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Do E-cigarettes Benefit Smokers? The Jury's Still Out

07/23/12

  12:25:31 pm, by MedBen5   , 163 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Do E-cigarettes Benefit Smokers? The Jury's Still Out

Electronic cigarettes are gaining in popularity among smokers, as both a tobacco substitute and a tool to hopefully wean them from the habit.

According to WebMD, the devices resemble regular cigarettes but work by means of a vaporizer filled with a nicotine-containing solution. Because they don’t contain the many other chemicals found in tobacco, they may be a safer alternative for smokers – emphasis on “may be".

“This is an unproven device and we know very little about its long-term health effects,” says researcher Jennifer Pearson, PhD, MPH. She is a research investigator at Legacy, an antismoking group in Washington, D.C. “E-cigarettes are probably less harmful than combustible cigarettes, [but] we don’t have data to say that and can’t talk about long-term effect.”

While e-cigarettes are not marketed as smoking cessation devices, it’s likely that some smokers made the transition from traditional cigarettes as a stepping stone to kicking the habit. But Pearson suggests smokers stick with FDA-approved smoking cessation tools instead.

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