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Electronic Cigarettes: A Dangerous and Ineffective Smoking Cessation Device

The popularity of electronic cigarettes has increased in recent years, as many have claimed that they are an effective smoking cessation device. Electronic cigarettes appear similar to normal cigarettes; however, the innards of electronic cigarettes are composed of a battery, an atomizer, a replaceable cartridge, and some sort of nicotine solution. On August 8th, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Health and the John Tung Foundation held a joint press conference pointing out there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes can aid those who wish to quit smoking. By marketing themselves as being “safer than smoking,” electronic cigarettes create a false sense of security while bilking consumers out of large amounts of money. The John Tung Foundation emphasized that any substance containing nicotine can lead to addiction and that the use of electronic cigarettes can make quitting even harder. The World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that electronic cigarettes have yet to undergo vigorous testing and evaluation, with its potential health effects still unclear. By using electronic cigarettes, users are exposing themselves to a potentially toxic mixture of nicotine and chemical additives. The John Tung Foundation emphasized that it understood many people were interested in electronic cigarettes for its purported cessation effects. However, those wanting to quit smoking should seek formal cessation services, where health professionals can help. Other resources include a toll-free Quitline at 0800-63-63-63 or the John Tung Foundation’s smoking cessation website at http://www.e-quit.org/(Chinese website only). Source: Health Promotion Administration (formerly known as Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health, R.O.C.(Taiwan))