It's been almost two months since I've smoked a cigarette, after struggling with my addiction to smoking for about 20 years. A few months ago, when I told a friend I wanted to try to quit, he suggested that I try an electronic cigarette, one with vapor but without nicotine. You suck in the cigarette, as usual, but exhale vapor. One benefit of the electronic cigarette is that it provides oral gratification in that one can repeatedly suck on it, while other cessation measures (medication, nicotine patch, or eve nicotine gum) do not provide the same oral gratification. After my friend introduced me to the new type of cigarette, I kept using an electronic cigarette more frequently until I decided to try, try, try to give up smoking altogether. It was not easy for me, but I have done it so far.
Electronic cigarettes will soon be a booming industry, one that I imagine will surpass the tobacco cigarette industry. I read that Marlboro has its own version of an electronic cigarette debuting this fall, so some of these cigarette manufacturers must have a little anxiety tugging at their corporate bank accounts. They must see that the writing is on the wall for tobacco cigarettes.
The real question is whether electronic cigarettes are a panacea for smoking addiction. Here's the catch: Many of the electronic cigarettes sold have nicotine in them, so you need to be careful to not simply switch addictions. In preparing to write this article, I scoured the research to determine whether electronic cigarettes are hazardous - or not - to one's health, but electronic cigarettes are so new that we don't have sufficient research to educate us.