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Smoking Cessation Health Center

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E-Cigarettes Don't Harm Heart, Study Shows

Electronic Cigarettes Useful as Smoking Cessation Aid, Researcher Says

Millions Use Electronic Cigarettes continued...

American Heart Association spokesman Russell Luepker, MD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, says that because they "light up," electronic cigarettes may be preferred over other smoking cessation aids by some people trying to quit.

It’s not surprising they are less harmful than the real thing, he says. "The e-cigarette has the advantage of not having the thousands of other chemicals, besides nicotine, that a real cigarette has," he says.

"I don't think it's conclusive but there's no doubt if you expose someone to fewer bioactive chemical compounds there is going to be less effect on the heart," Luepker says. But they should only be used as a temporary bridge while quitting smoking, he says.

The e-cigarettes used in the study contained 11 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine (Nobacco, USA Mix) in the liquid. That’s a "moderate" amount, according to Farsalinos, who says they can contain up to 23 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine.

Many laboratory analyses have shown electronic cigarettes do not contain carcinogens, he says. But even in studies where formaldehyde and other carcinogens were found, the levels detected were 500 to 1,400 times less than the amount present in one tobacco cigarette, Farsalinos says.

"You would have to use e-smokes for six to eight months to get the amount of chemical present in a single tobacco cigarette," he says.

An electronic cigarette kit typically costs from $30 to $200.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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