E-ciggies `not a healthy alternative to smoking`

Washington: Researchers have said that "buyer beware" caveat holds true when it comes to the unknown health effects of e-cigarettes.

Their article examines the idea that one of the initial "health benefits" proposed by e-cigarettes makers was that it would help those who smoke cigarettes cut back.

However, the authors say that theory hasn't been proven, and there's no evidence to support the claims.

Allergist Andrew Nickels, MD, lead author, ACAAI member, Mayo Clinic Division of Allergy and Immunology, said despite the apparent optimism surrounding e-cigarettes and their purported therapeutic role in smoking cessation, there just simply is not enough evidence to suggest that consumers should use e-cigarettes for this purpose.

Another cause for concern is that when people use e-cigarettes in public and still smoke regular cigarettes at home, they continue to expose children and asthma sufferers in the household to dangerous second hand smoke.

Chitra Dinakar , MD, co-author, ACAAI fellow and Professor of Pediatrics, Children's Mercy Hospitals, said dual use of both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes carries the risk of secondhand

smoke exposure, causing worsening respiratory effects on children and asthma sufferers. It also promotes ongoing nicotine dependence.

Because e-cigarettes are fairly new, there could be other long-term health complications that have yet to be discovered. Results of long-term exposure to such substances are unknown.

The study has been published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 

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