gateway to the use of traditional tobacco products like cigarettes. A California study of 40,000 middle school and high school students across the country indicated that vaping nicotine does in fact lead a majority of teenagers to pick up the real product.

In Dr. Mendelsohn’s opinion, e-cigarettes are not safe at all.

“You have to remember that nicotine was originally used in agriculture as a pesticide,” he said. “The other issue that has come up is the vehicle that is being used. You get the nicotine liquid, but it’s not all nicotine. The vehicle is polyetholene glycol and a couple of other things that metabolize as formaldehyde. There is a lot of concern about the effects of inhaling formaldehyde repeatedly.”

The more you use these products, the worse they are for you, Dr. Mendelsohn explained. New smokers tend to inhale less deeply, but the longer people smoke, the deeper they inhale.

“When they inhale more deeply the formaldehyde can get into the deeper part of the lungs and cause potentially more toxic effects,” he said. “Formaldehyde is present in cigarettes as well, but it’s felt that the exposure of formaldehyde in the e-cigarette compared to a regular cigarette has probably a five times greater risk of toxicity.”

A look at the dangers of inhaling formaldehyde published in The New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year included two studies that showed that the risk of developing cancer from long-term vaping is five times as high as that of smoking a pack of regular cigarettes a day. The second study suggested the risk was 15 times higher.

The bottom line is that the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t issued any guidelines on e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” as it is called, and there are so many mixed messages on the topic of the safety of these products – even in the medical field – that it’s hard for the general public to keep up.

As this year’s American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout takes place this Thursday, researchers are looking into just how much and why people are turning to e-cigarettes.

A recent analysis on adult tobacco use led by Rutgers School of Public Health indicated that former smokers are four times more likely to use e-cigarettes daily than current smokers of tobacco – and the figures just get more twisted from there.

For a study earlier this year by Reuters, researchers polled 5,679 adults in the U.S. and found that about 10 percent of those polled now vape. The number rose to 15 percent for poll participants under the age of 40.

The study showed that almost 70 percent of e-cigarette users started in the past year and about three quarters of them also still smoke cigarettes.

Another aspect of e-cigarettes that has a lot of healthcare providers like Dr. Mendelsohn concerned is that tobacco industries are on board. From a pure business standpoint, that indicates that they don’t see e-cigarettes as a threat to their base of smokers.

“Remember Big Tobacco?” questions Dr. Mendelsohn. “Now there is Big Vape. You have to keep in mind that a lot of the information is coming from the companies that sell these products.”

Smoking rates continue to decline among U.S. adults

(CNN) The number of adults in the United States who currently smoke is 14.9%, according to new government statistics from the first half of this year. This is even lower than a report released just last week that found 16.8% of adults were smoking in 2014. To be sure, this is the lowest percentage reported since this survey began in 1997, when 24.7% of U.S. adults were smokers.

The new calculation is from the National Health Interview Survey, released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, capture smoking prevalence between January and June of this year.

So who is still smoking 52 years after the U.S. surgeon general first warned the nation about the harms of lighting up? According to the report, more men than women. And the habit seems to be more appealing among younger individuals because people age 18 – 44 (16.3%) and 45 – 64 (16.7%) are more likely than those age 65 and up to smoke. When broken down by race, more non-Hispanic, whites and blacks (17%) smoke than their Hispanic peers (9.7%).

The success is due to a combination of smoking bans, the increasing cost (including taxes) of cigarettes and other tobacco products, awareness campaigns and improved access to tools that can help smokers kick the habit, according to the CDC.

“They work to reduce the enormous health and financial burden of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure among Americans,” said Brian King, with the CDC’s office on smoking and health, in a press release.

The news is encouraging for health officials who hope the percentage of individuals who smoke will drop to 12% or less by the year 2020.

And there’s plenty of motivation to get there. According to the CDC, 480,000 people die in the United States each year from smoking cigarettes and 42,000 of those are from second-hand smoke. For those who live, smoking-related illness costs an additional $300 billion dollars annually in the United States.

Poll: Shocking Ignorance On Risks Of Vaping Thanks To ‘Dishonest’ And ‘Unethical’ Tactics

The majority of Americans are woefully misinformed about the health effects of vaping, with public health campaigners bearing the brunt of the criticism for spreading scare stories about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

A poll conducted for the Boston Globe and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that only 44 percent of Americans believed e-cigarettes to be less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Almost a third of the public — 32 percent — said they thought vaping was just as harmful as tobacco, while six percent actually thought vaping was more dangerous than tobacco. Fourteen percent said they couldn’t answer the question. E-cigarettes contain no tobacco and have not yet been linked with lung cancer or any other smoking related diseases.

