Abstract and Introduction
Tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. In just a few short years, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have become increasingly popular, especially for younger individuals. Many people believe that e-cigarettes are safe. The inhaled aerosols of e-cigarettes contain numerous potential toxicities, some of which could be dangerous for health with long-term use. The safety of prolonged aerosol exposure is not known. The use of e-cigarettes as a harm-reduction tool at stopping tobacco smoking is not uniformly successful. E-cigarettes may be safer than tobacco products, but repeated prolonged exposure to their aerosols has its own considerable potential risk. The long-term health consequences of their use remain to be established. Physicians should vigorously discourage the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco products, with special emphasis on abstinence for younger people and during pregnancy or lactation.
Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Substances present in tobacco cigarette smoke such as arsenic, lead, benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are established as toxic to human health. In the United States, the incidence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) consumption has increased dramatically, and health concerns focus especially on young people. Approximately 70% of smokers want to quit using tobacco products; however, only 32% use effective methods. There are a wide variety of ways to quit cigarette smoking; using willpower to stop is one method. There also are nicotine replacement strategies, pharmacotherapies, support systems, and behavioral or psychological interventions.
E-cigarette use is an increasingly popular approach that numerous people try to stop smoking. Although helpful for many of them, e-cigarettes, as a harm-reduction technique to stop tobacco, are not universally effective; nevertheless, for certain individuals they can be a successful means toward cessation. Unfortunately, some smokers subsequently use both products with the collective risks induced by co-utilization. There is uncertainty about long-term e-cigarette health effects. Only after years of experience and more research will the true health consequences of inhaling e-cigarette aerosols be understood.
South Med J. 2018;111(1):35-38. © 2018 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins