Keeping my promise to keep you all informed about the latest in e-cigarettes and any research associated with them, I have the following report:
There is still no evidence that e-cigs help patients stop smoking, but the research into this potential benefit continues. Current data tells us that e-cigs are primarily being used by adolescents and young adults and national surveys indicate that e-cigs are now the most widely used tobacco product among high school students, surpassing the use of combustible cigarettes. Interestingly, among 18 to 24 year olds who use e-cigs, 40% also currently use conventional cigarettes and about 40% of that group have never smoked conventional cigarettes. The question to be asked is whether or not this 40% will develop a lifetime addiction to nicotine using e-cigs. The Center for Disease Control has found that 59% of e-cig users are “dualies”, i.e. they use conventional cigarettes in addition to e-cigs. This, of course, reduces the effectiveness of e-cigs as a smoking cessation instrument.
There is little known at this time about the potential impact e-cigs may have on pregnant women. Unlike conventional cigarettes, there is no carbon monoxide delivered by e-cigs, which is positive. However, studies on the effects nicotine has on the developing fetus are concerning. Nicotine causes developmental changes in the brains of the fetus and also in adolescents. Nothing is known about the effects of the other chemicals in e-cig vapor.
My advice on e-cigs remains the same, namely, there has been no proven safety or efficacy.