Dr. Hyland of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, has begun to study trends in smoking and tobacco use. Hyland’s study will be one of a few studies that explore the effects of e-cigarettes on public health. Earlier this year, Hyland presented his preliminary findings out of 20,000 participants. 40 percent of current tobacco users reported using two or more tobacco products at a time. Out of those tobacco users, about half also used e-cigs.
The presence of nicotine within regular cigarettes is the main addictive and harmful drug that can lead to a variety of diseases in smokers. Advocates of e-cigs claim that e-cigs are superior to traditional cigarettes, because they do not possess as much nicotine, or in some cases any nicotine. Currently, it is unknown if e-cig use will convert vaporers into smokers of traditional cigarettes. But critics note that nicotine levels vary amongst e-cigarettes, from none at all to almost as much as regular cigarettes. Even the voltage in the e-cig can change the nicotine delivery.
E-cigs work by heating liquid nicotine into a vapor that has less harmful chemicals than traditional cigarettes. Still health officials warn consumers to not consider them harmless, as it is unknown what the long-term effects could be.
Opponents of e-cigs are concerned by a government study in December that revealed that some teens who never smoked regular cigarettes were opting to try e-cigs. They are concerned that e-cigs are becoming as appealing now as traditional cigarettes used to be, and that e-cigs have the potential to be just as addictive.
So far the FDA has proposed a few regulations to calm the fears of health advocates, like banning the sale of e-cigs to minors, a step that a lot of states have already taken.
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