Malcolm Thaler, MD

Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

Electronic Cigarette

Electronic cigarettes–aka e-cigarettes–are devices that deliver nicotine in vapor form to users via a simple battery-powered system. Electronic cigarettes look like real cigarettes, and some even have an illuminated tip! The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes promote the devices as alternatives to conventional cigarettes and as smoking cessation tools.

What’s the point of electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes were created to provide smokers with another tool to help wean them off tobacco products and eventually stop smoking. Nicotine is the main addictive component in tobacco. So, just like the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, electronic cigarettes should satisfy smokers’ cravings and allow them to stop using tobacco products, which contain many toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in addition to nicotine.

Electronic cigarettes might–theoretically–prove more effective than other forms of nicotine replacement because they more closely mimic the act of smoking, and thus serve as a more lifelike substitute. However, although research has shown that electronic cigarettes can help people stop smoking, there haven’t been any head-to-head comparisons with other forms of nicotine replacement in large populations.

So electronic cigarettes are a good thing, right?

Not so fast. The FDA highlights the following safety concerns with regard to electronic cigarettes:

  • Electronic cigarettes have been associated with dry cough, and mouth and throat irritation.
  • Electronic cigarettes may reduce lung function according to some studies, although other studies haven’t found a substantial effect.
  • After analyzing the delivery cartridges in electronic cigarettes, the FDA found amounts of at least two well-known cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Electronic cigarettes can cause a large rise in the blood level of nicotine, and nicotine isn’t entirely harmless; besides being addictive, it can raise the heart rate and blood pressure and damage small blood vessels, such as the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.
  • No study has yet adequately assessed the long-term safety of electronic cigarettes.

Are there other concerns about electronic cigarettes?

Yes. The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes market them to young people, putting them at risk for developing a nicotine addiction that could lead to eventual tobacco use. Electronic cigarettes are produced in a variety of flavors–including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mint–that are meant to appeal to adolescents. Currently, electronic cigarettes can be sold without age restrictions, and they don’t require warning labels.

What if I use electronic cigarettes only recreationally?

We discourage everyone–particularly young people–from using electronic cigarettes as a recreational drug. We don’t know their long-term safety, and nicotine addiction is a real concern.

So what’s the best option if I want to quit smoking?

If you want to stop smoking, there are alternatives whose efficacy and side effects are better understood. These range from forms of nicotine replacement, to prescription medications, to interventions such as behavioral therapy. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking on your own, talk to your primary care physician, who will be delighted to help you sort through the alternatives and come up with a plan that best suits your needs.

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comments:

  1. Ryan Mitchell says:

    I have studied e-cigarettes extensively, reading the firsthand studies, and medical literature surrounding them. This is (not by far, but by a debatable margin) the most biased, unscientific, and “fear-mongering” article I have ever read on the subject. Using the techniques the author used in this article, you could make anything — flip flops, home aquariums, dairy products — sound like a veritable public menace.

    • Hi Ryan, Thanks so much for your input. This article is a report on the new literature about electronic cigarettes, and the FDA assessment. I stand by the conclusion–we don’t know enough about electronic cigarettes, particularly their long-term safety—so the best option for quitting smoking is to try other better-studied options first.

      E-cigarettes being a gateway to tobacco use for young people is a reasonable concern. It’s how medicine should be practiced – “first do no harm.” From your response, I gather you’ve tried e-cigarettes or know someone who has. I’d love to get your feedback on how it went. Again, thanks for taking the time to respond!

      Malcolm Thaler, M.D.
      Clinical Editor
      One Medical Group

      • Larry Weikle says:

        I’d be curious to find out what (if any) studies show for those like myself who are an ex-smoker, who’s switched to a personal vaperizor (e-cigarette like) in which has a ZERO nicotine level. I now only use my vap on occasions in which would trigger my desire for a cigarette (stress, going out to a bar, long distance driving) for my personal triggers.

        Is quitting smoking better then vaping, yes. But I think vaping even with 2 cancer causing agents are better then smoknig. If treated as a stepping stone I think vaping can be a positive alternative.

      • Ryan Mitchell says:

        I, and about a dozen of my friends, regularly use e-cigarettes, as well as cigarettes off and on, in various combinations (some people I know use e-cigarettes exclusively, some smoke on weekend nights and use e-cigarettes normally, some smoke only once in a while and use e-cigarettes occasionally, etc.)

        My main issue with the blog post is the use of phrases like “FDA found amounts of at least two well-known cancer-causing chemicals.”
        “Cancer-causing chemicals” can be found in just about anything, at least in trace amounts. Without saying what the chemicals are (and/or what their level of toxicity is) how many samples they were found in, the amount found in the samples, if they’re still being used commercially, what they’re purpose is, etc. you’re falsely leading the reader to believe that e-cigarettes are inherently dangerous to as great a degree as their imagination allows.

        By using this, and other leading phrases, you’re using your clout as a medical professional to warn readers against using e-cigarettes, which may be a great smoking alternative for them. You should absolutely point out that there isn’t sufficient research to decide either way, but, again there isn’t sufficient research to make decisions on dozens of life choices we make every day. In absence of research, common sense and a thoughtful, informed analysis should be used to inform (which this article does not provide) and ultimately help the reader to make their own decision.

        Although I no longer smoke, and was never addicted to cigarettes (at least not physically — I would often go days without smoking, but found it to be a pleasant social activity), several of my friends say that e-cigarettes were really the only thing that could get them to quit (or even to *want* to quit — offering a smoking-like alternative may convince people to make the switch who haven’t seriously considered quitting before)

        E-cigarettes are so fundamentally different from any other smoking cessation aid out there, to try and say “you shouldn’t do that, you should use the patch/gum/therapy” is like telling a fast food junkie that it’s “steamed vegetables and lean chicken or nothing.”

        On a more more practical note about my experience with e-cigarettes, if you’re curious — The nicotine in the e-cigarette gives a slight buzz and feeling of calm/ease of concentration, similar to smoking, although it does not give as much of a buzz/slight “high” feeling (that “first cigarette of the day” sort of feeling) like a regular cigarette would. I’ve heard that this is because of a lack of tar and other additional chemicals, although I’ve never bothered to find out.

        I have had some experience with throat irritation, partly because of the flavorings (mint e-cigarettes obviously aren’t great — like breathing in Vicks Vaporub), but some of it is also obviously because of the nicotine. I’ve had similar mouth/throat irritation with nicotine gum and, to a much greater degree, with cigarettes.

        • spirited says:

          Hi ,i have read some of comments. I want too quit! I tried gum, patch’s still did not help! I have very bad nerves and lost my 28 yr old son! That really made it harder. He was my world! I developed chronic broncitis, and i have A fib. Anyone that does not know what this is google it. Fibbing of heart ect! Freaky like panic attacks that i have. Ciggs make it worse BUT I STILL SMOKE!I ADK MY DR. TOO FOR HELP SHE DID NOT HERE ME. PISSED ME OFF. So i went too e cig! After reading the
          dangers i am not sure if that was the best choice! However the e cig caused throat irr server pain in my back and chest! Spitting up mucus. Nasty! Why cant i just stop? Any? I advise you that can DO NOT DO EITHER IS IT WORTH IT? Later on we will find out that e
          cig is killing and there will be law suits. But dying loved ones. So i ask you is it worth taking that 50/50 chance with our lifes? Think about it. God bless. I care do you!

      • Melanie says:

        When my husband tried “the patch” he became violently ill. Earlier this year he decided to try the e cigarette. He stopped actually smoking but had a near fatal stroke within just 4 months of starting them. I truly believe there should have been more research done before they were available to the public.

        • Tyler says:

          Melanie,
          Your husband could have had a stroke due to the drastic change in nicotine amounts. Cogarettes contain way more nicotine than e cigs. It’s like being a total alcoholic for years and then just quitting all of a sudden. You would start sweating excessively and shaking and be really I’ll for a long time because your body and mind relied on the alcohol so much. Just my personal opinion. I currently smoke vape pens with 0 nicotine and all it is, is water vapor with flavor and I don’t see how that can be as harmful or anywhere close to cigarettes. When we break the natural air outside their are probably chemicals that can cause cancer and the foods we eat everyday could even have chemicals that cause cancer so what I think is its hard to avoid. Either your going to get it or your not. Just depends what cards you were dealt at that point. But that being said I understand that some things could make you develope cancer a lot easier and quicker than others. Water vapor and glycerine and some other things in the vape juice can’t he that bad for you honestly. I look at it as when you take a hot shower and your breathing in the hot steam, that can actually be good for a lot of things

        • Tiffany says:

          I’m sorry for the stroke your husband had but to say that he had the stroke because of E-Cigs is as ridiculous as it is ignorant.

      • Gerald, DNP says:

        Actually, Dr., this is definitely a biased article, in that you neglected to mention certain important facts.

        The research you mention – without citation, I might add – by the FDA was one small study with a tiny cohort. The chemicals found were in some cartridges from a less than reputable supplier in China. Further testing and research of many other “brands” revealed no such chemicals.

        Furthermore, we already know that no other effective means to quit smoking exists. Chantix reduces relapse by about 34% max, and often causes increased aggression, suicidality, and mood lability in my patients. Wellbutrin/Zyban is almost entirely placebo. The nicotine patch and gum research is flawed due to the fact that it CANNOT be double-blinded; no participant is NOT going to be aware they are getting the actual nicotine.

