Are electronic cigarettes saviors or new culprits?

Mustafa UNAL, Bektas Murat YALCIN, Mustafa Yasin SELCUK
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Electronic cigarette (EC) usage in the world is increasing. It might outsell the other tobacco products in the future with this rate of selling increase. Promoters of EC argue that using them will bring additional benefits in the fight against tobacco. By switching from cigarettes to ECs, smokers will not be exposed to a number of dangerous substances thus; morbidity and mortality of smoking would decrease. This may cause major epidemiologic changes. Opponents argue that none of these claims are proven. Nicotine itself is not only addictive but also a harmful substance. Besides it may disseminate tobacco use young people into nicotine addiction with its new harmless image. These devices imitate the hits of nicotine, therefore feed the addiction rather than prevent it. People simply may continue smoking and use EC where cigarettes are socially or legally unacceptable. The solutions of nicotine carry the risk of using unhealthy mixtures and inappropriate nicotine dosing. Users simply may abuse these devices to use other substances such as cocaine. ECs are not recognized as a form of nicotine replacement therapy. In fact most health authorities are negative on ECs. Legal issues like using ECs in public places are not clear. Health professionals are increasingly facing the questions regarding EC usage and fail to provide satisfactory answers. 


Addiction; electronic cigarette carcinogens; electronic cigarettes; medicinal use of nicotine; nicotine abuse; popcorn lung

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