You may have heard that electronic cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Thousands of smokers across the U.S. claim to have switched to e-cigs to help them quit smoking for good.
Emily Medalen dug into this subject and spoke to a local expert on the truth to these rumors.
The difference between the two is that traditional cigarettes contain tobacco, and e-cigs do not.
But, they do contain nicotine, which is what gets people addicted.
I spoke with the lead respiratory educator at Sanford health to find out if one form of nicotine addiction is better than another.
“It’s as hard to quit nicotine – they’ve said, as it is to quit heroine,” Mike Myers, Lead Respiratory Educator.
And hundreds of thousands of people across the country are trying to quit every day.
In recent years, a popular method has been by using e-cigarettes – commonly known as vaping
“It’s become a socially acceptable alternative to smoking cigarettes, but it’s not necessarily safer,” says Myers.
The notion that e-cigs are safer came because they don’t contain tobacco, or the same amount of chemicals as traditional cigarettes.
“There is 5,000 + chemicals in cigarette smoke, whereas in e-cigarettes there’s considerably less,” says Myers.
But, most of them do contain the very chemical that gets people hooked.
“It’s sometimes double or triple the amount of nicotine that’s in a cigarette,” says Myers.
He says the amount of nicotine you get often varies depending on the brand.
“Certain brands have a lot of nicotine in them, but the problem is, is you don’t know because it’s not regulated by the FDA. It’s kind of the wild west,” says Myers.
We asked viewers on Facebook and some say that the use of e-cigs got them off cigarettes.
Basically, if you monitor the amount of nicotine in the e-cigarettes you’re buying, there’s a chance you could slowly ween off smoking traditional cigarettes.
the problem is, the chemicals that they DO contain can be very dangerous, like formaldehyde and heavy metals.
He says there are much better and safer proven options to help you quit – like nicotine gum or the patch.
According to him, this is the bottom line:
“We don’t know enough to deem them safe.”
And until they do, he says he doesn’t recommend electronic cigarettes for anyone.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy – or NRT’s are proven to work – examples of this would be the patch or nicotine gum.
Alternately, non-nicotine meds like Zyban and Chantix, are both approved by FDA.
And if you’d rather go the cold turkey route or just ween off yourself, behavioral support like counseling or self-help books can be a big aid.