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E-Cigarette More Harmful Than Smoking?

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It’s no secret that many people in recovery smoke cigarettes and many more are trying to quit. The newest trend in the rooms seems to be quitting smoking through the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Smoking an e-cigarette and declaring yourself smoke-free is like replacing heroin with methadone and calling yourself “clean” – it just doesn’t work like that. It’s not surprising that an addiction to nicotine accompanies drug abuse and alcoholism, but smoking an “e-cig” may not be as safe as everyone believes.

What’s In An E-Cigarette?

An e-cigarette is combination of propylene glycol, and/or vegetable glycerin, and/or polyethylene glycol mixed with concentrated flavors, and variable percentage of a liquid nicotine concentrate. Since the e-cigarette has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there is no regulation on the amount of nicotine used in the e-cig to date. In many cases the e cig actually has more nicotine in it than a real cigarette. There has not been enough research done involving the chemicals being inhaled that shows consumers they won’t develop health issues later. One study showed that when people smoked, the e-cigarette caused an instant increase in airway resistance that lasted for more than 10 minutes. There is no sure-fire way to know if this product is actually causing the amount of damage as real cigarettes are, so to say it’s safer than smoking is unfounded and ill-informed. The only way to avoid the devastating effects of nicotine is to become completely abstinent.

Quit Smoking

The fact of the matter is if you want to be fully rid your addiction to nicotine, you have to completely remove the substance from your body. There is no easier softer way when it comes to recovery from nicotine addiction, you either quit fully or don’t, it’s that simple. If in the meantime, you feel that smoking an e-cigarette is not harmful, please at least be considerate of those who have really quit smoking. Just because the product says it’s socially acceptable, doesn’t mean society agrees. It’s best to be aware of how your actions affect others, especially if you are trying to work a program of recovery. If you want to quit smoking, but aren’t sure how, we hope you take this opportunity to read our 3 part blog series: Quit Smoking in Recovery. There is no safe way to take nicotine; a drug is a drug no matter how you ingest it.

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