Despite all the alarming health problems associated with smoking tobacco cigarettes, many people today are addicted and cannot find a way to give up permanently. The E-cigarette, or electronic cigarette, is a healthier alternative that many heavily addicted smokers have switched over to, says the E-cigarette industry.
However, the industry has yet to produce results of large-scale randomized human studies to back their claims.
When citing examples of how electronic cigarettes have helped people quit tobacco smoking, the industry uses anecdotal evidence, usually citing well known individuals, rather than statistically convincing data. In a press release this week, The Electronic Cigarette Hub wrote:
"E-cigarettes have already helped thousands of people, including actress Katherine Heigl. Users say it looks and feels like smoking a real cigarette. The E-cigarette even has the glowing red tip; but unlike a tobacco cigarette, it produces an odorless water vapor - there is no smoke; you don't light it."
E-cigarettes, or vapor cigarettes, work by superheating a cartridge that gives the smoker a dose of nicotine in the form of water vapor. This vapor can be flavored with cherry, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, and menthol. The body absorbs the nicotine and then exhales this water vapor, which the industry claims leaves no harm to the person or its surroundings. Sellers of E-cigarettes say the water vapor has no chemicals or carcinogens (cancer causing substances) - it cannot cause second-hand harm to others or the environment - i.e. there is no second hand smoke (passive smoking).
A survey carried out by researchers from the University of Alberta, School of Public Health found that most E-cigarette users are switching over as a complete replacement for cigarettes.
The following is a quote provided by The Electronic Cigarette Hub - James Kenton from Pittsburg, PA, switched to e cigs and could not be happier.
"I made the switch to e-cigarettes and it is the best decision I have ever made. I feel great and am not waking up congested or short of breath anymore. My family is very proud of me and so am I. I no longer smell like an ashtray and do not have to worry about the smell bothering my son when I am holding him. My wife also seems to want to get a little closer to me more often also. I m so thankful for the creation of e-cigarettes."
Although James Kenton appears to have benefited greatly, this is not scientific proof that the benefits of E-cigarettes far outweigh possible harms.
The industry adds that by switching to e-cigarettes, smokers will be able to use their new smoke-free device in restricted areas where tobacco smoking is forbidden, such as bars, hotel rooms, airports, and restaurants.
The Electronic Cigarette Hub claims that with these devices the user's teeth will not turn yellow and lungs will not be damaged, because they contain no tar or other harmful toxins.
The controversy regarding benefits or adverse effects of electronic cigarettes
Health organizations and researchers have diverging opinions and concerns regarding the benefits and potential harms of E-cigarettes. There are very few scientifically-controlled studies of E-cigarettes because of their relatively recent invention and even more recent popularity.
In many US states and countries around the world, legislation related to E-cigarettes are either unclear, or vary widely.
Anti-smoking groups wonder whether these devices might appeal to non-smokers, resulting in an increase in nicotine addiction. A significant number of scientists and lay people would like the industry's claim of safety to be scientifically tested.
Proponents of E-cigarettes say that all tobacco smokers were initially non-smokers, therefore concern about the consequences of E-cigarettes for current non-smokers should be compared to current non-smokers who eventually take up tobacco smoking.
The AAPHP (American Association of Public Health Physicians), in April 2010, said that it supported the sale of E-cigarettes to adults "because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years." The Association emphasized that it is definitely against the sale of these devices to people under 18 years of age, and that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should reclassify E-cigarettes as tobacco products rather than a drug/device combination. Many wonder how this is possible, because the devices contain no tobacco.
Electronic cigarettes are probably the only legal recreational products that require inhalation - most others are sold at pharmacies and are aimed at alleviating symptoms of a condition or illness, such as a bad cold or asthma. The exception being tobacco products, which are legally consumed in various ways, including smoke inhalation. Burning scents for their pleasant and relaxing smells does not require placing something in your mouth and deliberately inhaling, as is the case with electronic and tobacco cigarettes.
Surely, a large-scale study comparing the harms and benefits of E-cigarettes with smoked tobacco would at least put to rest current doubts regarding these products as purely an alternative for current tobacco cigarette smokers. A 12-month large scale study comparing E-cigarettes to various smoking cessation techniques would also provide useful and interesting data.