        Finally, the statement that the various flavors have something to do with enticing teens is entirely without merit or evidence. In fact, the research shows that teen smoking has indeed gone up – but with regular cigarettes, NOT e-cigarettes.

        Please ensure that you do your research and due diligence, rather than propagating invalid data which is currently available. The only point which we can all agree upon is that further study is needed.

      • Lisa Staton says:

        Sure. We all know how safe Chantix is.
        And as for the other options, patch, gum, and other jokes out there that has not worked…
        Let’s just prescribe medicine. That’ always seems to be the answer. Got to keep the pharmaceutical companies and Doctors happy and in jobs.
        Everyone I know who has used an electronic cigarette has quit or cut down so low, they might as well quit. Nothing I know of besides the ecig helps.
        Hypnosis works but the cost of that is high. I know, That is how I became a non smoker.

        And in my state…you can’t buy the ecigs unless you are 18. Same age as cigarettes.

      • Karen says:

        I would like to say I bought an E-cig last Friday and it helps you not want to smoke ! People try to talk them down . But I think they can really help people stop smoking in a short period of time ! I started out with high nicotine and did not like so I have zero nicotine in just five days time. People try to offer me a cigg but I have the strength to say no! I think if people buy E-cigs to help them quit it will work !!!

    • Rose Bult says:

      Ms. Mitchell, your criticism is unjustified and unsubstantiated. What “techniques” are you referring to?

    • HudsonHawk says:

      Even though it’s the web, what has happened to rigorous footnoting of articles and substantiating proof? I’d like to read those “studies” but there is no link and I just have to take it on trust that you’ve correctly summarized their results. That’s the problem with the web – everyone’s an ‘expert’ and no doubt while there is truth to a lot of this – I’d like to see proof!

      Back it up!

      • Hi there,

        Here are the links to:
        - The study on adolescents and the appeal of e-cigarettes: http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X%2812%2900409-0/fulltext
        - The short-term side effects of electronic cigarettes: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08958378.2012.758197

        And, of course, there are no links on long-term effects because these studies haven’t been done yet. Thanks for your question.

        Malcolm Thaler, M.D.
        Clinical Editor
        One Medical Group

        • Don Pickard says:

          Reading the jahonline article, a couple of things spring to mind. One, though there’s a reference to marketing to youth, the most critical aspect of a person’s likelihood of trying ecigs is not the flavor, but their current status as a smoker. It should not be assumed that providing nicotine in various flavors is a specific marketing ploy to young people. I can assure you that many adult users of ecigs really do appreciate the ability to avoid the taste / smell of tobacco.

          I agree that companies should not be targetting youth for ecigs, but then I’m not actually seeing much of this activity. Knowning the nature of corporate marketting, it will likely be a problem that should / will be addressed in the future.

          Let me make this one point, though, when it comes to marketing smoking to youth, there’s no greater marketer than the parents of those youth, particularly as the children are picking up so much second hand smoke over many years. So, note this as a single positive point to the ecig; though there is second hand vapor involved, and that vapor will contain some addictive nicotine, because the vapor is produced only on the drag-exhale, as opposed to a constantly burning cigarette, there will be much less environmental contamination from the ecig as from the smoke.

          In the end, yes, I believe that your article was biased against the ecig, and in the end, I think it will be conclusively demonstrated that where nicotive addiction is still a health risk, the delivery of that nicotine via vapor vs via smoke wins the health-impact battle hands down.

        • Logix says:

          Well here I am, breath better, lungs are cleared from my Dr. Much fitter, stronger, smell nicer, no more smokers cough, run for miles. 9 Years, Ecig user.

          This debate is over. I’d still use Ecigs if there were 3999 cancer causing chemicals in them, that’s still one less than my analogs.

    • Clive says:

      e-cigarettes are just another way of keeping you addicted to nicotine. Only one way to stop nicotine addiction. Cold Turkey. Don’t replace nicotine intake from one device to another device, no matter how safe you believe it’s delivery method is. At the end of the day, unless you can cut your nicotine intake to ZERO, you are an addict. Nearly 100% of long term people who leave nicotine dependency, do it cold turkey. It sounds daunting but in the end it’s the easiest and quickest way of stopping your nicotine dependency. If you are trying to make yourself feel better that your chosen nicotine intake method is better than some one else’s, you are fooling yourself. Just stop any nicotine intake… start today… you’ll never regret it… end of story.

      • Logix says:

        Isn’t that funny, because I now vape 0mg juice.

        2 packs a day, 17 year smoker. Tried everything for 15 years to stop. What worked? ECIGS! Worked…

        Started on 24mg juice for 2 weeks, then to 18, 12, 6, then ZERO…

        THANK YOU ECIGS FOR SAVING MY LIFE AND THE LOVED ONES AROUND ME!

        • judy says:

          In forty years I have been unable to quit smoking. Recently I purchased an e-vaporizer. I have had five cigarettes in a month and am now two weeks without any cigarettes. Yes my lungs feel better, the crackles are gone and almost zero coughing. I attribute my small amount of coughing now to my .lungs healing and clearing out the forty years of trash. I am also on a cessation plan. This has been a miracle in my life, to no longer smell like an ashtray, cough like I have TB and just overall feeling better about myself personally. Thank you e-cigs

      • Ray says:

        I smoke eCigs with 0 Nicotine for almost two years I smoked cigarettes for over 35 years I only buy the eJuice from known sources and know what is in it. I smoke now (eCigs 0 Nicotine) because I want to not because I need to………
        I have tried every conceivable way to kick the smoking habit (real cigarettes) and yes Chantix as well (three times) didn’t work but (but I started enjoying the nightmares)…….. so eCigarettes and 0 nicotine is the answer………..

  2. D. Douglas Gilstrap says:

    I tend to agree with Ryan, some very leading and well worn comments are in this article, as well as Dr. Thaler’s reference of gateway to the real tobacco, really? I never followed that path to destruction, and I had used the e cig route for months, switching to the larger and more powerful vaporizers and started mixing my own flavors. Now, let me say, I do not believe that they are perfectly safe. I was really enjoying my latest mix one evening, a relaxing vape, and later fell fast asleep. Then the next morning I awoke to the discovery of a stroke. I am medically trained and teach for the AHA, so, I knew what was going on. The stroke hit my speech center and I lost the ability to talk for some time. I am now fully recovered, however, I suspect that the e cig may have had something to do with my event. Again, I don’t know that for a fact, but it needs to be further investigated. I still believe that the e cigerette substitute is less harmful, however, I’ll skip the real deal and the e version opting for clean air. The pharma solution is really a very bad idea, a powerful and dangerous drug, I would much rather have the nicotine.

  3. D. Douglas Gilstrap says:

    To be sure, I mean no disrespect of Dr. Thaler’s writing, I just disagree with the usual assumptions, however, agree with his take on the need for study, even to the point I have had some conversation with friends at Duke Medical about this need, however, we collectively have no funding for such a study, nor is it likely to come from the tobacco lobby. Inhaling a solution, largely unknown or un disclosed, makes me nervous.

    And a couple of additional thoughts, the majority bulk solution in many if not all of the vaporizing cigarettes seems to be Propylene Glycol, which is toxic or non-toxic depending on who you ask. The FDA loves it, (well, it is a chemical), and one of it’s manufacturers, as stated below, apparently does not think it appropriate for inhalation. Well, it de-ices jets well and seems to make a good antifreeze. Our food industry uses tons of it and phama loves it as well.
    “It is therefore recommended that propylene glycol not be used in applications where inhalation exposure or human eye contact with the spray mists of these materials is likely, such as fogs for theatrical productions or antifreeze solutions for emergency eye wash stations” A statement from : “DOW: Product Safety Assessment (PSA): Propylene Glycol”

    What do you think?

    • Hi Douglas,

      First of all, and most importantly, I hope you have recovered from the stroke. You’re right that it’s impossible to know for sure if e-cigarettes was the cause, but nicotine can raise blood pressure, heart rate, etc. that can predispose to a stroke. As for your question on propylene glycol, I share your concerns. The FDA did–as you mentioned–“cleared” it because no studies have found any significant toxicity to date and but hasn’t been proven to be safe–we know it can be toxic. Here is an excerpt from an article in the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry about one case of propylene glycol poisoning from IV medications:

      Propylene glycol is a common solvent used in many intravenous preparations and should be considered in cases of unexplained metabolic acidosis, particularly where there is concomitant hepatic and renal dysfunction. The clinical manifestations of propylene glycol poisoning are as non-specific as the metabolic derangement it causes. Stopping the infusion or switching to an alternative drug without propylene glycol usually resolves the toxic effects within 24 h. Judicious use of known intravenous medications containing propylene glycol is the best way to avoid this complication.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful analysis, and I sincerely hope you are doing well now, off cigarettes of any kind!

      Malcolm Thaler, M.D.
      Clinical Editor
      One Medical Group

    • M. Chisolm says:

      There are two types of Propylene Glycol. Pharmaceutical Grade and Industrial Grade. Pharmaceutical Grade is utilized in ALL e-cigs if shopping at a reputable dealer. Industrial Grade is utilized in applications for DE-icing planes or your radiator in a vehicle.

