You may have heard people talking about using electronic cigarettes (also called e-cigarettes or e-cigs) as a way to try to quit smoking. If you’re thinking about using an e-cig, here are three things you should know.
- E-cigs contain nicotine:
An e-cig is a battery operated (disposable or rechargeable) device that contains nicotine. The nicotine is turned into a vapor in the e-cig and then inhaled. The vapor looks similar to smoke. E-cigs come in all sorts of sizes and sometimes have flavored nicotine cartridges.
- E-cigs aren’t regulated:
E-cigs contain other chemicals besides nicotine, which also get inhaled. Since e-cigs aren’t regulated yet, there’s no way of knowing how much nicotine is in them or what other chemicals they contain. These two things make the safety of e-cigs unclear.
- E-cigs haven’t been shown to be effective
There haven’t been any scientific studies that prove e-cigs actually help people to quit smoking. There is also concern that using e-cigs may lead kids to start smoking regular cigarettes.
The bottom line is that we just don’t know enough about e-cigs, so we don’t recommend that you use them. There are other quit aids, with or without nicotine, that have been proven to be safe and effective at helping people quit smoking. But if you do choose to use an e-cig, we recommend that you be very careful!