Electronic Cigarettes, Safe?

Dr. Jim Luce, Tobacco Free Amarillo
Dr. Jim Luce, Tobacco Free Amarillo

The safety of electronic cigarettes or "e-cigs" is causing concern for some local health experts.

But as NewsChannel 10 out today, local retailers are having a tough time keeping these smoke less cigarettes in stock.

They run off a battery charger. Look similar to a regular cigarette, but consist of nothing but nicotine and a chemical called propylene gycol.

Dr. Jim Luce of Tobacco Free Amarillo, "Propylene gycol is irritating to the skin, irritating to the lungs. It does cause depression over a long period of time, so I worry a little bit about those. And they are mutgenic as i mentioned so they are possibly cancer causing."

But on the other hand Dr. Luce says e-cigs are safer compared to a regular cigarette because they do not contain the cocktail of cancer causing chemicals.

While retailers tell me it is hard to keep these battery powered cigarettes in stock, some smokers say this trend will be short lived.

Smoker Clifford Vuzard says, "I've tried them. I'm not satisfied with them. You know, we were in a restaurant for an hour, I tried one in a restaurant for an hour and no sooner than I walked out of the restaurant I lit a regular cigarette."

The e-cigs are marketed as a way to help you stop smoking, but Tobacco Free Amarillo is not convinced.

Director Meg Williams says, "It's risky because they are not approved by the FDA, we don't know if they are toxic, we don't know if they are poisonous, it's not a safer alternative to cigarettes there is no statistically data proving they are ok."

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