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Are E-Cigarettes A Safer Alternative To Cigarettes?

There is plenty of research that shows that traditional cigarettes are bad for your health, but what about e-cigarettes? According to the CDC, it is challenging to know what is actually in e-cigarette products.  Some e-cigarettes that claimed to have no nicotine were found to actually have nicotine in them.  But nicotine is just one substance found in e-cigarette aerosol. Other substances like ultrafine particles (which can go deep into the lungs), flavorings like diacetyl (a chemical that has been linked to a serious lung disease), dangerous organic compounds, other chemicals linked to cancer, and heavy metals (like nickle, tin, or lead) can be found in e-cigarette aerosol.  This is less than the mix of 7,000 chemicals often produced by smoke from regular cigarettes, but these substances in e-cigarette aerosol are still dangerous. 

In addition to the health risks associated with e-cigarettes, there are risks of injury as well.  Contact between e-cigarette liquid and the skin and eyes can be toxic to children and adults.  This acute nicotine exposure can be caused by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing the liquid.  Defective batteries have also been reported as the cause of fires and explosions that have resulted in serious injuries. 

Although e-cigarettes are not an FDA approved quit smoking aid, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products like Nicotac™ nicotine gum are often recommended as a temporary aid to help you quit smoking by reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.  Chewing Nicotac gum provides a lower level of nicotine than cigarettes and allows you to gradually do away with your body’s need for nicotine.

Learn more about e-cigarettes from the CDC.