E-Cigarettes

In a Healthline News report, we highlighted a small study that showed people who smoke e-cigarettes exhale less carbon monoxide. That lends credence to a theory widely held by vapers that damage to the lungs is greatly reduced because e-cigs produce vapor instead of smoke. Other scientists counter that chemicals in e-cig “e-liquid,” or “juice,” could be just as harmful.

The science on whether e-cigs help people quit nicotine for good is just as mixed.

In addition, a study was recently published that concluded teens who smoke e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke regular cigarettes.

What do the experts say?

Dimitris Agrafiotis, also known as VapinGreek, social media pro-vape guru and a representative for a vaping juice company

Dimitris Agrafiotis

Dimitris Agrafiotis does not buy for a second that e-cigarettes are as bad for you as the regular kind.

He also doesn’t appreciate ideas to tax the devices, which smokers use to enjoy nicotine and the ritual of the habit through vapor instead of smoke.

The 44-year-old says he and his wife quit smoking cigarettes together. Both feel much better and enjoy spending more time with their daughters.

“You’ve got an entire global economy structure with built-in people dying. I don’t have to be a scientist; I don’t have to be a doctor. It’s just common sense that by reducing smoke from combustion you are reducing 95 percent of the harm.”

Vince Willmore, vice president of communications, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Vince Willmore

“It is deeply troubling that the latest government survey shows youth use of electronic cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014 and for the first time exceeds use of regular cigarettes. But it is not surprising.

“E-cigarette makers have used the same tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids, including celebrity endorsements; slick TV and magazine ads that portray e-cigarettes as fun and glamorous; sponsorships of race cars and concerts; and sweet, colorful flavors such as gummy bear and cotton candy that obviously appeal to youth.

“It’s still an open question whether e-cigarettes are a pathway to other tobacco products or may help adult smokers protect their health by giving up cigarettes. But we should all be able to agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes or any tobacco product.

“The FDA should act with urgency to protect our kids by issuing a final rule to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and put a stop to marketing and flavors that appeal to kids.”

Wendy Lynch, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences, University of Virginia

Wendy Lynch

“I study nicotine addiction in animal models, and although nicotine is addictive, it can also have positive effects on behavior, including memory and learning enhancing effects.

“My statement on e-cigs, however, is more from a personal perspective. I am on a sports team, and the workouts and games are very physically demanding. There is great pressure to not smoke since it definitely impacts their performance and limits their endurance.

“Several of my teammates have made the switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, and the health benefits have been noticeable immediately. Their endurance is markedly improved once they quit.”

Jed Rose, Ph.D., director of The Duke Center for Smoking Cessation, Duke University

Jed Rose, Ph.D.

“Although not yet FDA-approved as a quit-smoking treatment, e-cigarettes may prove to be a viable alternative, especially for individuals who do not benefit sufficiently from conventional treatments.

“More studies, including long-term safety and efficacy evaluations, are needed.

“Two recent independent reviews of the scientific literature concluded that e-cigarettes can be helpful in aiding smoking cessation.”

Greer Wylder, mother of four boys, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation advocate, and editor and founder of Greer's OC website 

Greer Wylder

I know very little about the effects of e-cigs, except to know that every time there are new reports that come out about the dangers of smoking cigarettes, the e-cig people act like they won, and they are the healthy option for smokers. 

“Meanwhile, it wasn’t until about 50 years ago the surgeon general came out with reports that concluded cigarettes could cause all kinds of serious health risks. 

“E-cigs are the new kid on the block, and despite their overwhelming popularity, and making people look stupid, how do we know the health risks? I wouldn't want my kids smoking either one, but at least we know what cigarettes can do.”