Those who smoke cigarettes know quite well how addictive nicotine is. Over the years many methods have been used to help smokers quit smoking. But the success rate is not that great. The struggle continues.
The latest effort in this struggle is the development of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes. An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ November 5, 2013) says, “Electronic (e-) cigarettes are cigarette-shaped canisters used to simulate the action of cigarette smoking.”
The e-cigarettes are fluid-filled cartridges that contain varying concentrations of flavouring agents, propylene glycol, glycerine, water and other chemicals. The batteries within the canisters heat up contents of the e-cigarette.
Some e-cigarettes contain nicotine. The cartridge content varies widely according to the manufacturer and distributor, says the article. The act of smoking an e-cigarette is called “vaping,” because the user inhales vapour, not smoke.
E-cigarettes are not approved for sale in Canada. But that does not mean you cannot get them. They are readily available online. Smokers who use e-cigarettes may think that they are safe but they should remember e-cigarettes have not been evaluated for their safety. We don’t even know that they are superior to other methods used to help people stop smoking.
The CMAJ article concludes by saying that several pharmacologic and behavioural interventions have been found to improve smoking cessation rates. These strategies help patients manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms, learn behavioural self-regulation skills and provide instrumental social support.
Smokers wishing to stop smoking should discuss their options with their family doctor. As has been said before, if there is a will, there is a way.
What does a fish smoke? Sea weed. Talk to you again soon.
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