Ever since electronic cigarettes were introduced to the market, they have continually increased in popularity and have created a massive industry of its own, as well as a lower risked alternative to smoking. Now, in 2013, they are expected to double in sales, said professor of medicine Dr. Alan Blum.

Blum is an authority on tobacco medicine and is the director of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco Medicine. He established the center in 1999. Blum said electronic cigarettes are based off of a nicotine vapor.

Although electronic cigarettes do not have the same risk factors as conventional cigarettes, they have still been strictly monitored by the FDA.

“Ironically, although e-cigarettes do not pose the risk of conventional cigarettes, because the inhaled nicotine vapor lacks the more than 4000 chemicals present in cigarette or cigar smoke, the FDA has fought to assure that e-cigarette makers do not claim that the product is a safer alternative to cigarettes,” Blum said.

Katherine Ellis, a junior majoring in musical theatre, said she prefers to smoke a type of electronic cigarette called a Vape Pen instead of normal cigarettes. She was initially drawn by the difference in health risk, which is also what has encouraged her to continue with them as opposed to the alternative.

“I prefer ‘vaping’ over actual cigarettes, because the vape juice does not contain the harmful chemicals like tar and formaldehyde and does not produce harmful secondhand smoke,” Ellis said.

Blum said while he is not aware of whether or not this is an increasing trend among University of Alabama students, it is still used much less often than the standard cigarette.

Continue reading the article here: http://cw.ua.edu/2013/08/21/more-ua-students-opting-for-electronic-cigarettes/


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