Do Tobacco Classes Help Those Hooked on E-Cigs?

by Mike Miller August 3, 2013

As a recovering nicotine addict and a counselor for tobacco classes I understand how easily one can become addicted to something. This includes activities and even lifestyles, not just chemical substances.

This is the fifth in a series of blogs looking at electronic cigarettes (or e-cigs for those who “smoke” them). Have you ever seen someone using an e-cigarette? The odds are likely that you have. As reported in

As smokers are pushed farther away in social environments e-cigs provide a “smoke-free” way for smokers to get their nicotine fix.

An Entire Industry

They look just like the traditional tobacco cigarette with the yellow part (the cartridge) screwing into the atomizer (the white part). Of course as with most other modern gadgets you can accessorize with your e-cigs. The base can come in any color and they come in many flavors as well. There are also lines of pouches to carry e-cigarettes and the accoutremont that comes with them.

Just How (Un) Healthy Are They?

There are a lot of public health questions surrounding the use of e-cigarettes, but one thing is not in question - they are becoming a popular alternative to tobacco cigarettes. One in 5 smokers in the United States had tried e-cigarettes in 2011 - up from 1 in 10 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

E-cigarettes began appearing in U.S. stores in 2007. They contain fewer hazardous chemicals than tobacco cigarettes but are so new that no long-term studies have been done to determine the health effects both for smokers and those who breathe in the vapors secondhand.

But nicotine, whether from a cigarette or an e-cigarette, is a known addictive agent that is not helpful in any way. Physicians encourage their patients to quit smoking entirely rather than switch to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes still contain toxic chemicals.

It's currently legal to smoke e-cigarettes indoors in many places - although some businesses and local governments.

Companies do not market the product as a smoking cessation tool because that would put it in a category of products, like nicotine gum or patches, both of which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They may work in helping smokers stop. A British study out last month showed that 75 percent of the 1,400 e-cigarette users who responded to a survey said they've entirely replaced tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes.

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