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e-Cigarettes vs Cigarettes (cont.)

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Do e-cigarettes expel secondhand smoke?

Not much is known about the secondhand "vapor" that is expelled from users, including levels of nicotine, nitrosamines, and other components that are yet to be identified. Nevertheless, many people would prefer not to be in a restaurant or other place of business and be exposed to vapors that contain addictive nicotine, and possibly other products that have a potential for harm.

Do e-cigarettes help with smoking cessation?

Although e-cigarettes have been touted as a way for tobacco smokers to kick their cigarette habit, e-cigarettes in one study were only about as effective as nicotine patches.

Are e-cigarettes addictive?

There is some concern that e-cigarettes are being marketed to attract younger non-smokers with "flavored" liquids such as bubblegum, piña colada, vanilla, and others. Because most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, it is possible that people can become addicted to them. Some doctors are concerned that if they become addicted to the nicotine in the e-cigarettes, it may be an easy step up to smoking tobacco which is associated with so very many health consequences.

How many people use e-cigarettes?

Since this product was first developed in 2004 in China as a tobacco cessation device, it has grown rapidly so that in 2013 the estimated market is about 1.5 billion as compared to 100 billion for tobacco sales. However, the sale of this product is growing rapidly worldwide. The CDC suggests that as more people utilize e-cigarettes, the dramatic increase in nicotine poisoning in children will continue if nothing is done to prevent young children gaining access to nicotine – containing liquids.

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine


McArdle, Megan. "E-Cigarettes: A $1.5 Billion Industry Braces for FDA Regulation." Bloomberg. Feb 7, 2014.

"New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers." Apr 3, 2014.

"Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and Other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)." Updated Oct 5, 2016.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/4/2016


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