Jan 212010

Smoking Health Risks

According to many researchers and others as well, smokeless cigarettes are, without question, less harmful than tobacco smoking.

It is common knowledge that diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema are just a couple of the ailments that are prevalent among tobacco cigarette smokers. But what is not so commonly known is that now smokers have a safer alternative to tobacco smoking using the ‘electronic cigarette’ (vaping).

tobacco cigarettes,smokeless cigarette
Tobacco Plant

The electronic smokeless cigarette (also called electronic smokes, ecigarettes, the electric cigarette, ecigs, etc), though perhaps not as safe as quitting smoking altogether, is still not as unhealthy as tobacco cigarettes are. Millions of smokers agree that it’s wonderful to finally have a choice when it comes to their smoking addiction.

The way the ecigarette works is, you simply charge up your electronic cigarette battery, which looks very similar to a traditional cigarette, and instead of inhaling the more deadly toxins that a normal cigarette has in them, the ‘smoke’ that is emitted from the e-cigarette is actually just flavored water vapor that contains liquid nicotine, and is harmless to those around you.

Family members of smokers who are concerned about second hand smoke may find this option a lot more tolerable. Some smokers see the smokeless cigarette as a much more effective way to ‘quit’ smoking forever as it gives them the feeling that they’re still actually smoking, even though they’re not inhaling the same harmful chemicals as they were with regular cigarettes.

The smokeless cigarette can be purchased without nicotine, but the FDA frowns upon the ones that do contain it because the nicotine can have negative side effects to one’s health. And while it is true that nicotine is of course not a healthy substance in general, the FDA seems to be ignoring some important facts when it comes to the electronic smokeless cigarette, such as the fact that they don’t have any of the other chemicals found in traditional cigarettes, nor do they create harmful second hand smoke.

And what about nicotine gums and patches? These products contain nicotine, yet they are widely used by people trying to quit smoking. There’s no question in my mind that many people’s lives could be spared if the smokeless cigarette was more widely marketed.

Is Vaping Harmful?

According to an article on WFAE 90.7fm, Boston University’s School Of Public Health professor, Dr. Michael Siegel, stated: “It boggles my mind why public health agencies, including anti-smoking groups, would want to take this product off the market because of concerns that there is some, very small, hypothetical risk that this product could be doing harm.”

Siegel says the research he’s seen on e-cigarettes shows they’re safer than traditional cigarettes, and he thinks they’re perfect for people who have tried but can’t stop smoking tobacco. He says if the FDA someday bans products like Blu, then it’s doing so only for political reasons. (NOTE: Dr. Siegel was talking specifically about blu cigs electronic cigarettes in this article.)

“Here you have a product, tobacco products, which kill 400,000 people a year, we know they kill 400,000 people a year,” he says. “There’s no need for testing. They’ve already been tested. Yet, here’s a product that’s helping to keep people off the deadly one, and they’re talking about possibly taking it off the market.”

In the same article, Dr. Thomas Stern, who treats emphysema patients at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte noted that: “an e-cigarette is the best stop-smoking tool he’s seen because it addresses two issues: One is the nicotine replacement issue, and then the other is (the) behavioral issue. The gums, the patches, the inhalers do not have the same feel, look, quality of the device so that it would help with the behavioral aspects of smoking cessation.”

If you are concerned over the effects that nicotine in the electronic cigarette might have on your health, and you’re willing to give up the nicotine habit and just go through the motions of smoking, electronic cigarettes can be purchased with just flavor cartridges that have no nicotine in them. That way, you can enjoy the pleasures of ‘smoking’ with no nicotine or harmful chemicals.

In the end though, if you’re one of the many people who are trying to stop smoking, the fact that the ecigarette uses a nicotine cartridge will not likely be that much of a concern because you know that all other alternatives to help you stop smoking – gum, patches, etc., with the exception of going cold turkey, also involve the use of nicotine in some form. And, as stated before, while nicotine may not be good for you, it still isn’t as harmful to your health as tobacco.

I feel like everybody, smokers in particular, should question why a government body such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which was set up with the goal of helping people to stay healthy or get healthier, would frown on something like the electronic smokeless cigarette that is a much healthier alternative to smoking. Doesn’t it make you wonder what the FDA is thinking, or if they really have people’s best interests at heart?

Photo By jcolosso