E-cigarettes are suddenly all over. Nicotine in a tube. Are they safe?
America fought for years to get out of the clutches of cigarettes and the ravages of tobacco. Many Americans still fight to break free. Now there’s a new player. E-cigarettes. All the nicotine of a cigarette, but none of the tar and gunk that lead to cancer - as far as we know.
You may have seen people puffing them. Vapor in, vapor out. No actual smoke. But there’s a big debate over the net impact. Are e-cigarettes a nifty way off of traditional smoking? Or are they a new gateway to nicotine addiction and, ultimately, back to cigarettes?
This hour, On Point: the e-cigarette dilemma.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Closing Segment on Insurance Exchanges
From Tom's Reading List
The New York Times (Dr. Michael Siegel): What’s Not to Like? — "Available scientific research confirms that electronic cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation and reduction strategy for many smokers. There is abundant clinical and survey evidence, and recently – clinical trial evidence – that literally hundreds of thousands of U.S. smokers have successfully quit or cut down substantially on the amount they smoke thanks to electronic cigarettes.
The Washington Post: E-cigarettes raise new questions about smoking -- "Though e-cigarette makers do not make safety or health claims, many users assume that eliminating the smoke of burning tobacco also eliminates the harm. 'There’s no question that e-cigarettes deliver fewer [toxic substances] than conventional cigarettes, but the question of how much less is still not clear,' says Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California at San Francisco. "
USA Today: E-cigarette use doubles among U.S. teens -- "Last year, 10% of high school students say they tried e-cigarettes, up from 4.7% in 2011, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A doubling also occurred among U.S. middle school students saying they've experimented with e-cigarettes — from 1.4% to 2.7% — and similar spikes in teen usage were found in the 2013 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey."
This program aired on September 11, 2013.