      We all have been utilizing Pharmaceutical Grade Propylene Glycol approved by the FDA for the last 50yrs. The Pharmaceutical Grade is in thousands of products we buy everyday off the shelf in grocery stores. (read the labels) Yes it is even in your toothpaste.

      The tobacco industry, makers of patches, gums and the like are very worried about their market share. Even people working for the FDA worked in these corporations for years and they go back n forth during their careers.

      E-Cigs are the Smart Alternative to getting off tobacco products well known to kill people. You find your current strength of nicotine, work your way down to the smallest milligrams over a period of time then your free! It has worked for millions of Americans whom WANT to quit. Everything else out there on the market to quit smoking is too expensive with too many side effects. The industry knows this and are well on their way to protect their investments. Its too bad a new hammer is out on the market that actually works, affordable, easy to use then having to cost a fortune, wreck your health, and empty your wallet. Every time the FDA gets involved in anything, they are only looking out for the corporations with the most money. It is why they are constantly in court costing tax payers billions when they should just STFU. So think about what the FDA has approved in thousands of products, you may find more cancer causing agents in your toothpaste alone.

  4. D. Douglas Gilstrap says:

    Only one more short post, possibly a positive note for propylene glycol is that it is widely used as a drug delivery method as is this article. However, as you can probably tell, I suspect many kinds of chemicals widely used in the pharmaceutical business are not so benign as we have been led to believe .
    Look it up and enjoy

    Preclinical safety evaluation of inhaled cyclosporine in propylene glycol

    • Donna Lewis says:

      PG is used for astmatic inhalers also and has for years. The FDA also took their test from a e-liquid juice from China! The 3 – 4 ingrediants that are present in e-liquid are also found in cigarettes, PG, VG, and nicotine. Nicotine does not produce any disease, it may constrict in the slightest form, I have been vaping for 9 months and have no effects at all. Every Doctor should educate on the only device that really does work. The wonderful FDA wants to ban it, but cigarettes are approved!!

  5. Crystal says:

    Why does everyone think that flavors are appealing to the young? ” Electronic cigarettes are produced in a variety of flavors—including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mint—that are meant to appeal to adolescents.”

    Doe we lose our taste buds when we reach 18? Adults don’t like strawberry, vanilla, etc? Have you seen all the flavors available in alcohol now? If adults don’t like flavors, these flavored alcohol products wouldn’t be selling and the companies would quit making it due to poor profits.

    “Electronic cigarettes can cause a large rise in the blood level of nicotine, and nicotine isn’t entirely harmless; besides being addictive, it can raise the heart rate and blood pressure and damage small blood vessels, such as the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.” Cigarettes and nicotine replacements contain nicotine, so don’t they do the same thing as electronic cigarettes? Are you saying that only electronic cigarette nicotine causes these results? I find that very unlikely.

    • Hi Crystal

      Both great comments. I know I still crave chocolate after all these years! We know that taste preferences change over time, and younger people are predisposed to liking sweeter flavors. As for the nicotine comment, you’re right on. The concern is if kids get used to inhaling nicotine in a cigarette-like form, they could be more likely easily to switch to the real thing, even if it doesn’t taste like a chocolate cookie.

      Malcolm Thaler, M.D.
      Clinical Editor
      One Medical Group

  6. Adam Morse says:

    I have personally been using e-cigarettes for about eight months. I have noticed many changes including better breathing, an enhanced sense of smell, better sense of taste, no cigarette “hangovers” and even a sense of disgust towards the smell of smoke on smokers. My wife has quit smoking using e-cigarettes, and I now feel confidence that I can as well.

    I do not agree with your take that various flavors will entice the younger crowd, mostly because the cost is well beyond the range of what a 16 or 17 year-old can first shell out for the package. A single “disposable” e-cig retails for nearly ten dollars in most places around here. (The flavor of most of those products is pretty bad.) Additionally, just a small bottle (12 mg.) of the juice is around 12 dollars. The cartridge can hold up to a day’s worth of “vaping”, while the small bottle can last a few days.

    The cost savings and real variety comes from ordering online. Obviously, 16 and 17 year olds cannot own credit cards and cannot enjoy these savings and flavors.

    I smoked for more than 35 years, even through many cluster headache episodes which a neurologist told me were most likely caused by smoking. I have tried patches, gum, cold turkey, and even inhalers (a nicotine liquid in a cartridge which was “smoked” in a device that looked just like a cigarette holder..hey…wait a minute…) While I understand that you may have to urge caution, I would not dismiss e-cigarettes out of hand. There may well be consequences down the road from using these devices, but there is a far greater benefit from quitting smoking where no other method has worked.

  7. Jaclyn Schmidt says:

    I am SO happy with my e cig! I have been smoking for 15 years and have tried unsuccessfully to quit many times using smoking cessation products. The side effects of some of these were enough to drive me back to smoking. I’ve had my e cig 9 days and have had 4 cigarettes. I can’t even light one anymore without thinking how disgusting it is. I wouldn’t have even tried the vapor had it not been strawberry or chocolate. If it were cigarette flavored why not just smoke a cigarette? I have recently replaced many doctor prescribed medications with vitamins and minerals. I have a deep distrust of the pharm companies. I feel it’s big business and big money and many articles I’ve read against the e cig reek of a pharm company desperate to sell more Chantix
    What’s the side effect list on that? Look it up, it’s as scary as most prescription medications. I have converted other smokers to vaping and will keep doing so!

  8. Patrick Champa says:

    Thank you Ryan for starting it off right. No body is ever going to be happy with anything any one does. And fear mongering sites like this will knock anything. Milk, LED lights, and instant coffee will kill us all.

    No where on any ecig box or package that I purchased did it say it was mean to be used as a aid to stop smoking, most in fact urged against it. Kids will smoke anything no matter the flavor. Come on, it some kid teen or tween will eat vomit and earwax jellybeans I don’t think adding flavor to an ecig matters. Kids are going to do the opposite of what you tell them.

    If someone finds a alternative to smoking with less dangers then good for them. Why are you reta retard trying to stop them. Many people enjoy smoking and do not wish to stop. People need to find a happy medium, sit back, shut up, and keep your liberal ideas to yourself.

    If you want to smoke then smoke. Or shot guns then shot guns. Smoke weed then smoke weed. As long as they aren’t hurting anyone else and are adults then its there life

    Everything kills us in the end.

  9. steve mccarthy says:

    I started smoking the e cig three months ago and enjoy it very much.I honestly have no desire to go back to traditional cigs.It is nice to wake up and have your sense of smell and taste the next day.My doctor was very happy that i switched to the e cig.I would like to see more research done on the e cig.The last comment i would like to make is i get a kick out of health care providers not covering the cost of the nicotine patch,gum,ect…

  10. Mark says:

    I just want to chip in that I’ve found the e cig to be a great smoking cessation aid. I’ve tried everything, the gum, the patch, cold turkey, and this is the only thing that’s worked long term for me. I’d love it if somebody would do a long term health study to address some of these concerns. Here’s a rundown of my experiences.

    CHANTIX: I didn’t try it. My brother did. He had very vivid dreams and became suicidal. I’m very sensitive to psychoactive meds so I skipped this one. My doctor pushed it on me pretty aggressively (thanks Pharma).

    PATCH: I cut down to a couple low nicotine cigarettes a day before going on the patch and I got the lowest possible dose patch. I still got a very extreme buzz from my first patch, so much that I felt nauseous. I tried half a patch and still got the intial buzz and a pretty bad rash. I also found that the patch didn’t last long with cravings returning within a few hours.

    GUM: Worked pretty well. Very helpful that you could take it right when the craving hit. Some mouth and throat irritation, but not bad. I quit for about 4 months on the gum, but started smoking again gradually as I stopped using the gum.

    COLD TURKEY: Really not as bad as you would think, especially if you taper leading up to it, eat healthy, exercise, and avoid alcohol while you’re doing it. If you think you can be disciplined and do those things, certainly the way to go. I found cold turkey to be about the same in terms of difficulty and mental anguish as any of the above therapies.

    What gets me, and many smokers I’m sure, is being around other smokers, especially while drinking. That’s always where I fall of the wagon. With the gum I was able to get back on track the next day, but yeah, once I start slipping, the end game is always the same. The e cigarette is hands down the best tool for these situations. It’s a plausible substitute that feels close enough to the real thing that I can make it through those times.

    I don’t find the e cig very enjoyable (whereas I LOVE to smoke) but it is a helpful tool. Like everything else, I worry about it, which is what led me here. Health industry, FDA, get on top of this research! I’m sure you can find a way to regulate and make money of this too. ;)

  11. Deborah says:

    I am 54 years old and have smoked for 41 years.Smoking is VERY ADDICTIVE AND I LOVE IT. With no desire to quit! But for the heck of it I decided to try vaping,because it is less harmful, Heres the shocker. Since my very first vape at a 20 nicotene level I have not even desired a cigarette.7 months later I am at a 14 nicotene level and am determined to take off the 13 pounds I put on since.Since my breathing has improved ,excersizing is soooo much easier.I am actually able to take off the weight while still dropping nicotene levels. And I am actually looking forward to NO NICOTENE AT ALL!!!!! Guess VAPING is working for me.

