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E-Cigarettes 101

What Parents Should Know

  • Nicotine can affect brain development in children and teens, Drummond says.
  • Some e-cigarettes have candy flavoring, which could make them appealing to kids.
  • They don't leave a smell like tobacco. So it's harder for parents to know if their kids are vaping.


What Adults and Smokers Need to Know

  • If you don't smoke, don't start vaping. There are no health benefits and some risks.
  • If you smoke and are trying to quit, you're better off with an FDA-approved method of quitting, Drummond says, like the nicotine patch or gum. There's good evidence that they help. E-cigarettes may turn out to be an effective way to quit, but we don't have the proof yet.
  • If you're not planning to quit, would it be healthier to switch from tobacco products to e-cigarettes? Maybe. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

While experts debate, some cities -- like Boston, Los Angeles, and New York -- have passed laws about how people can buy or use e-cigarettes in public. 

Bigger, changes are likely.

The FDA has proposed new regulations that would extend the agency’s authority over many tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

A minimum age requirement is among the proposed regulations.


Reviewed on January 03, 2014

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