Monday, September 12, 2016

E-Cigarettes and the Brain

Recently a parent asked about the benefits of E-cigs versus regular cigarettes. I referred the individual to a fact sheet produced by NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Known as e-cigarettes or ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) they typically consist of a power source, which is usually a battery; some type of vaporizer or heating device; and a liquid that contains nicotine along with flavorings such as candy, fruit, mint, and coffee, and other chemicals. In many e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The resulting aerosol or vapor is then inhaled (called ‘vaping’).Because they deliver nicotine without burning tobacco leaves, many tout them as a safer and less toxic alternative to traditional cigarettes. Very little is actually known about the long-term health risks of using these e-cigarette devices. Even in States that have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, teens have been obtaining them by simply ordering the devices online.

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