    • Paul says:

      I am 57 and, like Deborah, smoked for 41 years. Over the years I have tried to quit many times, using gum, patches, Wellbutrin, Chantix, therapy, etc. The longest I was off cigarettes was 2 months. I tried vaping at the suggestion of a friend and have not had a cigarette for one year! I have titrated the nicotine level from 18 mg to 12 and now 6. The next step is 0 nicotine but I have the rest of my life. While it is concerning to hear that e-liquid contains carcinogens, I feel better, smell better, and am confident that I will quit even e-cigarettes in time. I just don’t want someone telling me that I can’t use them, because I really don’t want to start smoking again but I know that is what would happen.
      Paul

  12. Nora Bachman says:

    I am so glad I come across this on the web. I kept seeing this little advertisement about how bad ecigs were for you. So, here I am checking it out. I have smoked since I was 12 years old and fell in love with it may it have been out of defiance :) or just my cup of tea I can’t remember but I never stopped. Later in life I tried Smoke Enders they told me I to addictive for them to help me after paying $250.00 for the program, I tried Hypnotisms several times no luck at all not even for a an hour. Went through the Wellbutrin which made me a nut case all I did was cry for days and after the 3rd day I said forget it and threw them away. Chantrix side effects made me feel bad all the time stopped that. Smoked with the patches. The only thing that has helped and it has taken me a year for this to work is the e-cig vapor. I don’t like the dry ones at all. I am now finally smoke free from tobacco after 43 years. I am so darn proud and happy and the amount of possible side effects that using my e cigarettes may hurt you is a small price to pay for me to live 5 to 10 years longer and if I don’t it wasn’t meant to be. It is nice not to be a slave to something so expensive. I do hope the Government does not get into taxing this also I heard something through the grapevine but it would not surprise me. Government price controlled (funny and they want to run health care but allow all the things they say are bad for you to sell and raise the taxes on it,) . I appreciate the information all of it and I love reading all of your stories just to know I am not a freak like others have made me feel like for so many years now because I did smoke. I don’t judge people for what they do and I won’t start now (the government yes lol) if vaping helps you then I would recommend it and have anytime of the day. If they took it away I too like Paul would start smoking again also. I just know my nature. P.S. I did learn something I had no idea of and that is the numbers I guessed but never found the answer I always get the 24ml and have some 16ml now I know why I am not as satisfied with the 16 as I am with the 24. Now I can help myself wean down also. Makes sense but I really never thought about it. Nora

  13. Anthony Jimenez says:

    I’ve recently decided to quit smoking… At least actual cigarettes. I started out with the regular cartridge cigarettes which in no way did I enjoy. Took too much work to suck on to get a decent hit and wasn’t enjoyable. So I turned back to cigarettes. About a year ago I tried again. This time I used the liquid vaporizer (in my case I started with White Rhino Liquid) and enjoyed it much more. So much in fact that I cut back my cigarette smoking. The only time I found myself wanting an actual cigarette was being around other smokers and, not craving the cigarette, just wanting to see what it was like again. This of course got me back on cigarettes. Up until about 2 weeks ago I was going back and forth between the two and then today I had a sudden urge to do some research. Mostly because someone had mentioned to me that E-cigs are possibly a placebo… Of course the only way that that is true is if you have a 0mg juice. Regardless coming across this article, honest to god scared the living shit out of me. Like holy shit what if this shit is actually bad for me.. Excuse my language. .. So in that aspect I agree with Ryan that the way you’ve worded your article is intimidating. Sadly enough, back on the e-cig i love it again. I’ve recently bought an apple and watermelon flavored to experiment and have some options besides the menthol that i’ve always smoked even as a regular cigarette. I started smoking at the early age of 9 years old, and it wasn’t a fruity flavor that attracted me, just a desire to try it. Now I’m 22, and I’m honestly tired of waking up in the morning with my chest feeling like someone is standing on it and coughing up nasty phlegm. Since I’ve been using my E-cig I use it all the time, probably more than I should, but I feel better being able to be around my wife and not have her complain about the smell… Hell even I enjoy not smelling like cigarettes. Being around other smokers smells disgusting. I’m not sure why I felt the need to comment, I’m no expert. But I feel alot like some of the people who’ve commented. So thought I’d put my two cents in. THanks for reading.

  14. Michael says:

    What is the point of this article?
    You should concentrate on switching smokers to electronic cigarettes for now instead of finding something wrong with it.
    Myself and people I know quit smoking tobacco and staff.I can stay even from ecigs for weeks. It is a great product with possibility of new “cancer free” additives being developed in a future.
    There are more dangerous chemicals in Los Angeles air then in ecigs.

  15. John says:

    Hello Everyone, it’s been about a week since someone has commented so I figured I put in my two cents to keep ‘er goin’…

    I have smoked since I was 15 (I’m 27 now), started smoking a pack-a-day around 17. I never tried the patch but talked to enough people that said it either didn’t work or that they got so damn addicted to it that cigarettes were the only way to quit the patch…. I tried the gum once but the strong nicotine in the back of my throat would almost make me nauseous (kinda like if you ever accidentally swallow chew-spit) not to mention the heart-burn is ridiculous. My dad chewed for years and convinced me never to get hooked (with the threat that he would kick my ass if I ever started chewing) haha. Anyways, so I’ve smoked for about 12 years now and only had a successful 6 months of quitting with the first time I tried Chantix. My girlfriend and I bought a couple e-cig kits and ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM! I have yet to have a real cigarette and have been using the e-cig for about a month now. I don’t stink, I don’t cough, I can breath better, I can smell better…. Everything about switching over has been positive. even if there are a few harmful chemicals in the e-cig, it’s much better than the other 4,000 chemicals in traditional cigarettes. I also love that there are lower nicotine options. I am currently using 18mg nicotine level but already plan on dropping down to 14mg with my next order.

    I too was curious about the health risks of e-cigs and that is what led me to this site. I love that most stand strong with this being such an awesome alternative to anything else. It’s the most similar to the real thing and certainly the CHEAPEST!! I did the math and I have basically gone from a $10-a-day habit (a pack of cigarettes are approx. $8-10 in Alaska) to about a $1.00-a-day habit. I have already saved about $540 this month alone between me and my girlfriend.

    Overall this has really been the winner for me. I really hope that traditional cigarettes make their way out the door as this is 2013 and e-cigs are the way of the future. :)

    Thanks all for reading and good luck to those still trying to find their alternative. Have a dandy-day! Cheers!

  16. Adam says:

    I have been a smoker since I was 16(I’m 33 now) I started with cigs and switched to swisher sweets. I have always wanted to quit, but never found anything that could calm the habit(not the craving) until this past weekend when my fiancé and I both bought an e-cig. They are wonderful. For the first time since I have started smoking I found something that can subdue the habit and craving both at the same time while being healthier and a lot less expensive. I have now not smoked a real cig or cigar in a week and my lungs feel better already. I don’t wake up coughing. It does have a slight irritation in the mouth(not horrible at all), but that is from the nicotine. It was a lot worse irritation on the skin with the patch and even more so with the gum. I personally think this is by far the best way to quit and wein yourself off nicotine, while still being able to enjoy the habit of having a smoke. I hope those that are concerned about it but want to try it have as much luck with them as I have so far and I’m looking forward to a healthier lifestyle due to them. The big tobacco companies just want to try to find something wrong with them so they can continue to have a monopoly and make billions off of killing us.

  17. Jackie says:

    Thank you everyone who has posted !! I am 43 years old and have smoked since I was 9. I’m relieved to hear there are others out there. I’m scared of the damage I have already done but nothing has worked so far for any great amount of time. I tried my first e cig ( from the gas station) which tastes disgusting but I love knowing I have an alternative!!! I will be successful this time. I need to find a made in the USA and good flavor and I am all in!

  18. Don PIckard says:

    I just have to wonder if all of the supportive comments, testimonials, etc, on this thread, have made you (the author) rethink some of your position on these things.

    No disrespect, it’s true that studies will take time to complete, and online comment threads are not scientific, but there sure seems to be alot of support on this thread and just about every other that I’ve read, that supports the likelihood of real benefits to switching to vape from smoke.

  19. Theresa says:

    I am a mother of two sweet toddler girls . so I need to quit for them and me !
    Finally after smoking since 13 and I’m 43 . I have with e cig . I tried everything
    Mentioned above . this was so easy and painless . Im throw with both
    Now for the most part . And just every now with friends and when I’m stressed do the e cig every now and then . I just kept buying less nic level
    till I could quit all together . I feel the e cig might of saved my life and my daughters somehow . At least i can be a healthy example now by not smoking
    In front of them anymore . Amen . All though I always smoked outside and tried to hide it from them, they still knew totally . now they know I quit through
    the e cig . and they are so happy . took just a few months . best invention ever . I only used smoke flavor to quit, so I wouldn’t like any fun flavorings.
    Google luck to all ,
    Mom of 2 saved by E cig … Dramatic . But true

  20. Melynda Duke says:

    Hello
    This is best way to quit smoking, or i can say electronic cigarettes is the best alternative to quit smoking. All i have to say that choose e cig if you guys really want to quit smoking because e cig is the initial way for it.
    Thanks.

  21. Russell Snyder says:

    I don’t know why doctors consider nicotine addictive even when all the research shows otherwise. I’ll condense it for you.

