E-cigarettes still contain a number of toxins that are found in tobacco smoke but due to lower amounts of such toxins researchers say that long term health effects could be less harmful compared to cigarettes.
‘Health professionals may consider advising smokers unable or unwilling to quit through other routes to switch to EC as a safer alternative to smoking and a possible pathway to complete cessation of nicotine use,’ according to a new study published in the journal Addiction.
While e-cigarettes are not currently recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are becoming a more prevalent option for smokers who are trying to quit. In a recent study published in the PLOS ONE Journal on physician’s attitudes towards e-cigarettes, 67% of physicians who were surveyed said that e-cigarettes were helpful in the cessation of smoking tobacco.
Current guidelines do not require physicians to discuss the use of e-cigarettes and often treatments such as counseling or nicotine replacements including patches, gum and inhalers are recommended.
E-cigarette use in the US doubled between 2011/2012 including adults as well as middle and high school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) with sales of expected to exceed $10bn by the year 2017. In Britain, e-cigarette usage among adults has grown from an estimated 700,000 users in 2012 to 2.1 million in 2014, according to figures released by health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH.)