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Are e-Cigarettes Safer?



The Safety of electronic Cigarettes

Are electronic cigarettes safer to use than traditional cigarettes? Many have asserted in the past several years that using electronic cigarettes is safer than smoking tobacco. It’s been common knowledge for decades that cigarette smoking is harmful and many have searched for a safer alternative. However there is not at this point in time (early 2011) much if any documented scientific evidence to back up any solid conclusions about electronic cigarette safety.

Recently, however, a researcher from the Boston University School of Public Health, Michael Siegel, suggested that smokeless cigarettes are indeed safer than their tobacco counterpart and may be useful in preventing diseases related to tobacco smoking. An article about these conclusions was published by the Journal of Public Health Policy in December 2010 and may be viewed on their website.

The conclusions were made based on the chemicals known to be in electronic cigarettes, stating that few of the chemicals known to be in electronic cigarettes have raised any serious health concerns. According to the report the evidence seems to indicate that electronic cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes even though it has not been scientifically determined that electronic cigarettes are completely safe to use in an absolute sense. It is pointed out, however, that the levels of carcinogenic chemicals in electronic cigarettes are much lower than the levels in tobacco cigarettes.

The health concerns that do exist surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes are not based on evidence that e-cigarettes are actually hazardous to health but on the lack of scientific evaluation supporting their safety. It has not been determined that the use of smokeless cigarettes is indeed harmful to health. However we must remember that nicotine is a highly addictive chemical on its own regardless of how it is administered, and can cause problems when used excessively. But at least the carcinogens and carbon monoxide aren’t as prevalent in the smokeless cigarette.

The report also indicates that there is evidence that e-cigarettes are helpful in suppressing the desire to smoke even better than the nicotine devices currently available because they simulate the actual act of smoking, and tend to suppress the urge to smoke much longer.

Advertisers have claimed far and wide that smokeless cigarettes are safer to use and that they are effective in helping quit the smoking habit. Neither of these claims has been addressed sufficiently with scientific proof. However there seems to be at least some scientific opinion emerging to support these claims.



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