Electronic cigarettes are often thought to be safer than cigarettes because they don’t contain the tar and chemicals of tobacco. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all smokers who want to quit have tried e-cigarettes because their resemblance to cigarettes is believed to make quitting easier. But how safe are they really?
Dr. Mark Eisenberg, a CIHR-funded researcher from McGill University, is working on the first Canadian study on the use of e-cigarettes to aid smoking cessation.
A document of the America Heart Association. 2014, Eisenberg, Mark, Electronic Cigarettes in North America says: “Designed to mimic the look and feel of tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may facilitate smoking cessation. However, the efficacy and safety of e-cigarette use for this purpose remain poorly understood. Our objectives were to review the available data on the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and to consider issues relevant to the context in which they are used, including product awareness and regulatory and ethical concerns.”
“Smoking-related diseases contribute to the death of >480 000 North Americans each year, creating a heavy economic burden on both the Canadian and US healthcare systems. An estimated 52.9 million people (or 18.0% of adults ≥18 years of age) in North America currently smoke cigarettes.Smoking cessation has been shown to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease by 50% after 1 year of abstinence and the risk of lung cancer by ≈50% after 10 years of abstinence.”
The article added:” Most brands odf e-cigaretts are marketed as lower-cost, tobacco-free alternatives to conventional cigarettes that are not subject to regular smoking laws and thus can be used in typically nonsmoking areas. Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits e-cigarettes to be sold under the auspices of tobacco products rather than as drugs or devices, it does not permit e-cigarettes to be marketed for therapeutic purposes such as smoking cessation.
Nevertheless, research evidence suggests that smokers are attempting to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. A survey of >10 000 adults reported that, of US smokers motivated to quit within the next 6 months, almost half had tried e-cigarettes. – CNW