One would imagine that given the staggering health consequences of traditional tobacco use, medical doctors would be jumping for joy that there is finally a tobacco alternative that has the mass-market appeal that neither nicotine gun nor nicotine patches have been able to create. Instead, doctors are in some cases telling patients using e-cigarettes to stop, essentially endorsing tobacco as safer than vaporized nicotine.
Nicotine itself is very addictive, but it does not rationally follow that any and all nicotine delivery systems are inherently bad. For those already fighting the addiction, an alternative to expensive gums and embarrassing and unsightly patches.
While it is true that those addicted to nicotine may simply use the e-cigarette as an alternate delivery method without working to correct the underlying addiction, at least they are no longer inhaling hundreds of compounds that result from combustion. Any form of harm reduction, when considering a habit as dangerous as tobacco use, should be welcomed with open arms, and more importantly, an open mind.
Unfortunately, according to NBC 2 in Tampa, Florida, several local doctors are directing their patients to not use e-cigarettes, and thus pushing them back to normal tobacco products.
Dr. Robert Greene treats lung cancer patients at the Palm Beach Cancer Institute and said the product is potentially a health hazard. “There really is no information about whether they’re safe or not, and that’s part of the problem,” said Greene. He says with no real data on e-cigarettes, the three-year-old tobacco alternative may actually be more harmful that traditional cigarettes. ”The doses of nicotine that you get could conceivably be higher than what you would get in a typical cigarette,” said Greene.
Of course, nicotine content can be controlled and easily standardized in an e-cigarette or other vaporizer. With proper oversight, the industry could theoretically provide a quitting method for thousands or even millions of sickened, addicted Americans.
Authorities don’t necessarily know what’s inside of e-cigarettes, but the FDA tested a small sample just a few years ago and found a number of toxic chemicals including diethylene glycol, the same ingredient used in antifreeze. “I understand they found all kinds of stuff,” said (e-cigarette distrubutor Ray) Story. “At one point in time you may have found whatever you want to find. If it cannot be substantiated by the other side, you have to question their motive.” The findings forced the Food and Drug Administration to issue a nationwide health warning.
As the industry has expanded, better standards and greater access to information online have resulted in better quality products, some made domestically in the United States. Standard e-cigarette fluids should contain only give FDA-approved ingredients according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
Source: NBC 2 Tampa