The poll brought even more bad news for the burgeoning e-cigarette industry, with 64 percent supporting taxing vapor products at the same rate regular cigarettes. On the issue of banning different flavored vaping products, a popular target among e-cigarette critics, 48 percent of those polled opposed a ban while 46 percent supported one.

The findings may come as a shock to many in the vast majority of the health community who readily acknowledge that e-cigarettes are far less dangerous than tobacco products. In August, a study commissioned by Public Health England concluded e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than tobacco and could be “game-changer” for getting people to quit smoking.

“Let’s be clear — there is no doubt in the scientific community that vaping is far less hazardous than inhaling burning tobacco smoke.  The fact that more than half of the American population can’t answer this question accurately is a scandal,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association.

The e-cigarette industry is already facing a life or death situation with proposed FDA regulations that could wipe out 99 percent of vaping products.

Supporters of vaping warn that a heavy-handed approach to regulating and taxing the e-cigarettes could hurt those desperately trying to give up smoking and cost lives in the process.

According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 2 a little over 20 percent of current smokers who had tried to give up in the last year were using e-cigarettes. Conley argues the figure could be much higher if it wasn’t for “dishonest and unethical campaign tactics” of the opponents of e-cigarettes.

“The public health establishment should be called to task for their role in misinforming Americans about these reduced harm technology products,” said Conley.

Experience matters when vaping

Accidents or explosions happen as a result of user error with mechanical mod vapes when too much power is drawn from the battery.

More than two dozen reports from the Food and Drug Administration indicate e-cigarettes have exploded since they became popular in 2012.

These accidents are pure user negligence. It’s the fact that the person is not experienced with what they use and they’re not safe with it.

Unlike other electronic cigarettes, mechanical mods don’t have safeguards to prevent overheating or explosion.

Those who are new to vaping are encouraged to use e-cigs that control the amount of power drawn from the battery, helping to prevent accidents. WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

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E-cigarettes have not reduced smoking

WASHINGTON–Findings from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report show the rising use of electronic cigarettes has not lowered the rate of conventional smoking, as measured by federal excise tax revenue.

“Although e-cigarettes are often touted as a way to reduce smoking, the report shows that e-cigarette sales do not measurably reduce tobacco consumption,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). “Meanwhile, e-cigarette products continue to flow into the country, primarily from China, with virtually none of the safeguards Americans expect for products they put in their bodies. We don’t even know how many e-cigarettes are being imported, much less what they’re made of. It’s time for that to stop.”

The GAO report, requested by Wyden and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, comes as e-cigarette use continues to grow, especially among teenagers and high school students. A recent CDC survey showed a three-fold increase in the number of teens using e-cigarettes.

While increased e-cigarette use has come as traditional smoking rates among teens continues to drop, there is limited knowledge about the health effects, sources, and contents of e-cigarette products – most of which are imported from China – as they are not currently tracked under any national regulatory or revenue system.

The findings also note there is extremely limited data on the price and quantity of e-cigarette products on the market today.

Wyden called for the Federal International Trade Commission to gather more data on e-cigarette imports in a June letter.

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Things You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes

