The Truth About E-Cigarettes

2014May30_GenPharma_AWe all know that smoking tobacco cigarettes is bad for your health. It can lead to throat cancer, lung cancer and respiratory infection, among other things. But what about the electronic version?

The e-cigarette craze has taken off in the past few years, as an increasing number of Americans attempt to find alternatives to their traditional cigarette. When e-cigarettes first came to the U.S. market around 2008, they were highly lauded as a healthier and safer option for smokers, but an increasing number of health experts are raising questions about the side effects and risks.

The hot debate about the safety of e-cigarettes has divided experts across the world. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are using e-cigarettes to smoke indoors at restaurants and bars across the United States. Before you pick up an e-cigarette or sit across from a friend that’s using one, make sure you know the facts.

Here are 8 things you need to know about electronic cigarettes.

#1: The basic differences.

E-cigarettes resemble tobacco cigarettes, but they don’t need to be lit with a match and they do not emit any odor. They are battery-powered, with a vaporization chamber and a cartridge filled with nicotine liquid. Puffing on an e-cigarette heats up the liquid and changes it to vapor, which quickly disappears when it hits the air. That’s why the practice of smoking an e-cigarette is often called vaping.

Although e-cigarettes are offered in various flavors such as strawberry, caramel, bubble gum and ice cream flavors, they are not any more suitable for young people than traditional tobacco cigarettes. In fact, they are off limits to those under 18 years of age and the government is cracking down on the enforcement of age restrictions.

#2: Safety concerns and unknown risks.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other health experts have expressed concerns about side effects for e-cigarette smokers, as well as people around them. Other concerns include the lack of quality control and the fact that they’re addictive.

With traditional tobacco cigarettes, risks to those around are known, but electronic cigarettes have yet to be thoroughly studied. The long-term risks and effects of secondhand smoke are still unknown. In some countries such as Mexico, Australia, Canada and Israel, e-cigarettes have been banned. In major U.S. cities including New York and Chicago, a ban has been placed on e-cigarette smoking in public places where regular cigarettes are not allowed.

#3: The difference in cost.

E-cigarettes come with different price tags depending on the brand, style and model. Complete starter kits with several cartridges are available for about $60 to $150. There is the option of buying the liquid in bulk and refilling cartridges at home but e-cigarettes are still expensive.

The cost rises even higher when you consider that e-cigarettes require maintenance. The battery must be regularly charged and replaced from time to time depending on the quality of the battery and the device. The liquid also needs to be topped off frequently. On average, the price of one cartridge is typically equal to a pack of tobacco cigarettes.

We take the health of our patients and community very seriously. If you would like to quit smoking and need help, we may be able to provide helpful advice. If you have questions about e-cigarettes, please don’t hesitate to ask. Visit [company_short] to speak with a pharmacy staff member today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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