Are e-cigarettes a bad idea?

Are e-cigarettes a bad idea?

Consumers are apparently confused about whether or not e-cigs are a good things -- and the medical community isn't sure either.

They’ve been praised as a potential tool in the battle against smoking and slammed as a gateway back into smoking for those who have already quit, but so far there is far from consensus over whether e-cigarettes are a good or bad thing.

As smoking declines, e-cigarettes have roared into popularity among those who want an alternative to deadly addictive cigarettes. But are they safe, and do they really result in a drop in smoking? It’s hard to tell,¬†according to a Reuters report.

Electronic cigarettes have been controversial ever since their introduction, and that’s not helped by the fact that little is known about their risks or benefits. After all, in can take decades for enough data to come in to make a qualified medical ruling on the issue, and that’s impossible for new technology like e-cigs unlike with traditional cigarettes, which we’ve been collecting data on for a very long time.

E-cigs work by using vapor instead of smoke to deliver a dose of nicotine to the user, using batteries as a heat source rather than actually lighting a cigarette. E-cigs are meant to mimic the cigarette experience, with vapor coming from it instead of smoke and even an electronic light on the tip to mimic the burning embers of a cigarette.

But people just aren’t sure yet what to make of them. Researchers in Scotland surveyed 64 people, and it showed that they don’t know whether it’s risky or beneficial. And medical experts don’t know either with the lack of data, although they are scrambling to conduct studies to learn more about it.

Scientists are hopeful that they could result in further drops in cigarette use and related harmful effects, but as of now, there’s no telling for sure.

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