October is now becoming a traditional month for giving up smoking with “Stop-tober” adverts everywhere. Of course, giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. But, how you choose to give up is an important health choice too. E-cigarettes are getting a mixed review. On one side we have been lead to believe that they don’t have the carcinogens that normal cigarettes do but will still give you a nicotine hit. On the other side we know they are banned in four countries and are medically unregulated. So what is the low down on e-cigarettes?
First of all for those who have never seen or used one, what exactly is an E- cigarette? Well, it is a battery powered device that lets you inhale nicotine-infused vapours without taking in harmful toxins such as carbon monoxide and tar.
There are four main ingredients, liquid nicotine, propylene glycol (a bonding agent), food flavourings and water, where-as there are over 4000 chemicals in regular cigarettes. It looks as if there could be nothing that could cause Cancer included, even “nicotine is about as harmful as caffeine” advises Professor John Britton who is chairman of the Royal College of Physicians. But it is important to note that they only list four main ingredients and the rest is sketchy ground. Tests have been done that have shown very low traces of carcinogens and compounds that might cause breathing problems.
To summarise GP Dr. Sarah Jarvis says “Yes, e-cigarettes are better than smoking but that is because cigarettes are so bad for you.” Until they are medically classified in 2016, you might feel you are better off sticking to proven traditional methods like patches if you want to quit.
Research taken from an article in Glamour Magazine. Get a copy of Novembers edition for more information about E-cigarettes.
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