Is electronic cigarette a way to give up traditional cigarette smoking? A study has found an association between traditional cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use among adolescents. However, they failed to answer a major public-health question on whether e-cigarettes acted as a gateway to smoking.
The researcher’s aim of the study was to further understand the relationship between e-cigarette use, conventional cigarette use and quitting among US adolescents.
The researchers found that among those who have smoked, adolescents who also used e-cigarettes were less likely to have given up smoking than those who did not use e-cigarettes.
The study was published in JAMA Paediatrics. The National Cancer Institute has funded the study and it was conducted by the University of California San Francisco’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
Study author Lauren Dutra and Stanton Glantz, a prominent opponent of e-cigarettes, said “The use of e-cigarettes does not discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use among US adolescents.”
“While the study draws a correlation between smoking and e-cigarette use, there was no evidence to prove e-cigarettes led to smoking,” said Dr Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health who has spoken publicly in favour of e-cigarettes.
He further added, “The authors seem to have an axe to grind,” he said. “I could equally argue that what this study shows is that people who are heavy smokers are attracted to e-cigarettes because they are looking to quit.”
Electronic cigarettes that are considered as a good way to quit smoking or a better and healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes, are raising concerns among the researchers as they are finding health woes related to it.
How far these e-cigarettes healthy is a matter that needs to be addressed. There’s a little research on how safe they are and their efficiency on kicking the smoking habit is also doubtable.
A survey says more people are giving e-cigarettes a try every day. About one in five adult cigarette smokers in the US had tried electronic cigarettes in 2011, nearly twice as many as in 2010. Sales reached nearly USD 500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to USD 1 billion this year. An estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of adults, in the United States smoke cigarettes.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 440,000 deaths annually.
About 6% of all US adults and 21% of adult smokers said they tried them in 2011, double the 2010 rate, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found six in 10 were aware of them in 2011, up from four in 10 a year earlier.
What is E-Cigarette?
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a smoke-free alternative to the traditional paper cigarette. It is comprised of a liquid cartridge attached to a white cylinder containing a battery. The liquid is a mixture of propylene glycol (a common chemical used in many in food products), vegetable glycerin, flavoring and nicotine. The battery heats the liquid into a vapor that the user inhales. Instead of the tradition term ‘smoking’, having e-cigarettes is called “vaping.”
E- cigarettes range from around USD 10 to as much as USD 70 depending upon the manufacturers. Although prices of the complete set of electronic cigarettes vary, pre-filled liquid cartridges usually cost a few dollars. , These cartridges usually last about as long as a pack of regular cigarettes. Flavoured e-liquid are also available for the vaping lovers at a price ranging from a few dollars to more than USD 10 depending on size.
So far, no sincere research has been carried to trace the health effects of inhaling a nicotine-laced vapour. There’s a lot scientists still don’t know about these modernized method of smoking. These includes the actual chemical exposure that users receive compared with traditional smokers’ intake; the way vaporized nicotine is absorbed by the body; and the effects of secondhand vapour.
The e-liquids themselves are not required to meet any federal standards, although the FDA is expected to exercise its regulatory authority over the products later this year. For now, e-cigarettes are in a gray area and are not regulated as tobacco products or medical devices, even though they share similarities with both product categories.
Approval by the FDA means that a nicotine product, such as a patch or gum, has met standards of safety and effectiveness, said Dr. Anne Joseph, a tobacco researcher at the University of Minnesota. Joseph adds that electronic cigarettes may not be all bad for current tobacco users, with a couple of important caveats: Nonsmokers shouldn’t start, and e-cigarette consumers should use them only with the goal of quitting.