Do e-cigarettes really help people quit smoking? This question has fueled debates among many people, including experts. Is it the ‘cure’ to nicotine addiction or is it an avenue for addiction to develop? A new study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention may shed light on this matter.
When e-cigarettes were introduced in the market, many people thought that experts finally created the solution to help smokers quit and prevent the public from engaging in this deadly habit. E-cigarettes work by heating up a fluid that contains nicotine – the same addictive drug found in regular tobacco and cigarettes. According to the CDC, nearly 48% of tobacco smokers said they tried using e-cigarettes at least once. And among those who recently quit, more than 55% report to have tried the device.
The survey, which involved more than 36,000 US adults, revealed that e-cigarettes are most popular among young adults (ages 18-22). What’s more, among the nonsmokers – nearly 10% of people in that age group had tried e-cigarettes.
Experts say that the research shows that there is an alarming number of young people who never smoked before but are using e-cigarettes. It appears that many young non-smokers experiment on using the devices without thinking that they may get hooked on nicotine in the end.
E-cigarettes make up a booming, billion-dollar industry, and the number of young people using these devices doubled between 2011 and 2012.
This sparks a question then: Are e-cigarettes made to help smokers quit? Or are they intended to encourage more people to smoke through nicotine addiction?
While e-cigarettes are considered ‘less dangerous’ than traditional tobacco products, some experts worry that it remains far from clear how safe the devices are. Scientific studies show no evidence that smoking electronic cigarettes has any health benefits.
Since they contain nicotine, it is very likely that someone who uses e-cigarettes frequently could develop addiction on the said drug. And just like tobacco, when he or she tries to get rid of e-cigarette, the person may experience anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and even symptoms of depression. It is too early to say that e-cigarettes are generally safe due to lack of scientific evidence.
What’s the best way to quit?
Many people try different approaches to quit smoking. And one of them is using e-cigarettes instead. Unfortunately, this device isn’t the best way to ditch the habit for good. Not only it can drive nicotine addiction even further, there is insufficient scientific evidence that it works. There are better and more effective ways to quit smoking. Use of medications, counseling and therapy are among the safer and reliable strategies to try.