Vickie Lee, a registered respiratory therapist and certified tobacco treatment specialist at Essentia Health in Detroit Lakes, helps people nearly every day of the week who have trouble breathing due to a cigarette smoking habit. Quitting can be very difficult, and Lee believes in providing patients all the assistance they need to kick the habit – except encouraging e-cigarettes.
“Unfortunately, I see a growing number of patients who turn to e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking,” Lee writes to Detroit Lakes Tribune. “There is also no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation; in fact, quite often, users become addicted to both.”
E-cigarettes have been found to contain harmful substances such as heavy metals, formaldehyde, diacetyl, and other cancer-causing chemicals. The liquids also contains nicotine, the same addictive alkaloid found in cigarettes.
“If people wish to quit smoking,” Lee adds, “I encourage them to use evidence-based support services and approved cessation aids.”
Lee also argues that, despite what e-cigarette retailers imply, “there is no conclusive clinical research, or research of any kind, for that matter, that shows e-cigarettes reverse the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a debilitating disease that causes permanent damage to lung tissue.”
Diacetyl is a flavoring agent that mimics the smooth, creamy taste of butter. It is used in a wide variety of foods and drinks, as well as e-cigarette liquids. The chemical has been linked to obliterative bronchiolitis, a serious lung disease in which the smallest airways of the lungs become scarred and restricted. The symptoms of obliterative bronchiolitis include cough, wheezing and shortness of breath, and have been compared to the symptoms of COPD.