Cigarettes vs E-Cigarettes: Know the difference

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- What are the differences between regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes? Tyler Mickelson sat down with Dr. Alicia Arnold to find out. Their Q&A can be found below.

Photo: Jonny Williams / www.ecigclick.co.uk / MGN

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “E-cigarettes contain liquids that are aerosolized by the device. They frequently contain nicotine, although not all do, as well as other substances like flavoring. Evidence suggests that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces exposure to multiple toxins and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.”

We know that nicotine is addictive. How do e-cigarettes compare to combustible cigarettes?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “E-cigarettes do typically contain nicotine, but there are non-nicotine versions available of the liquid. Nicotine is addictive with well-known health consequences. There is evidence that the nicotine intake from e-cigarettes can be comparable to that from combustible tobacco cigarettes.”

Let’s talk about e-cigarettes helping adults quit smoking.

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “The study states that e-cigarettes are helpful if they enable adults to stop combustible (or traditional) smoking. However, there is some controversy about how effective e-cigarettes actually are for this task.”

What are some of the concerns about kids and e-cigarettes?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “One of the concerns regarding youth is that starting with e-cigarettes would eventually lead to smoking combustible (traditional) cigarettes because of normalizing smoking behavior or possible dependence. E-cigarettes may also increase risk of coughing or asthma exacerbations. Also e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough for us to definitively know the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes.”

This study says “fewer” toxins… what toxins would still be going into the body using e-cigarettes?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “An example would be metals in the aerosol, as well as potential toxicants from the flavoring and the other chemicals components. There is evidence that the aerosols may cause acute endothelial cell dysfunction as well as promote oxidative stress.”

Is it possible for people to “overuse” e-cigarettes? Can constant smoking cause problems?

Dr. Alicia Arnold, “There is evidence suggesting that using e-cigarettes can result in dependence on e-cigarettes. Also, using e-cigarettes indoors increases airborne concentration of particulate matter and nicotine in your environment. There is also concern that long-term use of e-cigarettes may increase the risk of cancer, but scientists don’t yet know whether the levels of chemicals are high enough. We just don’t have enough long-term data yet.”



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