E-cigarettes can help smokers quit
Nathan Porter’s story about e-cigarettes perpetuates many of the myths about the product (“Electronic cigarette peddlers are just blowing smoke, health officials say,” Web, Oct. 31).
To set the record straight, there is a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes are at least as effective as nicotine patches at helping smokers to stop lighting up “cancer sticks.” All of the clinical trials have noted that adverse effects among participants were mild and diminished over the course of the study. No serious adverse effects were attributed to e-cigarette use, not even in a trial that followed subjects for 24 months.
The article implied that switching from inhaling smoke to inhaling vapor has no benefits. But switching eliminates or reduces exposure to the carcinogens and toxins found in smoke that are absent in vapor, and those who have switched — even if only partially — report improvements in their health, starting with a reduction in shortness of breath and coughing.
There is no evidence that e-cigarette use is a gateway to smoking among youth. Despite youth experimentation with e-cigarettes, the rates of past-month smoking and smoking initiation have continued to decline, reaching an all-time low in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.