Doctors are increasingly advising against using e-cigarettes, even as a way to stop smoking, in the wake of emerging research emphasizing the severe negative health effects of vaping.
According to Dr. Petros Levounis, President of the American Psychiatric Association and Head of the Psychiatry Department at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, effective, secure, and FDA-approved therapies are available for current smokers.
The use of e-cigarettes is highly discouraged in recent medical guidelines published in July by the American College of Cardiology, especially in people with chronic heart disease.
According to Dr. Naomi Hamburg, a cardiologist, and professor of medicine at Boston University, E-cigarettes have been found to increase heart rate and blood pressure and disturb blood vessel relaxation, even in young people. A tried-and-true, secure alternative is strongly advised.
The FDA maintains that no tobacco product is judged safe, even though it concedes that e-cigarettes may contain less dangerous substances than conventional cigarettes.
It is important to note that it is not possible to conclude that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes, according to Dr. Jason Rose, a pulmonary and critical care physician who also serves as an associate professor of medicine and the assistant dean for innovation and physician science at The University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The use of e-cigarettes in addition to conventional cigarettes by those trying to stop smoking is known as a “dual use pattern,” which doctors advise against.
The repeated use of this technique can have severe consequences on blood vessels, increasing the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
Parents Against Vaping volunteer and mom Frances Daniels tells the heartbreaking tale of her 17-year-old son, who used e-cigarettes recreationally and spent five weeks in the ICU after suffering an EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung damage).
The experience was traumatic, even though Daniels’ child eventually healed without a lung transplant. Doctors advise sticking with FDA-approved products for quitting smoking.
Options include drugs like Varenicline or Bupropion and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as patches, gum, or inhalers. NRTs can be combined, such as the patch and gum.
Psychosocial approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy may be helpful in some circumstances. Although the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids, businesses still pursue this clearance.
The FDA argues that further study is necessary to determine the safety of smokers trying to stop. According to Dr. Hamburg, e-cigarettes are not the best option for smoking cessation aids because there are safer and more effective alternatives. Source