Have you noticed people recently still smoking in malls? In restaurants? You probably thought that smoking was banned from these places. However, if you took a closer look, you may have realized that what you saw wasn't a traditional cigarette. It was actually a device called an "e-Cig" (also known as an electronic cigarette). An e-Cig is a cigarette-shaped device containing nicotine or a non-nicotine based liquid. In the e-Cig, a heating element such as a lithium battery vaporizes the liquid substance as you inhale, hence the term "vape." They are used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.
So are you wondering if “vaping” is safer than smoking a cigarette?
There is limited information available today on the environmental issues around the use, second hand exposure or the disposal of electronic cigarettes. The safety of these products has not been confirmed, but research has shown that inhaling second hand vapor can have negative effects on your immune system. Repeated heating and cooling of the battery can also cause an increase in heavy metal absorption. Chronic exposure to these metals can cause lung scarring, rare pneumonias and possible cancer. Also, vapor contents can vary between and within manufacturers – it is not merely water vapor!
Many people have used an electronic cigarette as a way to quit smoking. There is NO evidence that they are better or more effective than the FDA-regulated and approved medications to quit smoking. FDA-approved and regulated medications include Chantix, Wellbutrin, Nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, nicotine inhalers and nasal spray.
Vaping has become more socially accepted and often e-Cigs are a “swap” and not a means to completely stop smoking. If you’ve already started, then STOP. Escape from the vape and quit smoking today! Programs such as Ochsner’s Smoking Cessation Program can help to kick your smoking habit for good.