A large-scale study of electronic cigarettes is needed
In February this year, an electronic cigarette exploded while a man was using it, knocking out some of his teeth and causing serious skin burns on his face, according to officials from North Bay Fire Department, Florida. Some media sources later reported that the man had tampered with the battery in the device. (Link to article)
Online study on Electronic Cigarettes
A Boston University School of Public Health study , which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that 31% of 222 respondents in an online survey said they had not smoked any tobacco products since buying the electronic cigarette six months previously. The authors said that compared to an abstinence rate of between 12 and 18% achieved with nicotine patches and gum, E-cigarettes may be a promising tool to help smokers quite.
Lead author, Michael Sieger, said:
"This study suggests that electronic cigarettes are helping thousands of ex-smokers remain off cigarettes."
The researchers concluded:
"Findings suggest that e-cigarettes may hold promise as a smoking-cessation method and that they are worthy of further study using more-rigorous research designs."
I've been ordering mine on line and let me tell you... they are slooooww. But I am happy that they had a 10% off their orders just recently. I finally broke down and emailed them after driving all over the place trying to find refills. They said Wal-Mart will be stocking them on the shelves starting in March. (Wal-Mart's decision, not theirs). Only other place I could find them was the pilot station. Mistic said Pilot has decided to switch to a different brand. As far as stores go, mistic has a website and you can find stores that sell them near you. I would just call them first before you waste your time driving. Hang in there!
posted by Kenneth Wiseman on 24 Oct 2012 at 8:19 pm
I have been vaping for almost 3 months now, I still have an occasional cigarette. but a pack will last me for over a month and I roll my own. I am hoping to be a non smoker very soon. it is getting easier and easier to turn down a cigarette now and I have been smoking for about 36 years one and a half to two packs a day. Electronic cigarettes are in my opinion the greatest thing ever made to benefit people and if the FDA or Government taxes these or classifies them as a tobacco product then I think "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" people should make a stand and take over the government. Remember the Government was supposed to be "for the people and by the people" NOT for themselves!. When and where does it end? why should they line their pockets with our health needs? what happened to the land of the free? (oh yeah, that's only if you are an immigrant). we need to take a stand for what goes on in our lives!
Where are they? I need electronic cigarette refills
posted by TV Reyburn on 13 Oct 2012 at 8:36 pm
I have not been able to find refills for the Mistic! On line is impossible. I have a hunch they are going out of business. If any one knows what is up with this company Please let me know. NO RESPONSE!!
I think electronic cigarettes are really good device for start quitting cigarette. There are many choices in it. For beginners there is starter kit, super e-cigarette kits, etc. Some company are giving zero nicotine electronic cigarettes also.
More people die from a fire starting with a regular cigarette, as well as how many people die from cancer. I lost my parents to cancer and have decided to switch to the ecigarette. I feel after a week much better, my cough has since almost gone away and I have a lot more energy.
posted by debbie guardino on 29 Jun 2012 at 7:07 am
I have been using an electronic cigarette for over a year now and feel 110% better. The reason the FDA and other government agencies are against this device comes down to money plain and simple. The FDA gets is funding from Big Pharma which is losing money due to people using these devices instead of their products. The states are losing the tax dollars collected on cigarettes when people switch. There have been studies done however our government sadly chooses to ignore them. http://www.utahvapers.com/resources/Clearstream-air-lab-results.pdf
article too manyt times says anything positive about e-cigs is anecdotal, what happened with one or a few people, there should be a study; then at the end, on the negative side, oh, anecdotal is ok now:
"In February this year, an electronic cigarette exploded while a man was using it, knocking out some of his teeth and causing serious skin burns on his face, according to officials from North Bay Fire Department, Florida"
posted by Lawrence P Strohmeyer, D.O. on 27 Jun 2012 at 8:17 am
I worry about a culture that tries to undermine a health risk reducing strategy like e-cigs.
Nicotine dependency, like caffeine dependency, has few inherent medical risks in comparison to true recreational substances of abuse. And there are well known psychiatric benefits such as improved attention and concentration.
In an ideal world I suppose we could imagine the theoretical benefits of freedom from all compulsive health risking behaviors. But we have studied the effects of inhaling combusted tobacco ad nauseum and know the consequences well. I'm waiting for the medical studies that explain the benefits of nicotine use and provide guidelines on how to best dose and deliver it to patients who seem to need it.
Beyond that we should realize that using nicotine is pleasurable. I suspect that the true concern about e-cig use is a consequence of our absurd puritanical mores.
John Calvin's greatest worry: somewhere, somebody was having a good time.