    If nicotine is the substance in tobacco that satisfies smokers then nicotine alone satisfies smokers.
    Nicotine alone does not satisfy smokers.
    Therefore, nicotine is not the substance in tobacco that satisfies smokers.

    The first premise is supported by all the evidence that shows: using an addictive substance extracted from a source has a more immediate and more powerful an effect than the source. (For instance cocaine vs. coca leaves, morphine vs. opium, alchohol vs. beer)

    The second premise is supported by all the evidence that people do not get hooked on nicotine products like the patch, gums, nasal sprays, and inhalers. 80%, 85%, or 90% of the people who use these nicotine alone products go back to smoking, the rate depnding on the length of time of the cessation.

    The argument is a valid form with true premisses. So, the conclusion is true.

    I believe the difficulty in quitting and remaining abstinent for many years is that people get addicted to the smoke. I believe that is because the genus Homo has been using fire for protection, industry, cooking, and etc. for hundreds of thousands of years and at least a million years for protection. So, natural selection has overridden the primitive part of the brain that responds to smoke with “flight”, with a response of a feeling of security. That’s what I feel when I smoke. Nicotine is to tobacco what caffein is to coffee.

    I have been smoking only electronic cigarettes for a couple of months now and I’ll never go back to tobacco. I don’t inhale the vapor so I’m not much worried about what it will do to my lungs. I do know I cough a whole lot less than I did and my throat is not as sore as it was.

    As for the “gateway” idea: I think it’s bogus. It’s been used against marijuana and it’s been used against pornography. So, for instance, the majority of hard drug users started with marijuana. But, what percentage of marijuana smokers get hooked on the really addictive drugs?

    I read the FDA report saying they found detectable amounts of poison (diethylene glycol) and carcinogens (nitrosamines).. But, how much is a detectable amount? If they’re safer than tobacco then why would the FDA ban e-cigarettes? And, why would any government agency risk another reaction to prohibition? Haven’t they learned the history lesson?

  22. Rexanne Edmonds says:

    I smoked over 25 yes, every morning hacking my lungs up from cigarettes, 2 ¹/² yrs ago I switched to e cigs. I wake up cough free, I breathe 110% better than I did at 21. I save over $500 a month now my husband and I converted to e cigs. I have a lung disease and had to be treated with inhalers and breathing machines daily since I switched to the e cigs I no longer have to be treated daily.

  23. Danny says:

    It’s almost impossible for anything to be as bad for you as cigarettes. The effectiveness of an e-cig vs other quitting methodologies is all that matters. My friends have found it very helpful.

  24. LCarnley says:

    Smoked for 27 years, and have been smoke free for 15 years. Considered non nicotine vaping for weight loss. Could this cause me to want to smoke again, something I never want to start again.

  25. Rob says:

    23 years of smoking cigarettes one pack a day and at age 41 i felt like complete sh*t smoking makes me cough up green stuff hard to breath feeling dizzy sometimes when smoking over all a wreck. Went to E-cigs one year later i use it at least 4 times a day doing 5-10 inhales from it and i feel 100% better i can smell i can taste i can BREATH AGAIN! the link to kids buying it and using it well regulate it!! Kids are drawn to anything new! The test results e-cig vs cigarettes the results only say the studied e-cigarettes generate smaller changes in lung function but similar nicotinergic impact to tobacco cigarettes…Well me in a hot shower reduces lung function.

  26. Patrick says:

    I too felt the need to comment. I actually quit smoking analog cigarettes by accident using the e-cig. I have smoked for 30 years and I am not ashamed to admit that I LOVE(d) smoking! I love the act of it, I love the sensation, I love the way you can just clear your mind while dragging on it. The only thing I didnt love was what I knew it was doing to me (slowly killing me). I would always say that if cigarettes werent bad for me then I would smoke forever! But alas, I knew that I must stop one day. So, while in the local convenience store, I saw a “blu” at the counter while buying my usual pack of smokes. I decided to try it….it sucked. I thought “well now I just wasted 20 bucks for the “blu” and my regular smokes. So….about two months later I was passing by a local “vapor” store that had opened in my neighborhood. I don’t know what made me turn in their parking lot, but something guided me in there. I thought I was done with e-cigs for good after my bad experience with the gas station “blu”. I got the starter kit for about 50 bucks after the guy behind the counter demonstrated an “ego” kit with “juice”. When he showed me his and dragged on it, I swear I though he was smoking a “real” cigarette. He asked my what I normally smoked (marlboro lights). He gave me a Tuscan flavor that was similar, but “tastier” then a cigarette. He showed me how to fill it, recharge it, and finally take my first “drag” off of it. I took it home and was literally giddy….I had this huge vapor cloud…just as much (or more) than a real cigarette….I was seriously sitting alone and “vaping” lauging out loud…because I knew I would NEVER go back to a real cigarette…and guess what? No smell in the car, no smell in the house, no stinky breath, no tar on my walls, no ashtrays, no ash, no flame, no more lighters, no yellow fingers. I have been smoke free for one month now after 30 years of smoking. If this product has done anything, it has freed me from my slavery to the all powerful cancer sticks and tobacco companies.

  27. Jon R says:

    I’m sorry but this negative knee jerk reaction to e-cigs, just because they look like cigarettes, will only lead to ruining a good thing.

    I started smoking habitually at 14 (when I got my first job, & had my own money, & older co-workers willing to buy for me).
    At 26 (in 2010) on a deployment to Afghanistan I started using an e-cig. My reason wasn’t to quit smoking; it was because of the draconian rules for smokers we had to deal with. Several of my fellow Marines joined me in the switch. We all bought different brands, & all successfully made the switch quickly. We all enjoyed the freedom of our newfound “smoke free” habit for about 4 months, and then we were told we should treat them just like regular cigarettes, within a week we were all smoking again.

    After 3 more years of smoking amidst an ever growing anti-smoke Gestapo, news that my wife was pregnant with our second child was the last sign that I had to quit. The problem was, I didn’t want to quit, I like smoking. Luckily I already knew the answer to the riddle. I bought a new e-cig kit, & have been smoke free for 3 months. Now the smell of smoke offends me, & I know I’ll never go back.

    E-cigs aren’t’ for smoking cessation (though they are good for it if you want to quit) they are an alternative for smoking. I’m sure that inhaling a viscous liquid many times a day for years will have some kind of negative health effect that we will eventually learn of, no mater of the non-toxic nature of the substance. I am however 100% certain that whatever that risk may be, it is better than inhaling smoke known to contain a long list of carcinogens & tar.

    Establishing some industry standards on this emerging market would be good for general safety of the consumer as long as it is approached with the mindset that this is a new field, not a tobacco product or a pharmaceutical product. If you demonize this now, you’ll stop millions of people from making a better choice.

    • Craig says:

      Jon R: That was one of the most thoughtful and realistic comments on vaping/e-cigs I have read– and I have been reading all night. I find it very telling that since they treated e-cigs the same as cigs you and your friends went right back to cigs. I have found I vape a lot more than I smoked- about 1 or 2 after work. But vaping I can do for an hour.

      I hope these can be made safe.

  28. jonny c says:

    I have been a smoker for about 30 years. I am now 40 and am lucky enough not to have to many issues caused by smoking. I am very dissapointed in the author of this article. I think his negative opinions about e cigs are very unfounded in comparison to a regular cigarettes and has derided the positives. He failed to mention the extra 200 chemicals in a regular smoke. Some notable ones include cyanide and salt peter- a poison and an explosive! He also Ignored the positives which would be primarily passive smoking and the positive effects on peoples lung function when switching to e cigs. Being an R.N for 20 yrs. I have talked to a lot of people who have switched and most notably was a hotel owner who had smoked for 50 years and could not climb the stairs to the 4th floor of his hotel because of breathing problems. He switched and after only 6 months he could make it to the top without any breathing issues.
    I myself have just made the switch and intend to quit. I have in past quit by going cold turkey and after 2 weeks the sweats had stopped and I was fine. But I had got Hooked on my favorite whiskey instead lol. Starting again was as hard as quitting with the same side effect but I gradually cut up the amount I smoked.
    If there are 2 chemicals in an e cig that are carcinogenic then that’s pretty good. Like someone mentioned earlier, live in a city and you are exposed to more harmful toxins than that.
    Even an American loaf of bread has more carcinogens in it than an e cig. Azodicarbonomide springs to mind but I know there are several. I live in the us now but grew up in the UK and visited recently and could not find these chemicals in bread there. Maybe that’s why it went hard after 10 mins when left out instead of 10 days! I think the FDA needs to look at what we are eating before jumping back on the anti smoking bandwagon.
    I got a vap ciggie as a gift the other day and I still have the same pack of smokes I bought then. I’ve smoked a couple but I love the vap. Its better for me, my 2 yr old daughter who I didn’t smoke around but was mindful that it was on my clothes and not all the smoke was going out of the car window. I am in no way advocating that smoking is a good choice, it isn’t. I do love it however and having spoke to patients about smoking I absolutely see a lot of benefits from smoking e cigs instead. So if quitting or just wanting to feel physically better is something you want to do then give it a go. I believe my e cig cost 50 dollars but it came with refills and 2 vaporizers and 2 usb chargers plus the equivalent 24 packs of smokes so not bad value and seems to be working. Good luck all.

