One of the more popular New Years resolutions for some is to quit smoking. Smokers may choose to try electronic cigarettes to help, but health care officials have some warnings about e-cigarettes. Time Warner Cable News reporter Wendy Mills has more.
Medical directors at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield want to remind consumers that battery operated e-cigarettes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and may contain some toxic chemicals. E-cigarettes and other vaping products are not held to the FDA's rigorous review standards. Medical experts say some contain carcinogens, liquid nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
Martin Lustick, a former pediatrician and current corporate medial director at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield says e-e-cigarettes are marketed to young people and readily available online and in stores, yet they do not contain any health warnings as compared to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products like patches, gum and prescription inhalers.
"There is a lot that we still don't know. If you look at the evidence both domestic and across the world there is a lot of mixed stories coming out of studies that have been done about whether it reduces harm or increases the risks that young people especially who start on e-cigarettes and progress to cigarettes. It is a big concern if you look at how many young kids are using e-cigarettes today. We do not know much about the ingredients in them," said Lustick.
New York has a smokers' quitline to help: 1-866-NY-QUITS.
Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, drugs, homicide, suicide, car accidents and fires combined. Doctors and health care professionals are hoping the unknowns associated with e-cigarettes are enough to persuade people to try other regulated options.