Editor’s Note: The issue is not wheher e-cigs are safe but whether they are safer than cigarettes. Nothing in the following article suggests that e-cigs are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as an ‘E-Cig,’ is a cigarette substitute that administers nicotine in the form of vapor.
“Electronic cigarettes are relatively new,” said Mike Goldsby of the Department of Health and Human Services. “They came from China in 2007 as a novelty, so they haven’t really been studied.”
So, is it safe?
“People mistakenly believe that lung cancer comes from the tar, is the only health risk associated with nicotine,” Goldsby said. “But nicotine has a number of risks, including cardiovascular risks.”
A study conducted at the University of Athens in Greece showed short-term effects of people using the e-cigarette.
The study had 32 people smoke e-cigarettes for 10 minutes. The result was blood absorbing less oxygen.
Diana Singleton used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit smoking.
“I did try it and it hurt my lungs,” Singleton said. “Now I’m in a cigarette store, buying cigarettes, because it didn’t work.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve e-cigarettes as a device to help quit smoking, but Robert Soos, the store manager at Cigarettes Cheaper in Eureka says he has heard of success stories.
“I’ve had a couple customers just in the 6 months I’ve worked here, successfully quit smoking,” Soos said.
Goldsby says a safe, alternative way of quitting tobacco is contacting the American Cancer Society and going through their program.
But Singleton says for her, that will come with time.
“When a person is ready to quit, they’re ready to quit,” Singleton said.