The electronic cigarette was invented in the 1960s, but it didn't really take off until a decade ago. Currently, there are more than 250 brands of "e-cigarettes" available in such flavors as watermelon, pink bubble gum and Java, and in more colors than the iPhone 5C.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association estimates about 4 million Americans now use battery powered cigarettes. They project sales of the devices to cross the 1 billion mark by the end of this year. Here, a look at the e-smoke trend, the good, the bad and the unknown.
What are e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery operated nicotine inhalers that consist of a rechargeable lithium battery, a cartridge called a cartomizer and an LED that lights up at the end when you puff on the e-cigarette to simulate the burn of a tobacco cigarette. The cartomizer is filled with an e-liquid that typically contains the chemical propylene glycol along with nicotine, flavoring and other additives. The device works much like a miniature version of the smoke machines that operate behind rock bands. When you "vape" -- that's the term for puffing on an e-cig -- a heating element boils the e-liquid until it produces a vapor. A device creates the same amount of vapor no matter how hard you puff until the battery or e-liquid runs down.
How much do they cost?
Starter kits usually run between $30 and $100. The estimated cost of replacement cartridges is about $600, compared with the more than $1,000 a year it costs to feed a pack-a-day tobacco cigarette habit, according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association. Discount coupons and promotional codes are available online.
Are e-cigarettes regulated?
The decision in a 2011 federal court case gives the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate e-smokes under existing tobacco laws rather than as a medication or medical device, presumably because they deliver nicotine, which is derived from tobacco. The agency has hinted it will begin to regulate e-smokes as soon as this year but so far, the only action the agency has taken is issuing a letter in 2010 to electronic cigarette distributors warning them to cease making various unsubstantiated marketing claims. For now, the devices remain uncontrolled by any governmental agency, a fact that worries experts like Erika Seward, the assistant vice president of national advocacy for the American Lung Association. "With e-cigarettes, we see a new product within the same industry -- tobacco -- using the same old tactics to glamorize their products," she said. "They use candy and fruit flavors to hook kids, they make implied health claims to encourage smokers to switch to their product instead of quitting all together, and they sponsor research to use that as a front for their claims." Thomas Kiklas, co-owner of e-cigarette maker inLife and co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, countered that the device performs the same essential function as a tobacco cigarette but with far fewer toxins. He said he would welcome any independent study of the products to prove how safe they are compared to traditional smokes. The number of e-smokers is expected to quadruple in the next few years as smokers move away from the centuries old tobacco cigarette so there is certainly no lack of subjects," he said.
What are the health risks of vaping?
The jury is out. The phenomenon of vaping is so new that science has barely had a chance to catch up on questions of safety, but some initial small studies have begun to highlight the pros and cons. The most widely publicized study into the safety of e-cigarettes was done when researchers analyzed two leading brands and concluded the devices did contain trace elements of hazardous compounds, including a chemical which is the main ingredient found in antifreeze. But Kiklas, whose brand of e-cigarettes were not included in the study, pointed out that the FDA report found nine contaminates versus the 11,000 contained in a tobacco cigarette and noted that the level of toxicity was shown to be far lower than those of tobacco cigarettes. However, Seward said because e-cigarettes remain unregulated, it's impossible to draw conclusions about all the brands based on an analysis of two. "To say they are all safe because a few have been shown to contain fewer toxins is troubling," she said. "We also don't know how harmful trace levels can be." Thomas Glynn, the director of science and trends at the American Cancer Society, said there were always risks when one inhaled anything other than fresh, clean air, but he said there was a great likelihood that e-cigarettes would prove considerably less harmful than traditional smokes, at least in the short term. "As for long-term effects, we don't know what happens when you breathe the vapor into the lungs regularly," Glynn said. "No one knows the answer to that."
Do e-cigarettes help tobacco smokers quit?
Because they preserve the hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking, Kiklas said e-cigarettes might help transform a smoker's harmful tobacco habits to a potentially less harmful e-smoking habit. As of yet, though, little evidence exists to support this theory. In a first of its kind study published last week in the medical journal Lancet, researchers compared e-cigarettes to nicotine patches and other smoking cessation methods and found them statistically comparable in helping smokers quit over a six-month period. For this reason, Glynn said he viewed the devices as promising though probably no magic bullet. For now, FDA regulations forbid e-cigarette marketers from touting their devices as a way to kick the habit. Seward said many of her worries center on e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking, given that many popular brands come in flavors and colors that seem designed to appeal to a younger generation of smokers. "We're concerned about the potential for kids to start a lifetime of nicotine use by starting with e-cigarettes," she said. Though the National Association of Attorneys General today called on the FDA to immediately regulate the sale and advertising of electronic cigarettes, there were no federal age restrictions to prevent kids from obtaining e-cigarettes. Most e-cigarette companies voluntarily do not sell to minors yet vaping among young people is on the rise. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found nearly 1.8 million young people had tried e-cigarettes and the number of U.S. middle and high school students e-smokers doubled between 2011 and 2012.

My two cents

(I put up this site to give you the news on e-cigarettes because of things like this - U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Stephen Ostroff announced the agency’s intention to proceed “full steam ahead” on regulations intended to (reduce e-cigarette use). Oh my god, why would anyone want to stop e-cigarettes use. Do they want people to keep smoking ? Here's a new one:  For kids' sake, tax e-cigarettes. Better to err on the side of caution on this one. Let’s keep e-cigarettes out of the mouths and hands of kids. And that’s why the Mayor proposed tax on e-cigarettes looks like an informed and responsible move. I just post the news I find, good or bad. You have to check out this person's Comments about e-cigarettes. Quote :This idea that it renormalizes smoking is absolute bullshit. There is no evidence so far that it is a gateway into smoking for young people.")