A clinical trial published in the journal The Lancet on Sept. 7 found electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were just as effective as the nicotine patch for smoking cessation success. The study's results showed more participants quit smoking via e-cigarettes or smoked less compared to participants who used the nicotine patch.
Additionally, the researchers expressed a concern the e-cigarettes may replace traditional tobacco product use by increasing new “recruits” instead of using the product as the recommended cessation device. Unfortunately, these new recruits appear to be teenagers.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sales of e-cigarettes have doubled in middle and high school students during 2011-2012. The use of e-cigarettes among teenagers is a serious concern as the long-term effects of nicotine in a vaporized aerosol is currently unknown.
E-cigarettes emit nicotine vapors (aerosol) in lieu of smoke into the lungs which is assumed to be less of an irritant to smokers. These nicotine vapors also appear to be more environmentally friendly by reducing second-hand smoke caused by traditional cigarettes.
One concern lies in the aerosol use which is directly administered into the lungs. Inhaling vapors/aerosol could pose health risks later on by damaging the lungs in teenagers. The damaging effects may not be noticed until it's too late.
The recent popularity of e-cigarettes amongst teenagers is an indication parents need to discuss the dangers of the seemingly innocuous tobacco product.
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