  29. Jason says:

    I’ve smoked for 15 years and loved it, I work in the mining industry so we have our lungs tested annually, since quitting analogs my lung capacity went from 90% of a smoker to 106% of a non smoker, I’ve jogged for about five years and my mile time has decrease by 3 minutes not bad considering I’ve only been on a e cig for 7 months

  30. Rainier says:

    To the reply that proylene glycol is safe. It is listed as a toxic substance and is the main ingredient in anti-freeze. Google it. The links to the studies, well those are the shortest I’ve ever seen. Drawing conclusions to those, can be as subjective as a person is unique from one another. It seems that vaping is a safer alternative to the United States number one killer, tobacco. Let us not forget that tobacco kills more people each year than ANY and EVERY mode of death combined. Google any of this for reference.

    • Steve says:

      Rainier,

      Propylene glycol is actually the main ingredient of non-toxic and pet friendly antifreezes. Ethylene glycol is the toxic one found in regular antifreeze. Propylene glycol was first registered by the FDA as an air disinfectant for hospitals and it has been used in restaurants and laboratories as well. Also, it’s not the only choice. Many juice manufacturers opt for vegetable glycerin instead of propylene glycol.

    • Phil says:

      If propylene glycol is so toxic, why is it used to replace oil in fat free salad dressing, and used in inhalers for people with asthma?

  31. Sadie says:

    I guess what it comes down to is that the information of what happens or could happen is out there. As people, we all have brains who can think for ourselves. Everyone will make up their own minds and will have to live with the consequences good or bad. My son 16 is smoking e-cigs and I would really like him to stop. His father and I do not smoke, quit cold turkey 25 years ago. We were lucky to be able to do so. Working on a respiratory intensive care unit helped me to make that decision. I wish I could show him what I saw everyday. There is nothing more agonizing than watching people gasping for air or helping people clean out what is left of the inside of their mouth after most of it was surgically removed because of cancer. We can only tell our children what is right and what is not and hope they have the good sense to someday remember what was told to them and make the best decisions. But if I had a dollar for every time my patients said “Could have, would have, should have!” I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Just saying. God Bless

  32. Jerry says:

    The FDA is in the pocket of big pharma (Pfizer) and big Ag (Monsanto). Vaporizers are a threat to these drug dealers’ and chemists market domination. Without real evidence, we’ll see conjured demons in flavorings. I cross my fingers on long term effects, but, funny enough, I haven’t heard of any ongoing studies.
    The only thing that frightens me at all is that Canada has banned ecigs. They’re not as deep in the corporate collusion game.

  33. Jessi Burns says:

    I am happy to say that with the e-cig I was able to stop smoking all together and now use a 0 nicotine vap so I am happy with the results, and the fact that I did not gain any weight associated with quitting smoking, I was able to use the e-cig as a replacement for the real cigs and by doing so I did not turn to food for comfort like so many people do,

    The e-cig is the only device I found that not only works but aids in the food cravings associated with stopping smoking, as it is there to puff on vs grabbing a bag of chips to munch…

    Even though I am using a non nicotine vap and have been doing so for about 4 months now, you would think I could just put the e-cig down and forget about it. That is not the case though, I am not addicted to the nicotine as there is none in the e-cig I smoke but, its the action of lifting that e-cig to the mouth and talking a puff that is the hardest part for me to contend with.right now. I have tried putting the e-cig away and forgetting about it, only to find myself picking it back up due to seeing other people smoke in public, which makes me pull it back out for the soothing effect it gives me without all the dangers of really smoking a cig..

    I think the e-cig IS a great tool and does work but, I also think the e-cig works as a pacifier for adults and even though you can stop smoking (real cigs) with the e-cig, I find it hard not to associate with the action of smoking and thats why I still puff on my e-cig. If there was a ban on e-cigs and we couldnt buy them anymore, I fear it would only be a matter of time before I went back to the real thing along with many other people who now puff on e-cigs in replacement of real ones..

    One last thing, I do not inhale when puffing on my e-cig and I take little puffs, I pick it up here and there throughout the day and it has really worked and helped. on average I would say I take about 5 to 8 puffs each time I pick it up and that is about 10 to 15 times a day.

    Phone calls are the worst as I had a habit of lighting up a cig when on the phone, after eating and during stress are about the only time I puff on my e-cig, and when driving its nice to have along for the ride…

  34. Cassidy says:

    personally i have found ecigs to be a lot better for me that normal cigs.

  35. William Foos says:

    You discourage for recreational use??? lol…. Why??? Do you discourage a cold glass of sweet ice tea??? caffiegne isn’t much different than nicotine

  36. cisamrita says:

    Personally I think e-cigs are safe than normal smoking and don’t contain any bad ingredients in it and are safe in using them.

  37. Lisa says:

    I’ve been “smoking” since I can remember.. and I’m almost 42.
    I quit smoking a few times but it was never for more than a few months tops (only got that far once, most of the time it was only a week or two before my mood swings were so bad I was ready to divorce myself).
    The Ecig was the answer for me. It’s NOT the solution for someone who doesn’t smoke, and have addictive personalities, to ever start using them because nicotine is addictive.
    I’m not weaning off. I have the fear of going back to the real cigarettes and that’s not an option I want to consider.
    EVERYthing we do has risks… this included but, at least with this one, I’m only harming myself if I’m harming anyone.

  38. Mohammed says:

    Has anyone considered that there are ecigs with the same content but lack nicotine. I know nicotine is a major concern among underage users. But for those who smoke simply because they enjoy the act (people like me) this is a significantly safer alternative. I understand that as a researcher or a doctor or simply a parent, people have to question the safety aspects of this relatively new product, but it shouldn’t be shot down so quickly. After all, thousands of people have effectively quit smoking when other products like nicotine patches have proven ineffective (for some). This, much like the safety concerns, has to be included in the debate. Instead of talking about the comparively minimal cancer causing ingredients, different organizations should focus on studying the effects of PG and VG, rather than immediately shooting down a great idea.

  39. Sue says:

    Here’s my thoughts on the e-cig debate – I’ve been a smoker since age 12 (now 43) and have tried so many methods to quit, Champix (the UK name for Chantix) was by far the worst… I don’t know if people are aware but it was originally developed as schizophrenia medication. It has a side effect of making you not want to smoke (no one really knows why or how) but giving powerful psychiatric meds to people to stop them smoking is like using a hammer to crack an egg. It had a disastrous effect on my mental health, and most other people I know who have taken it too. It shocks me that it’s still being handed out.

    I have been using a vaporizer for a few weeks now and have not had, or wanted, a cigarette. For me, it’s about harm reduction – I’m actually comfortable with the fact that I’m a nicotine addict and am happy to have found a much less harmful delivery system which gives me the things I like about smoking.

  40. Kayla says:

    My boyfriend and I have been using e-cigs for about 8 months now. He was a 10 year cig smoker and I had only been smoking for 5 years very lightly (less than a half a pack a day.. even went weeks without it on and off). The e-cig helped him so much that he quit smoking right away. Yet for me it was more of a social addiction so I still occasionally smoke regular cigs. I love the flavors but because I switch back and forth I get a lot of mucus and coughing.

    I love the conversations and stories in the comments but the doctor hasn’t bothered commenting since March.

    • Nikki Jong says:

      Hi Kayla,

      I’m glad to hear that you found this thread helpful. Dr. Thaler does respond to specific questions as possible (he last responded in May), so please let us know if you have a question about this topic, and thanks for reading!

      Nikki Jong
      Managing Editor
      One Medical Group

  41. Stop Smoking says:

    What a wonderful attitude about this. Thanks for posting!

  42. portable vaporizers says:

    Yes safe smoking alternative are e-cigs that donot contain bad ingredients in it.

  43. maira pee says:

    Thanks to share that informative post, in my opinion e-cig is safe option for the smoker because the first and main advantages is that it have no harmful effects for our health.i am work with same field and we are also providing e-cig online.

  44. JoeC says:

    I smoked since I was 12 (am 48 now). I tried vaping and haven’t smoked a cig in almost 4 years. I think the key is finding a flavor that you can live with as well as a ecig that works for you. My dad smoked over 2 packs a day for most of his life and he changed to ecig and hasn’t smoked regular cigs since (been2 years). His health has improved DRAMATICALLY.

  45. Carlos says:

    I vaping here in Brazil already 8 months, started with 0% nicotine, and now hate conventional cigarettes. The fact is that needs to be regulated by chemical Responsible because hiding generates products without any control.
    My organism is better today, but I want product reviews and certificates, where’s Professional chemical for this ?

  46. Sam says:

    my bf just got a ecig and think he over filled it.. when he took a hit he swallowed some of the vapor that was leaking out threw the tip now he is getting sick and feels weak, is this safe of should he go to the er?

  47. e-cigarette flavors says:

    Many people just noticed E cigarettes and it is being sahow cased all over the industry as a life saver for lots of smokers just because it can assist them just forget about smoking a cigarette over and over again. Despite the fact thatpresently are some smokers who have gave it a try and have not really like it, you’ll also find a lot of individuals who have attempted it and switched despite of the reality that it is often dearer.

