E-cigarettes, a safer smoke?
You’ve probably seen someone using an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. The giveaway if that a cloud of steam that puffs up versus smoke. Use of the devices is increasing among both teenagers and adults. But little is known about the ingredients or long-term effects.
“Any time you introduce something into the lungs that is not supposed to be there, whether it’s vapor midst or smoke-filled carcinogen, it has the risk to damage the body,” says William Lay, RT, director of radiology at Baptist Health Corbin.
One study found that up to 30 percent of e-cigarette products were contaminated with substances such as formaldehyde. And another study showed that kids who have used e-cigarettes before ninth grade are more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.
Lay said the only time e-cigarettes might be helpful is if they’re used as a temporary aid to quit smoking.
“If the end game is that you’re not introducing anything (foreign) into your lungs, then it’s a plus,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that the agency will start regulating the sale of e-cigarettes as it does tobacco, so they can’t be sold to people under 18.