Are E-Cigarettes Here to Stay?


What started in Asia as a fad (where many of the devices are manufactured), has since moved into the mainstream, Western commercial world. Tobacco giants hungrily eye the potential of e-cigarettes that are purposed to be safer than the real stuff, but still deliver the nicotine “kick” that so many smokers are hooked on.

That’s where the debate lies. Any perspective really depends on which corner of the social world you come from.

For many smokers, the push is to try e-cigarettes because they’ve been shown to reduce the amount of tobacco smoked. Some even consider that e-cigarettes aid in the effort to quit smoking altogether.

Analysis of e-cigarette vapors reveals much lower levels of potential carcinogens and little, if any, carbon monoxide.

For those who don’t smoke, the opportunity for “vaping” is answered with a resounding ‘no’. Finding out whether your unique neurochemistry has a nicotine-shaped lock that turns on “feel good” senses is only asking for trouble. It’s suggested that nicotine dependence is as difficult a habit to break as cocaine, so it’s to not even try to discover whether the e-cig does anything other than cost more than a drink at Starbucks.

Finally, as we push for a healthy workforce, employers keep an eye towards lowered healthcare costs. E-cigarette’s nicotine still shows up on drug screens. Employers such as Baylor Health Care System will not hire new employees with positive urine screens for nicotine because a positive screen may lead to a higher health insurance premium for the employer.

About the author

Dr. Mark Millard
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Mark Millard, MD, is a pulmonologist and medical director at the Martha Foster Lung Care Center. Dr. Millard developed the "Rules of Two®" to help determine if your asthma is under control. Get to know Dr. Millard.

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Are E-Cigarettes Here to Stay?