Are E-cigarettes Good for Adult Smokers but Actually Bad for Teens?
The current U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has released his opinion on e-cigarettes. Although researchers found that e-cigarettes have virtually no harmful effects and are a dream-like tool to help smokers quit, Murthy now says they're actually dangerous to teens.
E-cigarettes have been hailed by researchers as a miracle tool to help smokers quit. A U.K. study found that almost 60,000 people have successfully quit smoking (even if it's just short-term) by using e-cigarettes.
And they're safe too! Researchers found that e-cigarettes contain virtually none of the 4,000 and more carcinogens and harmful chemicals of regular cigarettes. They only expose smokers to pure nicotine and very minute quantities of free radicals. They say that pure nicotine doesn't cause smoking-related diseases, like cancer or heart disease.
But now Dr. Vivek Murthy, the current U.S. surgeon general, is saying that e-cigarettes are bad for teens. Is Murthy simply trying to get some last-minute bans in before his tenure as surgeon general ends? (Trump has announced he wants to replace Murthy with the famous Dr. Oz.)
But there's truth behind Murthy's statement. E-cigarettes are great if you're trying to quit smoking, but Dr. J. Taylor Hays of the Mayo Clinic says that high school teens who haven't started smoking regular cigarettes are falling in with the vaping trend. This could possibly lead to them becoming curious and trying real cigarettes or other harmful tobacco products.
Dr. Shilpa Tarugu of drug and alcohol rehab Florida says that addiction to hard drugs often starts with recreational use of lighter drugs. She says the same possibilities apply to e-cigarettes because they contain actual addictive nicotine. But there's good news – she says that taking L-glutamine supplements can help battle addiction. L-glutamine also boosts your glutathione levels.
The bottom line: Definitely switch to e-cigarettes if you're trying to quit smoking – they've so far been found to be harmless and have helped thousands of smokers quit. Their long-term effects aren't so clearly known, however. If you're not a smoker or if you have children, keep them away from your e-cigarettes and don't allow them to vape – this could potentially lead to them trying real regular cigarettes and nicotine addiction.