E-cigarettes are marketed as being a safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Their makers tout that because e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, tar or other toxins associated with tobacco smoking, your chances of experiencing any of the dangers associated with tobacco smoking are slim. Let’s see if that’s true.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe?
Because there’s no federal regulation of the industry – and no FDA approval – it’s tough to get a handle on just what e-cigarette users are putting in their bodies. In other words, there are no standards.
While they are smoke-free and tobacco-free, e-cigarettes are definitely not nicotine-free. That’s right; the same highly addictive nicotine that gets tobacco smokers hooked can be found in any e-cigarette. The only difference is that in e-cigarette liquid – or e-juice – the nicotine comes in highly concentrated form.
There’s hundreds of chemicals found in e-cigarettes. Among them:
- Benzene – also a popular ingredient in gasoline
- Formaldehyde – popular in construction materials and a known carcinogen
- Lead – known to irritate lungs
- Nickel – known to cause damaging respiratory effects.
The Centers for Disease Control reported a sharp increase in calls to poison centers by e-cigarette users. While there was one related call per month in 2010, that number rose dramatically to 215 per month in 2014. More than half of those calls involved children under the age of five. In the CDC’s press release announcing the alarming incidents, CDC Director Tom Frieden said, “This report is another red flag about e-cigarettes. Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue. E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children.”
Can E-Cigarettes Help you Quit Smoking?
The promise of e-cigarettes serving as a means to smoking cessation certainly sounds good. But the proof just isn’t there to support the claim. A study by JAMA Internal Medicine found that the use of e-cigarettes did not generate greater rates of smoking cessation.
Another study by the American Journal of Public Health produced similar results with one startling caveat: e-cigarette smokers may actually be at more risk than tobacco cigarette smokers because of their inability to stop smoking.
Can Deep TMS Therapy Help People to Quit Smoking?
A relatively new approach that is showing promise in the desire to quit smoking is Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS), a noninvasive technique that utilizes electromagnetic pulses to stimulate specific areas of the brain.
Originally launched by Brainsway as an innovative approach for treating depression, dTMS was approved by the FDA in 2008 and has shown to have positive effects in treating Alzheimer’s disease, autism, bipolar disorder, stroke rehabilitation, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Although research is continuing, recent studies have shown positive results for dTMS treatment. One study in particular [Dinur-Klein et al., In Press] tested 115 participants who smoked at least 20 cigarettes daily and had failed previous forms of cessation approaches. For 13 daily sessions, participants were randomly selected to receive high-frequency, low-frequency or sham (very weak or brief) stimulation.
Those who received the high-frequency stimulation significantly reduced their cigarette and nicotine addiction. During the study, their response rate was 81%. The after-treatment abstinence rate was 44%, and the complete abstinence rate in a follow-up six (6) months later was 33%.
Marketing firms have earned their millions by packaging e-cigarettes in the most appealing ways. The devices themselves are slick and stylish, and the variety of flavored e-liquid is impressive. But if you want the truth of exactly what e-cigarettes are comprised of and what they can do, don’t bother reading the labels: the information you need isn’t there.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers dTMS treatments for smoking cessation Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or visit us online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.