Posted September 22, 2011, 10 07 am Harvey B. Simon, M.D., Editor, Harvard Health

Kicking the cigarette habit is one of the best things that smokers can do for themselves. Nicotine replacement products, prescription medications, and counseling can all help. What about the newest tobacco substitute, the electronic cigarette? Despite the appeal of so called e cigarettes, we don t know enough about their safety or effectiveness to give them the green light.

Electronic cigarettes come in a variety of shapes. Some look like cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, while others are disguised as pens or other more socially acceptable items. Whatever their shape, they all are built around a battery operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge that contains nicotine and other chemicals, and an atomizer that converts the chemicals into an inhalable vapor.

A study published this spring in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that electronic cigarettes may help smokers quit. Whether they are a safe way to quit is another question preliminary studies from the FDA, New Zealand, and Greece raise some concerns.

There are three reasons to worry about electronic cigarettes. First, the dose of nicotine delivered with each puff may vary substantially. An FDA analysis recorded nicotine doses between 26.8 and 43.2 micrograms per puff. It also detected nicotine in products labeled as nicotine free.

Second, electronic cigarettes deliver an array of other chemicals, including diethylene glycol (a highly toxic substance), various nitrosamines (powerful carcinogens found in tobacco), and at least four other chemicals suspected of being harmful to humans. To be sure, the dose of these compounds is generally smaller than found in “real” cigarette smoke. But it isn’t zero.

Third, by simulating the cigarette experience, electronic cigarettes might reactivate the habit in ex smokers. They could also be a gateway into tobacco abuse for young people who are not yet hooked.

We need scientific studies of e cigarettes. Until then, it’s caveat emptor, buyer beware. And be aware that there are better and safer ways to quit. The most effective strategy involves using nicotine replacement or a medication along with some sort of counseling or support, either in person, by telephone, or even by text message.

If you want to quit, solid information and advice are available at , a Web site developed by the National Cancer Institute. Any of the approved methods are vastly preferable to smoking and to electronic cigarettes.

Dr. Harvey Simon is Editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, a monthly newsletter written to help men lead healthier, longer lives. Related Information How to Quit Smoking 10 Minute Consult Print Related Posts

  • Smokers with cancer benefit from quitting, but need extra
  • Gene may explain why some smokers must fight to quit
  • CVS to become first major U.S. pharmacy to stop selling
  • Surgeon General’s 1964 report making smoking history
  • Expert panel proposes annual lung cancer test for some

Comments 103 Topics Addiction Prevention

Ronnie dunn releases ‘wish i still smoked cigarettes’

European cigarettes magneto mod starter manufacturers, european cigarettes magneto mod starter suppliers & exporters on
Little Will E Records

Ronnie Dunn is giving fans another hint of what his next album will sound like. The singer just released the second single, ‘Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes,’ from his upcoming project, which will be released on his own Little Will E record label.

The 60 year old posted a streaming version of the song to his social media sites last week, and the tune has already generated more than 50,000 listens.

After receiving such an overwhelming response from followers last week, I m thrilled to be offering this new song to fans, Dunn says of the new track. It s just a taste of what s to come as we continue working on a new album.

The former member of Brooks and Dunn, who released one solo album on Arista Nashville in 2011, hints that he has big plans for his independent record.

I think you are going to like what you see and hear, Dunn shares on his Facebook page. We are going to make music available to you in different and unique ways. Our goal is to create a MUSIC CULTURE, guided by a lifestyle philosophy. There are no rules.

‘Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes’ was written by Lori McKenna, Luke Laird and Barry Dean. It is available for download here.