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Are E-cigarettes a Good Way to Quit Smoking?

Run by batteries, e-cigarettes have a cartridge that holds nicotine, flavorings and other substances. A smoker puffs or inhales a nicotine vapor.

E-cigarettes are often advertised as a way to smoke in places where smoking is banned. And their makers say the ingredients are safe. But when the FDA analyzed a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of e-cigarettes, they discovered one contained a toxic substance found in antifreeze.Other samples contained cancer-causing substances.

Avedis Meneshian, MD, a thoracic surgeon at AAMC, does not endorse e-cigarettes as a way to stop smoking or as an alternative to smoking. “Combining counseling and medications is proven to be an effective way to quit,” says Dr. Meneshian. The FDA has approved several forms of nicotine replacement therapies, including gum, lozenges, transdermal patches, inhalers, and nasal spray, as well as bupropion and varenicline.

Current or former smoker’s may qualify for AAMC’s lung cancer screening trial. Learn more here.

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