  48. Jason K says:

    The following statement has been approved for use by the FDA on all products sold or traded in the world:

    “Breathing air regardless of origin has been determined to be harmful to your health and has been known to cause birth defects, cancer and any other disease or condition known and unknown to humankind.”

    Little bit of sarcasm there but I think point made. ;-)

  49. Flavoured Ecigarette says:

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    Nice blog. I am very pleased to find this site.I want to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it.

  50. JJ says:

    I tried an e-cig about a year ago and it didn’t work for me. It was too difficult to get a good ‘drag’ so I quit using it. Recently, I purchased a vaporizer and the difference was amazing. It may not seem like much, but I am now in day 10 without smoking a single ‘real’ cigarette. I also don’t have the incredibly strong cravings that always made my efforts to quit useless. I’ve tried the gum, patches, cold turkey, classes, etc. I haven’t tried Chantix, nor would I, due to the long list of side effects. The vaporizer takes care of the constant cravings and has also enabled me to give up regular cigs without reaching for food as a replacement. The prospect of quitting and gaining weight was enough to keep me smoking. Now I have no desire for a regular CIG; even when I’m standing right next to someone who’s smoking. I should probably mention that I had smoked since I was about 13 and am now in my 60′s. For me, the vaporizer is a godsend. I don’t have any desire whatsoever to return to smoking. I had thought my husband would continue to smoke his full flavor, unfiltered cigs, but he just walked in with a vaporizer of his own. I hope he has the same success that I’ve had.

  51. Kimi says:

    I too use the electronic cig(Vaporillo) i also have smoked since I was 16, I am now 40! Ive been using the electric cig for about 3 months , stopped regular cigs and was doing great. Until my lips got so unbelievably chapped! The skin was peeling off and it burned so bad. I stopped using the EC and went back to regular cigs for a week. Lips healed up but just as a test I put down the
    cigs and did the EC again. And once again my lips are a mess as well as a sore throat. Looks like Im going to have to quit all together!!!

  52. Sylvie says:

    At lunch today I spoke to someone who said electronic cigs where the answer to giving up. As I have been looking at this alternative for a while now my attention was immediate Came home and found this site!! Having read every post on here I am hooked on the idea, ALMOST. No one has mentioned the possible effect of E Cigs on ones dental health as in gum disease. Obviously smoking a normal cigarette wreaks havoc, but will an E Cig have the same dental/gum destruction as a cigarette?
    Thank you to everyone for all your information on this site. I have learnt much.

    • shamu says:

      Mom??? Ok… I been smoking this chargeable vaporizer and I’m no idiot, maybe I don’t have an md but I know definitively that e cigs isn’t as bad as normal cigs, I agree with what’s her face that you do try to perceive that ecigs are soooo bad but truth is the in regular smoke tobacco are worse, you can wait a decade to examine the studies but Mark my words and bookmark this comment that ecigs are more harmfull than tobacco products point blank.. .

  53. Nik Merry says:

    Ecigs have saved my life. Morning cough… Gone….sleep apnea…gone….breathlessness…..gone….. Salt usage (can taste food) massively reduced…. Work productivity up. I could go on. The “steam” is the only difference between the nicotine inhaler the good doc is so keen on and ecigs. You don’t need a script from your local GP ( at this stage ) for an ecig. Maybe his attitude will change if the former does? Not even the most biased medical tests have had the temerity to suggest that ecigs aren’t less dangerous than the legal alternative! If you must drive a car, wear a seatbelt, it’s safer, if you need nicotine and want to quit tar etc permanently… Get an ecig, around 70% cheaper than patches etc and it WORKS!

  54. robert says:

    after smoking cigs for over 25 years, I tried an ecig in July 2013 & have switched to them full time. I have not had a ‘real’ cig in over 2 months & have experienced positive changes, such as no more hacking up half a lung each morning and no more stinky smoke smell on clothes/vehicle/house. I am slowly decreasing my nicotien level & hope to be nicotein free by spring. I understand that ecigs may not be “healthy”, but I know I feel better and can breath a whole lot better. Seems that ecigs almost HAVE to be better for me than real cigs (no tar, no carbon monoxide). Cannot see how continuing with real cigs could be better for me than vaping.

  55. Aubra Smithson says:

    Let me just say…I started smoking at 13. Each time I was pregnant I quit for that time…the last time I went three years before I stupidly started again out of boredom. I am now 36. I began “vaping” in July to help me quit smoking. 3 months later I had had to quit because I could hardly breathe anymore. That was beginning of October. I still suffer and cannot breathe! A month has passed smoke free and it is terrible!! Never in ALL my years of smoking have I felt as bad as the past, almost, four months since I began to vape. Not all people react but I am proof…and I know Im not alone…that this stuff is harmful and can be as bad as smoking. Just saying.

  56. Anthony says:

    My lungs are feeling much better since switching from smoking to a nicotine vaporizer ( about 4 months ), however I have developed sleep apnia in the last few months as well. I do not know if there is a link between the two and my next step maybe quitting the vapor to see if the sleep apnia is reduced or stops. I have been to a sleep center and I stop breathing for 11 to 18 seconds, 17 times per hour. Has anyone experienced anything similiar?

  57. Laura says:

    I smoked for over 30 years before quitting in September 2013. I was on Chantix for almost two months, and while it was useful in quitting, the side effects were numerous, scary and unpleasant and I still craved cigarettes 24/7. I knew I needed to get off of it as soon as possible.

    It was a constant battle to maintain my willpower to stay away from cigarettes. Things suddenly got very stressful in my life, and I knew that I was close to going back to my dreaded yet beloved killer cigarettes.
    Instead, I made the smartest choice by far.

    I began to use an ecig in September and miraculously it took away all of my torment and cravings, I no longer even want a regular cigarette, which is absolutely amazing. I have graduated from the gas station cig-a-likes and only use high quality products from USA vendors. I feel better than I have ever felt in my adult life, my lung capacity has dramatically improved, and I no longer cough with a chest full of tar and Lord knows what else.

    I will accept the certain amount of risk that is associated with vaping. I feel that the actual risk is minimal. My body is telling me that I’ve made the right choice, and as an adult I am entitled to the right to make that choice. I don’t need big tobacco, the government, the FDA, and the drug companies with doctors in their pocket to take away something that I know in my heart may very well be saving my life.

    I will take nicotine via vapor over terrible harmful drugs and killer traditional cigarettes any day of the week. And that’s a fact.

  58. Joy says:

    I’ve smoked for over forty years. It’s incredibly hard to quit smoking. I recently used the 21mg patch, and it helped, but there was one day while wearing the patch that I thought I would climb the walls. I bought an ecig, and haven’t wanted a cigarette since. I told my husband that I thought tobacco companies were putting heroin in cigarettes they are so addictive. I’ve tried Chantix, but I just laid on the couch because my stomach hurt so bad. I stopped taking it after a week. I tried the gum, but it caused nausea. Cold turkey was impossible for me. Actually, it was impossible even with the quit smoking aids. If it weren’t for ecigs, I’d still be smoking regular cigarettes today. I feel so much better, they have to be safer than regular cigarettes. I realize that they haven’t been out long enough to know what the long term effects are, but they are keeping me from smoking cigarettes, and we know what those long term effects are.

  59. heronshield says:

    Technical suggestion for quitting nicotine.
    Design an ecig send a pulse via USB to a computer every time you take a puff. The computer can, using table, compute the equivalent of how many x brand cigs you are smoking, the nicotine total, the daily dose of cigs etc.
    This would do two things. First enable you to slowly reduce the nicotine level per cig. Second,It would display your cig frequency and pattern. This will allow you to reduce the behavioral habit.

  60. koda says:

    Any body that has used an ecig will tell you how much it has helped them get away from tobacco. I my self use an ecig and it has saved my lungs. My doctor even considers me a non smoker even though i still vape. The most irritating comment on here was about how the flavors are marketed to the youth lol yeah right I`m an adult so i cant enjoy something that tastes better than tobacco. All the anti ecig crap out there is most likely planted my big tobacco to discredit the ecig due to the fact they are afraid of loosing there life long costumers.

  61. Tracy says:

    I have a question My father in law had a stroke with left side paralysis he is in a wheel chair and while he can walk a little with a cane he is very unsteady. His left arm has NOT come back at all to date…….

    He smoked for many years now he is smoking a E Cigarette I find this choice poor and risky I feel as though he is putting himself at greater risk of having another stroke! He has also had some signs of excessive sweating and paleness 911 was called but he refused to go to the hospital……We saw him yesterday and he was very pale seemed very tired…..and just not looking well………can the Dr please respond to this comment are these signs that he indeed will have another stroke????

    • Tracy – sorry to hear about your father. We can’t answer specific medical questions online so we’d suggest following up with your father’s primary doctor to look into this issue into more detail.

  62. Penny says:

    It’s exactly four years to the day since my last cigarette and that is only because I swapped to e-cigs. I smoked heavily for fifty years and tried many times to stop using all the NRT products available but each time I tried to come off them, I went back to smoking again within days. I now loath the smell of tobacco and still use my device that looks nothing like a cigarette, but with just pharma grade PG plus gingerbread flavour (my current favourite). My device is just a pacifier now and, hopefully, I’ll drop that in the not too distant future.

