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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

E-Cigarettes May Be As Addictive As Real Cigarettes

Over the last year there have been a lot of discussions about e-cigarettes with regard to their addictive properties, appeal to teenagers, and smoking cessation efficacy. Rules and regulations for the devices have been a slow and arduous process and it is still quite easy for minors to purchase the devices. While many argue that e-cigs are a safer alternative to traditional forms of tobacco and that they have proven effective as a measure for cutting-back or quitting, new research suggest that e-cigarettes may be as addictive as regular cigarettes.

Researchers at the American University of Beirut found that the type of nicotine most commonly found in e-cigarettes was the most addictive kind, CBS News reports. The research team, led by Najat Saliba, found that while levels of nicotine varied, "free-base" nicotine - considered to be the most addictive was most commonly used.

"Products with very low nicotine delivery may not substitute for tobacco cigarettes, so that ECIG use is accompanied by little reduced risk of cigarette-caused disease," said Saliba in an email to CBS News. “Products with very high nicotine delivery may make quitting ECIGs particularly difficult should users decide to try." 

The researchers found that e-cigarette users may not actually know how much nicotine they are consuming because product labels often did not match the true amount of nicotine, according to the article. There are concerns that non-smokers who use e-cigarettes may become addicted to nicotine, and ultimately turn to traditional cigarettes.

"It is really quite prudent for the companies to have to label the products so the consumer would know how much nicotine they're actually getting," said Dr. Daniel Neides, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. "Another major concern is that are the higher concentrations of nicotine going to increase the risk for patients going from the e-cigarettes to regular cigarettes." 

The findings appear in Chemical Research in Toxicology.

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