Do you know anyone who vapes? Do you vape? Are you completely lost on what vaping is? Vaping is the act of using an e-cigarette (a battery powered electronic cigarette).
Rising taxation and regulation on tobacco products often makes smokers seek alternatives or cessation. Because of the rising costs of tobacco products, E-cigarettes have become more and more popular over the past decade. While there is a controversy about whether e-cigarettes are harmful, new evidence shows that a rise in e-cigarette use may be associated with an increase of smoking cessation.
E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine, other chemicals, and flavors. Heating the liquid turns it into a vapor which is what the user inhales and exhales. They’ve been advertised as an alternative to tobacco products.
Because of a lack of regulation and a lack of research into e-cigarettes, we do not know the long term effects of vaping. The official opinion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as stated on smokefree.gov is that people should stick to conventional methods of quitting such as nicotine patches.
A recent study found that e-cigarette users were more likely than nonusers to try to stop smoking. They were also more likely to stop smoking for at least a three month period. In other words, not only are people who want to quit more likely to switch to vaping, they’re also more successful at actually quitting.
The FDA is working to regulate e-cigarettes, but currently cannot since they are often sold as recreational products. Selling them as recreational products helps manufacturers and vape shops avoid tighter regulations that come with the claim of being a smoking cessation aid.
Chris Bullard, professor of public health at University of Auckland, claims loose restrictions on e-cigarettes could result in a healthier population. In an accompanying editorial to the study, Bullard said although the long-term safety of e-cigarettes is unclear, any ill effects are “likely to be rare compared with the harms of continuing to smoke.”
While the jury is still out on the long term effects of e-cigarettes, but there’s no question whether a person should try to stop smoking. Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. If you’re ready to quit, that’s half the battle. The American Lung Association has some wonderful resources that can help.
Your medical care providers can be a key resource as you’re trying to quit smoking. They can discuss mediations to help you stop smoking and direct you toward local resources. If you have questions about smoking, don’t hesitate to call us at (662) 348-3342.