Business & EconomyE-cigarettes are not FDA-approved smoking cessation tool, doctors discourage vaping

E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved smoking cessation tool, doctors discourage vaping

Due to emerging evidence that vaping has serious negative health effects, even when used as a smoking cessation aid, doctors are increasingly warning individuals against using e-cigarettes.

The use of e-cigarettes was severely discouraged in a new medical recommendation released in July by the American College of Cardiology, especially for people with chronic heart disease.

E-cigarettes have been demonstrated to “increase heart rate, blood pressure and affect the ability of the blood vessels to relax,” even in young people, according to Dr. Naomi Hamburg, cardiologist and professor of medicine at Boston University.

Vaping: The better option?

E-cigarettes are frequently presented as the better option when compared to conventional cigarettes. According to Levounis, this may be due to flavoring possibilities, perceived damage reduction compared to traditional cigarettes, more manageable odor, and focused marketing campaigns towards susceptible demographics, particularly youth.

However, research indicates that e-cigarettes injure the body as a whole. A medical disorder known as EVALI, or E-cigarette or Vaping-use Associated Lung Injury, can affect other organ systems in addition to the lungs.

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“We just cannot conclude that it is safer than cigarettes,” said Dr. Jason Rose, a Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician who is also the Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Innovation & Physician Science at The University of Maryland.

Doctors are now warning that people who are trying to quit may start using e-cigarettes in addition to traditional cigarettes — a phenomenon Hamburg calls a “dual use pattern.”

The use of both is particularly discouraged because the combined effect can be particularly harmful to blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.

FDA-endorsed products only

According to doctors, anyone seeking to stop smoking should only use products that have been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. Options include drugs like Varenicline or Bupropion as well as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) via a patch, gum, or inhaler. Frequently, mixtures of these NRTs are advised, such as the patch and the gum.

There are times when psychosocial interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy are required for one to be able to stop smoking, Levounis said.

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