Clearing The Air: E-Cigarettes

Stefan Doyno
Katie's Take
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E-Cigarettes are everywhere these days, in fact they are now a one billion dollar business.
But just because they don’t contain actual tobacco, are they safe? Not necessarily.

Dr. Richard Besser stopped by to clear the air.

“What is it and how does it work?” Katie asked
“It produces an aerosol or a mist so that it feels like you’re smoking,” Dr. Besser said, “but it’s delivering nicotine which is the stimulant in
cigarettes and that’s the addictive part.”

Regular cigarettes have other harmful ingredients such as tar and other chemicals.

“Are they safe?” Katie wondered.

“We don’t know. Currently there haven’t been studies done,” he said. “We don’t know what you’re receiving apart from the nicotine.”

It turns out that the E-Cig companies aren’t required to release that information.

But can they help wean you off actual cigarettes?

“That’s the big hope,” Dr. Besser said, “So far there’s not a lot of studies.”

Supposedly 7 percent of e-cigarettes users have been able to quit the habit, while 6 percent of nicotine patch users have
had the same success. “Both numbers are pretty terrible,” Dr. Besser said. “but right now they’re just being marketed as something you might enjoy.”