Too bad you get your e-cigs from an expensive place. Buying mine at Sam's club (or even the local tobacco shop) the cartridges are only $2 a piece, and at least for Mistic brand, they last me a good 2 days of constant smoking.
You're probably having a hard time singing because all the gunk from smoking in the past is having time to finally catch up, so your airways are temporarily worse ; same applies for your infections.
After smoking the e-cigs for 7 months, I am finally nearing the end of my coughing stuff up phase, although it still happens in the morning, thankfully much much less than the first few months though.
I cannot see anything negative. The lack of scientific evidence, (the Boston study is preliminary, and was never followed up) is a problem, which I believe the writer says would help ecigarette makers. If proof was shown that they are safer than tobacco smoking... A fair report.
I usually pay no attention to wild claims about smoking cessation products, because I tried them all and none worked for me. Then came e-cigs. I wasn't intending on quitting - I simply wanted to try them to see what the hype was about and I am happy to say that I am 8 months smoke free because of them. Plus, my bank account is all the happier as well.
The overall tone of this article is anti-ecig which is absurd. I quit smoking traditional cigarettes for over a year now. I got very sick for about two weeks, which from what i understand was the smoker's flu. My body was clearing out 5 years of disgusting buildups. After those two weeks, my workout habits improved as a result of more stamina, so I lost weight which means that my blood pressure is down and heart health is indeed better.
I don't smell like cigarettes, my car doesn't smell like cigarettes. I am using less nicotine than when i started the ecig, switching from .16 mg to .08mg and sometimes substituting 0 mg just to see if i am ready to drop it completely. If all of my friends didn't still smoke, I think this would be easier. And the money you save! I was spending probably about 45 dollars a week on cigarettes. now I drop about 40 a month on supplies and maybe another average of 5 a month on maintenance (battery fails, atomizer replacements).
I know this is better than smoking cigarettes even the ones i was smoking with no preservatives. I am so angry with New Jersey for passing anti e-cig laws and the FDA for not jumping on this immediately. People make a fuss about propylene glycol also being found in anti-freeze, it is in many many other products and is as harmless as being near a fog machine (which uses propylene glycol). Sorry to rant but I am tired of all of the bad publicity. Let us do what makes us feel healthy, there is no mention in this article that there has also been no NEGATIVE reports on these devices or that nicotine inhalers have been around for years.
I found this article to be lacking in detail and to be poorly researched. Boston University put out a 15+ page study of electronic cigarettes that was not referenced. The incident in Florida in February of this year referenced at the end of the email feels like an awkward after thought, also the device this man used was thought to have been a home made modification or specialized device and this is most likely why the device exploded.
The article was written in general terms and offers no specific or new information to the reader. It was written for the sake of being written only. If you care to write an interesting article, then perhaps you should research the head winds that the electronic cigarette industry is facing from tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies and governments attempting to minimize it, or why the reluctance of the government to launch a full scale study into electronic cigarettes.
Also most good electronic cigarettes are sold online and not at pharmacies.
I have stopped smoking completely a year and a half ago, after twelve years of smoking a half a pack a day, I feel amazing and am a testament to the ability of e-cigs to potentially save lives, I would welcome a full scale study and responsible regulation of the industry and it’s companies to assure that the e-liquids being used are indeed safe.
Come on; MedicalNewsToday.com, be responsible and informative with your articles.
After smoking for almost 50 years, I've been tobacco free for almost two, thanks to e-cigs. While I would acknowledge completely the addictiveness of nicotine, I think that there must be other addictive properties in traditional cigarettes. I find that I don't have near the compulsion to puff on the e-cigs. I feel like these things are saving my life and am very grateful.
E-cigarettes are not the same as cigarettes but that is the point! I have not smoked a regular cigarette in 12 months and I was a pack a day smoker for 40 years. I use a huge battery and buy the juice to fill the atomizer and this has been a life saver. I used chantix and while that works well while your on it you still want a cigarette after you stop using it. Like most people, my insurance wouldn't cover it so I was shelling out 150.00 per month for the Chantix. I hope to be free of the electronic cig's in the future but I am not setting any deadlines.
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Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death. Over 440,000 people in the USA and 100,000 in the UK die because of smoking each year.
There are many different ways to quit smoking. Some experts advocate using pharmacological products to help wean you off nicotine, others say all you need is a good counselor and support group, or an organized program.