Health Tips

E-Cigs Continue Igniting Debate

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, have made their way into the hands of smokers of all ages. These battery-operated devices turn chemicals, including highly-addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by users. As its popularity rises, so do questions about its impact on public health.

There are countless debates among health experts who share the same goal-reduce disease and death associated with tobacco use. However, many disagree about whether e-cigarettes make the problem better or worse.

Since nicotine is addictive, many believe e-cigarettes will become a “gateway drug,” encouraging nonsmokers and youth to use traditional tobacco products. They also worry that manufactures with big advertising budgets could make smoking popular again; defeating decades of progress to get people to quit or never start smoking. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates of e-cigarette use among teenagers are growing rapidly. In fact, the CDC reports that over a quarter of a million high school student have never smoked tobacco cigarettes, but have used e-cigarettes.

Others see e-cigarettes as a potential benefit for smokers. Research from the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University suggests there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks by using e-cigarettes in place of tobacco cigarettes. It also finds that e-cigarettes can be considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use. It is important to note that data on e-cigarettes is fairly new, and little is known about the long-term effects on the body.

What Parents Should Know:

What Smokers and Adults Should Know:

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.