By: Steve Tran, DPh.
E-cigarettes are known by many different names. They’ve been called “e-cigs”, “vapes”, “e-hookahs”, “mods”, “pods”, “JUUL” and more. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all do the same thing.
E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. Some e-cigarettes look like regular tobacco products, such as cigarettes. Others look like USB flash drives, pens and other everyday items. Regardless of what it looks like or what it’s called, these are all e-cigarettes and none of them are safe, especially for young people.
True or False: E-cigarettes create a harmless water vapor.
FALSE. E-cigarettes allow the user to exhale clouds that many think are just “harmless water vapor.” The tobacco industry prefers the term “vapor” which implies it is harmless, but it is not.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarette aerosols can contain cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals and ultra fine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and harm your body. This also applies to those people exposed to secondhand aerosol from e-cigarette users. By the way, those flavorings in e-cigarettes aren’t necessarily safe either. Your stomach can handle a lot more than your lungs can and flavorings in e-liquids or pods is not safe when inhaled.
The message? Be Tobacco Free!
If you haven’t started using tobacco, don’t start. If you use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, the sooner you quit, the better. Most importantly, get help and don’t do it alone.
Here are some things that you can do that will make a big impact on your journey to quitting:
Asking for help is not weak, it is a smart decision.
It’s normal for people to slip up when they’re trying to quit. If you slip up, don’t think of it as a failure. It just means you might want to try a new route.
Being prepared increases your chances of quitting successfully. Make a plan and stick to it.
For help quitting, please reach out to Oklahoma City Indian Clinic staff by calling (405) 948-4900 ext. 294 or 385, or visit our website for more tips.