    I’ve never felt better than I do now and my house has never been cleaner or smelt more pleasant. My GP is delighted that I am now a non-smoker and can’t believe that after all the years she’s known me, I now have a clear chest and all my vital signs are normal! :)

    To purchase e-cigarette supplies online requires either a PayPal bank a/c or a credit/debit card, therefore they would only be available to children whose parents (or other adults) are irresponsible enough to assist them in that respect. Anyone selling e-cigarettes to children over the counter should be fired and prosecuted, as those same people would, presumably, also sell to them via the tobacco section and one cannot legislate for fools. To punish adults for the misdemeanours of children is both unfair and stupid. Vaping is not for everyone but is a far better alternative than burning tobacco products that are known to cause life-threatening diseases and/or death to millions all over the world each year. This situation, of course, keeps the huge pharmaceutical industry in business as it has no financial investment in healthy people.

    The FDA’s report was flawed in that the tested products were limited and from dubious sources. The vaping world has moved on since that time and, in the UK, many large vendors either produce their own e-liquid made under strict clinical conditions or purchase from such producers. These products have been tested and certified to contain nothing that is deemed to be dangerous in any way. The safety of the devices themselves is overseen by Trading Standards and the nicotine used comes under the umbrella of the Poisons Act. Therefore, clearly all the equipment used (in the UK) is perfectly well regulated.

    It seems obvious to me that those who would impose a ban or prohibitive restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes have an ulterior motive especially as tobacco is available over the counter everywhere and yet, we are told constantly, it is a proven killer. How many people have died, or developed a terminal illness as a direct result of vaping thus far? We are told that approximately four million people die worldwide each year from smoking tobacco.

  63. Sean Ben says:

    E-cigsa re a lot safer alternative device than normal smoking habit..

  64. Kelly of Oz says:

    Thank you all for informative comment on Ecigs. And to the author of the topic. Guess you are a little surprised at the response. Interesting that it has had quite an enduring life, in terms of comments, so I guess commenters ike me are researching as much as can be found on this topic.

    I too must do something about my smoking and have been looking at info on Ecigs for a month or so. As I am in Australia it seems one cannot get actual nicotine ‘juice’ although it seems possibly available via NZ. I only say that because I am concerned that 0mg may not work for me.Though it looks as if others on here have managed.

    Refreshing, honest and lived experience commentary on this stuff is vital as a help in supporting and encouraging those who wish to ditch the life destroying cigarettes. I am becoming confident enough to try ecigs.

    May I refer readers to a Guardian site I was reading today. LOTS of comments and interesting on the EU ecig rules. EU against ecig promotion, funny that!

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/18/electronic-cigarettes-smoking-tobacco-health

    Thanks again, good luck! Myy thoughts and best wishes to you and yours at Christmas.

  65. nick says:

    Lots of comments and concerns posted, interesting reading BUT where the MD’s get it wrong is simple. Take my example. I have been smoking three packs of cigarettes a day since I was 15, I am now 47. Recently I have been using ecigs to quit smoking. I’ve tried Wellbutrin, Chantix, patches, Nicorette, etc. etc. etc till I can puke. Since starting the ecigs, I go through 1-2 disposable e-cigs a day INSTEAD of three packs of cigarettes. So, DOC, I know you have concerns about ecigs BUT am I better off using 2 ecigs or three packs of cigs PER DAY. I don’t care that ECIGS MAY have dangerous things in them, ARE THEY AS DANGEROUS AS WHAT IS IN THE CIGARETTES I WAS SMOKING? if not drop the BS.

  66. Mamie Paullus says:

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    • Tom G says:

      O.K. As someone who would describe themselves as a previously light smoker turned vaper (3 a day average cigarette consumption sometimes with gaps of two weeks or more of non smoking), it seems to me that the benefits of this new method of smoking cessation far outweigh the negatives associated with tobacco smoking. However…..
      It also seems that there is a will, albeit not from those with an agenda (pharma companies, the tobacco industry etc), for further studies to be carried out on the long term impact of vapourising. The e-cig industry is said to be worth billions so why can’t individual makers of those products be taxed a small % to fund studies that would let us know what we are risking by continuing to vape. This could be done in exchange for a promise that the threat of any ban or punitive legislation against the e-cig industry be put on hold for a period during which these studies could be carried out. It seems unlikely that funding from other sources is going to be forthcoming any time soon
      Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the principal of vaping and guess it has prolonged and saved many lives but, like many others, it would be nice to have some sort of clarity as to whether it’s completely safe, relatively safe or not particularly safe at all. Currently, I’d rather not inhale anything into my lungs if I could avoid it as I only know the long term risks of smoking and not those of vaping
      If I knew the risks I could make an informed decision as to whether my end goal should be to use the vapouriser as a tool to give up smoking whilst continuing to vape, or whether it should be used as a tool to reduce my craving for tobacco before taking the final step and not inhaling anything at all (albeit with the risks of returning to the dreaded weed). Make sense or am I being naive ? Any comments would be welcome

  67. Nic Hit eCigs says:

    The electronic cigarette is the safest and healthiest alternative that will help you get rid of the bad habit of smoking! You should make a thorough online research and see which the best electronic cigarette available is. The best thing you can do is to purchase a starter kit, because there you will have all the accessories that you need in order to enjoy your new healthy smoking habit.
    Electronic cigarettes, a healthy smoking alternative, free from all sorts of harmful tobacco, not even release bad odour, available in various flavors and are legal to smoke even at public places because of being healthy in nature.

    • Tom G says:

      Probably, but it’s not proven to be either healthy or unhealthy. More research required but yes, almost undoubtedly more healthy than smoking.

      I’ll vape away but it would be nice to have some proper long term studies.

  68. Simba Lage says:

    I vape now as tobacco gave me copd at age 22. I am going to die from tobacco and say e cigs are a lot safer then tobacco period!

  69. Francesco Wittenbrink says:

    Hurrah! In the end I got a website from where I know how to genuinely obtain useful data regarding my study and knowledge.

  70. Ralph says:

    Reg cigs seemed safer to me. I smoked reg cigs for 20 yrs. I’ve since switched to ecigs (blue,njoy,mistic,logic). Reg cigs relaxed me but I started to feel unhealthy after years of smoking. The ecigs sometimes make me feel worse than reg cigs ever felt. Ecigs gave me chest pain, sweaty hands, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, dialated eyes. I just get the gut feeling that ecigs are horrible for me so i stopped. I even read somewhere there were traces of microscopic metal(tin) in ecig vapor. And every other method to quit smoking is absurd. It tough, cold turkey is the only good way i think. Anyway that’s my experience with electric butts, they made me feel horrible and sick half the time. My own gut feeling is that ecigs will be proven to be FAR worse than regular tobacco cigs. It’s subjective but so is most of what I’m reading including the MD comments. Oh and most of the ecigs i used say “made in China.” So it’s hard to trust.

  71. JASON KAHL says:

    Well, I don’t know Four days ago I was smoking up to 3 packs a day.
    I got a e vapor setup, I still get the “Nic” but no smoke. My plan is to reduce the levels over time…
    I have TRIED everything else…this is as far as I ever GOT!

  72. sean says:

    E-cigs are very safe alternative devices that don’t contain any effects in them and are very safe for vaping.

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  79. clodhopper says:

    too bad eCigs weren’t around 50 yrs ago, think of all the lives saved

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  83. Victoria says:

    I have been on e gigs Vision/Aspire tank using 24 mg nicotine since March 3 2014. I was a serious smoker, smoking 2 packs of menthol cigarettes a day. Amazed the day I started vaping. I had one cigarette left in my pack and the vapor beside it ready to go in the car (big trigger to light up) I decided it was a good time to see if the vapor( e juice) was going to do the trick instead of the cig. It worked! From that moment on I never touch a cigarette again. The vapor gave me the sensation I had just smoked a cigarette. Hundreds of saved dollars later I am still vaping. It’s a wonderful alternative to cigarettes except I do have a new issue now with vaping and that is gum bleeding. I began searching for idea’s why the vaping is causing this. And have come to the conclusion it has to do with the PG (propylene glycol) in the juice. Tried recently to vap only VG (vegetable glycol) but couldn’t handle the dirty taste and heavy lung effects VG alone creates so back to the PG for now. BTW the gum bleeding did slow down after trying VG only but I know I just need to stop it all and be nicotine free…..next challenge very soon!

  84. jon says:

    K well, first I can say without ecigs I’d be puffing Marlboros like a champ. I’ve quit smoking for a little over a year now. But the last comment about bleeding gums started after I started vaping about there months, still happens. Its been probably closer too two years actually. Gums bleed daily. I’ve been on 24mg since I started never tried to go down nicotine level. I hit them constantly. Probably more than when I smoked really cigs. But the part about blood pressure just creaked me out, not to mention the bleeding gums. Cause I just acquired, out of nowhere, high blood pressure and had to go to the doc and get blood pressure medicine. I’m 40 and I’ve have always been one of the healthiest people I know. Worked out hard for fifteen years plus. Never a health issue. So idk if I’m one of the first possible long term effects people since I’ve been doing them almost two years at 24mg , and that maybe it is a cause if this. I was 140\93. I’ve always been 120\70 always. Just strange to me. So maybe some others can talk about this issue with them and putting the two together? So far there the best thing that happened to me. So grateful. Unless this is true, causes high blood pressure and bleeding gums and or tooth decay. Sigh.

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