From: Real Clear Science
Posted by Alex B. Berezow
Some things in life are so indisputably true that it is a surprise that anyone disagrees. The safety and efficacy of vaccines, the benefits of GMOs, and the inability of Nicolas Cage to convincingly perform a single role all would be at the top of Captain Obvious’s list. Now, the list has a new entry: Electronic cigarettes produce far more good than harm.
The idea behind e-cigarettes is straightforward. Tobacco cigarettes are bad for you, mostly because of the tar and other toxic chemicals that can lead to cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The addictive component is nicotine, a nervous system stimulant that mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. That is why smokers keep coming back for more; they need the “high” that nicotine delivers.
Though it is a powerful drug, nicotine does not cause cancer or COPD. It is widely assumed that, similar to nicotine patches or other forms of nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigarettes will give smokers an innovative (and fun) way to quit tobacco.