This blog was written by Kara Shipman. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
As a part of my profession and my lifestyle, I have personally chosen not to smoke, and I encourage others not to smoke. As a nonsmoker and fitness professional in a corporate fitness center, the word E-Cigarette was completely foreign to me until about a month ago.
Are E-Cigarettes a Smoking-Cessation Aid?
After reviewing some of the claims and benefits on numerous E-Cigarette websites, it is not a tobacco-cessation aid as I originally thought. The product is marketed as an alternative to the very dangerous nicotine–, tar–, and carbon monoxide–containing cigarette.
What Is an E-Cigarette?
The electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that looks, feels, and tastes like a traditional cigarette. It mimics the mechanical motions that smokers get so used to doing. It even emits a smokeless vapor. According to E-Cigarettes Choice, the vapor is “a result from the heating up or atomizing of the liquid inside the cartridge.” The more challenging information to find is what exactly composes the liquid.
What's in an E-Cigarette?
None of the sites selling the electronic cigarette fails to mention the thousands of additives and chemicals from cigarettes that they don’t contain. But hardly any of them actually mentions what they do contain. Of the products that do list the ingredients, with a few variations in between, the liquid seems to be composed of nicotine, water, and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is commonly found in antifreeze, hand sanitizers, cosmetics, and certain medications.
So is this better than smoking a traditional cigarette? According to TobaccoHarmReduction.org, the answer is yes. Because the product is fairly new, there are few studies on the short- or long-term effects of its use. This organization is basing its answer on the proven fact that real cigarette smoking is so harmful, and “almost anything is certain to be safer.” The overall cost and detrimental health effects so far seem to be less. The key words here are so far.
Benefits of Tobacco Cessation Outweigh Benefits of E-Cigarettes
Some of the main points manufacturers use to sell the product include “no more standing outside in the cold; no more lost productivity, cigarette butts, secondhand smoke, or smoker’s breath.” Oddly enough, these along with others are the same benefits you would experience if you just quit smoking completely.
I see picking up electronic cigarettes as trading one addiction for the other. And with so few studies, why take the risk? Why not just avoid the risk of detrimental effects, save the money, and quit altogether? As we all know, smoking is an addiction, and it’s not easy to quit. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone. If you need help quitting, visit Smoke Free to find what works best for you.