President's Prescription: E-cigarettes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: E-cigarettes still not a safe alternative

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More and more Americans are "vaping" with e-cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6 percent of U.S. adults and 21 percent of smokers tried e-cigarettes in 2011.

This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President, tells us why, even with this new technology, there's still no such thing as a safe cigarette:

"With all that we know about cigarette smoking, more and more people are turning to electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. The increasing popularity of these devices is causing doctors and researchers to take a second look at their potential health effects," Mitchell said. 

"E-cigarettes are metal or plastic battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine solution into a vapor that users inhale. Using an e-cigarette, or "vaping," doesn't create the same smoke or odor as traditional cigarettes, but users still get a dose of an addictive substance called nicotine.

"Even when unaccompanied by tar, charcoal, carbon monoxide and other known carcinogens, nicotine can still cause harmful effects including increased heart rate and increased blood pressure.

"Only time will tell when it comes to the potential risks of e-cigarettes. For more information on how to quit smoking, visit the American Cancer Society's website."

Conclusions about the safety of e-cigarettes are mixed. Some studies cite potential hazards, like secondhand effects from the vapor, and potential lung damage. Others reveal some smokers smoke less after using e-cigarettes, and sometimes put them down all together. 

Did you know the American Cancer Society says a telephone-based quit program has proven to be the most successful way to help people kick the habit?

That's why the ACS has established a program called Quit for Life.

It's a phone-based coaching line in conjunction with a web based support service.

And you can't get any cheaper than that.

It even includes a texting line if you'd rather use that. For more on the quit for life program... just call 1-800-227-2345.

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