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Health Concerns Over Electronic Cigarettes

In the past, smokers have tried to quit the unhealthy habit by going for direct nicotine instead of getting it through cigarettes, but how much healthier are electronic cigarettes?
AMARILLO -- In the past, smokers have tried to quit the unhealthy habit by going for direct nicotine instead of getting it through cigarettes, but how much healthier are electronic cigarettes?

There are more calls to the Poison Control Center these days, about the use or the misuse of e-cigs. 

The devices heat up a synthetic nicotine oil, and turns it into a vapor that users can then inhale.

No tobacco or smoke is required, but the FDA hasn't found it to be completely safe, partially because there are no official testing results yet.

There is more concern about accidental effects on kids according to Jeanie Jaramillo of the Poison Control Center.

"With children, particularly young children if they drink the liquid from the cartridge they can actually have seizures and that can be very problematic for young children, and the devices themselves are also a choking hazard," said Jaramillo.

Of course, if parents who use e-cigs can keep them and the parts out of their kids' reach, then these accidents can be easily avoided.

The effects on teens seem to be minor for those who use the devices according to the directions. Headaches, nausea and vomiting, but these occur with first time users.

When it comes to those who are trying to quit cigarettes, local shops that sell e-cigs have found them helpful.

John El McLaughlin, an employee at Smokin' Vapes told us that the clientele is "mainly people that used to smoke that don't want to smoke anymore. Some clients come in that still do smoke, and this basically helps them to stop smoking."

The store owner told us that quite a few of his customers are older adults.

The poison control center does not recommend electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking and stresses the importance of keeping the kids away from them.

More than half of the calls related e-cigarette problems concern kids ages five or younger.

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