Electronic cigarettes are becoming more widely used by people to either help them quit smoking, or reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke each day, researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
E-cigarettes started off in China in 2003, and rapidly spread around the world in popularity, mainly through the internet, and more recently through shops as well. While they are similar in appearance to tobacco cigarettes, the user consumes fewer toxins in the form of vapor.
Even though e-cigarettes are known to be much less harmful for health than tobacco smoking products, nobody knows what their long-term health and addiction consequences might be. Electronic nicotine delivery systems have various levels of nicotine.
There is some concern e-cigarettes may appeal to non-smokers, cause addiction, and possibly become an indirect route to tobacco cigarettes. Even so, most people agree that if e-cigarettes are much less harmful than traditional cigarettes, it seems illogical to ban e-cigarettes (especially as tobacco products are legal).
Electronic cigarettes are banned in Australia and Canada.
Investigators in the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and Australia examined e-cigarette awareness, usage and perceptions among current and ex-smokers.
Lead researcher, Richard J. O'Connor, PhD, Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, said:
"We were not aware of any studies to date that examined cross-national patterns of ENDS use. No studies have examined use in markets where ENDS are nominally banned."
The authors gathered and examined data from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four-Country Survey. Nearly 6,000 people responded via telephone or online surveys from July 2010 to the end of June 2011.
The investigators found that:
E-cigarette awareness ranged from 73% in the USA to 20% in Australia. E-cigarettes are banned in the Australia and legal in the USA
Awareness was greatest among people aged from 18 to 24 years, non-minority populations, and people with higher incomes
More than 70% of respondents said that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes
16% of respondent had tried e-cigarettes
More Americans perceived e-cigarettes as harmful than British people
Current e-cigarette users include people who do not smoke tobacco every day, as well as those who smoke more than a pack a day. Nearly four-fifths of respondents said they used e-cigarettes because they believed them to be less harmful that smoking tobacco cigarettes.
75% said e-cigarettes helped them smoke fewer tobacco cigarettes.
85% said they used e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they used e-cigarettes to get their nicotine in places where tobacco smoking was not allowed. This suggests that the products are being used to satisfy nicotine addiction during moments of temporary abstinence.
A high percentage of people in countries where ENDS are banned are aware of the products, suggesting that the internet is promoting the product effectively.
Dr. O'Connor said:
"This study represents a snapshot in time of the use of ENDS from mid-2010 to mid-2011. As the market evolves, awareness, trial, and use of ENDS is likely to increase. Should regulatory authorities approve direct claims about reduced harm, one might expect greater adoption of these products, at least among current cigarette smokers.
If credible evidence can be provided to regulators, through independently researched, well-controlled studies, that ENDS reduces the number of cigarette smokers and does not attract use among nonsmokers, then the net public health effect is likely to be positive."
Electronic cigarettes are long tube-like devices that look like traditional cigarettes, some of them resemble ballpoint pens. Most have replaceable cartridges, while others are throwaway ones.
The device is placed between the lips and is sucked. The sucking action activates a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. This vapor is inhaled.
The action is very similar to that used when smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette, making it very easy for smokers and ex-smokers to learn to use.
Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, is widely quoted as being the inventor of the first generation electronic cigarette in 2000. Herbert A. Gilbert, in 1963, patented a device described as "a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette which replaces burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air".
“Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey”
Sarah E. Adkison, MA; Richard O’Connor, PhD; Maansi Bansal-Travers, PhD; Andrew Hyland, PhD; Ron Borland, PhD; Hua-Hie Yong, PhD; K. Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH; Ann McNeill, PhD; James F. Thrasher, PhD, David Hammond, PhD; Geoffrey T. Fong, PhD
(DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.10.018) American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 3 (March 2013), published by Elsevier.
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Australian government does not care about your health - e-cigarettes versus tobacco cigarettes
posted by robyn keech on 10 May 2013 at 3:13 pm
I have smoked regular cigarettes for 50 years. Have tried many ways of trying to give up without success. I started vaping 2 months ago and have not had a reg smoke since. Blood pressure is lower, no smelly ashtrays, in fact the smell of ashtrays are revolting so is the breath on smokers, my car smelt badly from 2nd hand smoke, but now doesn't. The cost saving is huge and has reduced from $1000 per month to $120. How can Australia ban e-cigs when nicotine is in real cigs and not banned? I guess it is because of all the taxes the government gets from real 'harmful' cigs. Good on ya, NOT.
I feel sorry for any people who smoke and live in a country that has banned them, I think that is very sad, they have changed mine and many of my friends and families lives, I did not know that they were banned in oz and Canada, I hope that crazy decision is reconsidered, if you have the choice of breathing in deadly tobacco then you should also have the choice to breathe in a much safer water vapour
I hope more people switch. I really don't think they are dangerous at all and certainly won't lead people to smoke a tobacco cigarette, you would have to be crazy to switch to normal cigarettes if you started with an e-cig.
It's been 8 months of ecigs. It took me about 1 week and a half to completely drop regular cigarettes. It was only learning to have enough batteries and liquid on hand or else it would have been 1 day. I started with drug store brands like Blu and finity but have moved on to buying my own liquid and using a washable atomizer called a clearomizer. I prefer vanilla flavor. I have saved thousands of dollars. I don't wake up coughing anymore. I don't smell. My house doesn't smell. I taste food so much better. My 16 year old daughter is proud of me. I will be here for her longer. For those just starting, you should research on the web better products than the drug store brands and don't join a monthly club! Those are inferior products and they overcharge. I like wicked e-liquids on the net or find a Vapor store locally and they will help you figure out how to start. Good Luck!
My daughter swears by e-cigs! She stopped smoking after trying twice and failing, finally succeeding with ecigs. She said electronic cigarettes relieved her stress while getting off tobacco.
According to the The Electronic Cigarette Review Guru 31% of the 2.5 million smokers who’ve tried ecigarettes have quit smoking within 6 months. While it may not work for everyone, I’ll bet those 31% who quit are thankful they did.
Judging from the miserable success I've had using mainsteram advice and approved cessation aids over my 46 years of tobacco use and the current advice from the same regarding e-cigs, I'd have to agree with King Leonidas.
Taking matters into my own hands, I did my own research and started using e-cigs a year ago this January and haven't touched tobacco since day one.
When the last Starbucks gets legislated out of business, then I might consider giving up my daily nicotine but not a second sooner.
Thank you Hon Lik, and no thanks to you everyone else here in the US that's supposedly looking after my health.
What a lot of people fail to realise, is that the corrupt anti-smoking industry is...just that...an industry...and a global industry at that. This industry has hundreds of thousands of employees, and huge wagebills to pay. This industry relies on multi-million dollar funding from Big Pharmaceutical Cartels, which just happen to be the other 'player' in the nicotine market.
There's over a billion smokers in the world, and it's the aim of the anti-smoking industry to get them all to quit, and for all the quitters to take up THEIR official nicotine products... patchygummythingys, (with a 98.4% FAILURE rate), and the quit smoking suicide drug Champix. Electronic cigarettes are a disaster for Big Pharma. This is why a lot of these so called 'health' organisations are pushing for e-cig bans....no profits for their Big Pharma paymasters! IT'S NOT ABOUT HEALTH!
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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.