Monday, December 9, 2013

Cons On Tobacco Free Cigarettes

Tobacco isn't the most harmful part.

Two main forms of tobacco-free cigarettes exist---herbal and electronic. Herbal cigarettes replace tobacco with a variety of herbs, while electronic cigarettes run on batteries, releasing water vapor into the air. Marketers have used television, magazines, the Internet and other venues to promote them as healthful alternatives to traditional smoking. Both have some pros when compared to regular tobacco products, but they also maintain serious cons.


While herbal cigarettes don't contain nicotine, electronic "e-cigarettes" typically do. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services warns that electronic cigarettes prove rather addictive due to their nicotine content. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not definitively confirmed or rejected the safety of tobacco-free electronic cigarettes, it did perform tests on certain products of this type.

Some electronic cigarette cartridges claim to hold specific levels of nicotine or none at all. However, FDA tests revealed nicotine in supposedly nicotine-free cartridges and varying levels of it in cartridges of the same variety. This brings into question claims about the usefulness of electronic cigarettes for quitting smoking; incorrect labeling may prevent a smoker from gradually lowering the nicotine level.

Health Dangers

Tobacco-free cigarettes can still cause ill effects upon a smoker's health. Despite the lack of nicotine, herbal cigarettes create at least as much carbon monoxide as cigarettes containing tobacco, according to the Nassau County Legislature. This means that tobacco-free herbal cigarettes have the potential to cause cancer and other serious health problems that tobacco cigarettes frequently induce, although they are not as addictive. The problems of secondhand smoke remain as well. The FDA analyzed two of the top electronic cigarette brands in 2009, finding a toxic antifreeze component and carcinogens, despite manufacturer claims of safety.


Some government officials and others consider tobacco-free cigarettes "gateway drugs" that may encourage smokers to try tobacco products and possibly other substances. Connecticut's attorney general issued a statement in 2009 warning of the potential "gateway" effect, aided by child-oriented flavor choices like "bubblegum." The availability of tobacco-free cigarettes to minors adds to such concerns, although some U.S. states have started to regulate them. Manufacturers also advertise in media where the government has prohibited tobacco marketing. Regardless of the presence of tobacco, smoking adults can inadvertently encourage children to do the same.


In addition to its health effects, tobacco-free cigarette smoking involves ongoing monetary cost. People pay for herbal cigarettes by the carton or pack like any other type of cigarette. Electronic cigarette users must purchase replacement cartridges and batteries. The addictiveness of electronic cigarettes keeps these expenses in place, while the potential health effects of both tobacco-free types can eventually increase the smoker's medical costs.

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