E-Cigarettes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – A Doctor’s Viewpoint

E-cigarettes are the new flashy thing to have. They have replaced the flash of having a cell phone because everyone, and I mean everyone, even homeless people, have a cell phone today. E-cigarettes have taken over the ‘must have’ bling of humans.

Their intended purpose was to help a smoker quit smoking. Is that working though? And are they safer than traditional cigarettes? A doctor recently wrote an article about this new gadget and what he found from his own experience. Let’s look at what Dr. Marc Siegel had to say about them in his article from 2014 published by Fox News.

First, he found e-cigarettes to be a definite effective method to cut back or even quit smoking for smokers. Because ezigarette are a nicotine replacement therapy while providing a total smoking cessation from the vaping.

This doctor had found a technique that hypnotized smokers to quit smoking, however, the biggest obstacle he found that had to be overcome was the physical fixation that smoking provided. While under hypnotization, the smoker would have to imagine themselves with a cigarette. E-cigs allow a smoker to perpetuate this image as well as the nicotine while losing the tar and other toxins from cigarettes that cause cancer and other illnesses like emphysema.

Long Term Studies Aren’t Proof …. Yet

Still, there aren’t any long-term studies to prove this doctor is correct about e-cigs other than the desired smoking cessation. However, the British journal, Lance, released a recent study that did prove e-cigs had just as much success as a nicotine patch.

The doctor went on to say that while he could see e-cigs were a potential tool for adults to use in helping them to quit, he had concerns for teenagers and the growing role e-cigarettes were having, especially for those whom had never smoked and an e-cig was their first time to try any such “recreation”. Even though there are a dozen states that have banned the sale of e-cigs to minors, they can purchase them on line.

The Centers for Disease Control has stated that e-cig with high schoolers has increased by 10 percent. That is double from the year before. Dr. Tom Frieden, an expert on the subject and head of the CDC spoke to this doctor and said that e-cigs could be a gateway drug that could create a nicotine addiction and lead to more use of tobacco.

In addition, with liquid nicotine that are sold in a variety of flavors on-line, have a higher concentration than an e-cigarette purchased in a store. Those nicotine levels are almost 2% to almost 2.5% range.

It takes just one table spoon of the concentrated liquid nicotine being sold to cause harm. Nicotine is a neurotoxin that when absorbed or ingested can cause the heart beat to increase, seizures, and vomiting. This alone should cause safety concern if the nicotine addiction doesn’t.

There Is Good To Be Had

While the doctor did state his concerns about e-cigs, he did go on to say that if e-cigs are handled right in the right hands, they do have the potential of being an effective way to help smokers quit, and currently, they may be the best tool available.

Regrettably though, e-cigs are not always getting in the right hands, and the doctor feared that while both traditional cigarettes and e-cigs both available to a smoker, they may not actually cut down on their use of tobacco.

While the FDA is presenting proposal to increase the regulations on e-cigs, the doctor in this article, and others aren’t sure that will have much effect on the use of them. This doctor is one of many that feel that making them a prescription only product could make them more of a treatment therapy and less of a recreational therapy. And that most likely won’t be happening.

Or Could It Happen?

The MHRA has indicated intentions of regulating them as medicinal products. Many believe this could restrict the industry’s growth. In the meantime, there are cities, such as NYC, that are talking about proposed plans of restricting the advertising and marketing and advertising of electronic cigarettes. This would significantly reduce the exposure of e-cigs.

The pros of e-cig use fear that all the good things about e-cigs could be undone by these measures. Remember, as we stated above, there are findings from research and studies that have found e-cigs have been effective in aiding smokers to quit smoking just as much as nicotine patches have.

The National Institute for Health performed a study of smokers that had stated they wanted to quit. 289 of them were issued standard e-cigs, 295 were issued nicotine patches, and 73 of them were issued nicotine-free e-cigs. At the end of the six-month study, the group that received the standard e-cigs had a higher success rate of stopping.

Almost 90% of those who use e-cigs say they would recommend the method to any fellow smoker that wants to quit. For nicotine patch users, the recommendation rate was just over 55% in comparison. These numbers only provide proof that stricter regulations could have an opposing effect in helping people quit smoking.

Not Going Down Without A Fight

The electronic cigarette industry isn’t going to go down without a fight. There are initiatives in place for saving this relatively new industry and squash the possibility of over-regulation. There are as many as 7 million users of e-cigs and the proposed restrictions have caused them concern. They all are hoping that studies such as that one and the many success stories will support their cause.

While the original intentions of e-cigs were very well intended, as with anything that is new, there are the nay-sayers and the skeptics. It will be several more years before we know the full benefits and/or detriments of the e-cig phenomenon. Just as it has taken us years, even decades, to realize what that automobile could do to the world, so it will for the electronic cigarettes.