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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
July 23, 2010
Over the past several weeks I have received a few questions from participants about electronic cigarettes or “e-cigarettes.” They have been getting a lot of media attention and it’s clear that manufacturers of e-cigarettes are aggressively marketing them. E-cigarettes are battery-powered nicotine inhalation devices made in or coming from China. They are available in different flavors and are being sold at retail outlets and online.
The makers of these devices are making unproven health claims about their products, saying that e-cigarettes are safe or safer than traditional cigarettes. They are even being marketed as a help to those quitting smoking. There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are safer for consumers than regular tobacco products. In a 2009 study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that these products contain carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and toxic chemicals including a chemical found in anti-freeze.
There is also no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that smokers wanting to quit should use FDA-approved cessation medications along with a behavior modification program (such as FFS Online).
The American Lung Association believes that any claims made about e-cigarettes should be based on good scientific evidence and we don’t yet have that evidence. The Lung Association supports efforts to prohibit sales of these products until the FDA has determined that they are safe for use.
The absolute best way to protect your health is to stop smoking. Period. End of story. Keep working the program, and determine which FDA-approved medication might be best for you. Our counselors at the Lung HelpLine can help you with information about all seven FDA-approved quit-smoking medications. If you can’t or don’t want to use medications, our counselors will talk to you about other ways to boost your chances of quitting. Call 1-800-548-8252 and you’ll find a supportive, friendly voice on the other end of the line to answer your questions, from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Are you using a medication to help you quit? Which one? We have found that many people don’t take medications as recommended or don’t take them them long enough to be effective. Be sure to read the package insert that comes with the medication and discuss your options with your health care provider.
If your Quit Day is this week, be sure to:
- Clean out all of your hiding places to remove all tobacco and materials such as lighters, cases, etc. Don’t just put them away. Throw them away to get rid of them!
- Make a “survival” kit for yourself. Stock it with mints, sugarless gum, a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash, a worry stone, puzzles and anything to keep your hands busy.
- Download the Relaxation Exercises and listen to them, daily.
- Make a plan for getting extra rest.
- Drink a lot of water, at least eight 8-oz. glasses a day.
- Increase your physical activity by taking a walk, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, etc.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Tell everyone you know to be kind to you because you’re quitting!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.