Since e-cigs hit the marketplace the debate has continued about the benefits and risks of using these new futuristic devices. I have written a previous article about e-cigs, have given one talk open to the public about these issues, and continue to follow any published data relative to their safety and efficacy.

A number of studies done on large groups of people using e-cigs to stop smoking have shown different results. Some studies have shown e-cigs can significantly help smokers stop smoking, but other studies have shown just the opposite. I find this as frustrating as you do. The safety issues remain. There are fewer carcinogens in e-cigs compared to regular cigarettes. The e-cig smoke is still irritating and can affect lung function adversely. The long term effects of e-cig use are yet to be determined. The latest concern is “dual use”. Smokers will use the e-cigs in places where they cannot use regular cigarettes and then smoke regular cigarettes when able, and the amount of cigarettes they consume daily remains the same.

Lastly, the use of e-cigs in middle school and high school students is on the rise. The possibility that the FDA will impose some regulatory restrictions on the sale and distribution of e-cigs is most likely several years away, and what form it will take is not yet known. The best advice I can give at this time is be as cautious with e-cig use, as with regular cigarettes, and stay tuned for more updates.