Vapor cigarettes or “e-cigarettes” — cartridges of liquid nicotine combined with a battery and heating element — are considered among teens as a safer alternative to cigarettes. The facts are foggier.
BY MELISSA F. PHETERSON
The Oxford English Dictionary declared “vape”— the act of breathing vapor from an electronic cigarette — Word of the Year in 2014. That’s a good gauge of its popularity. So is a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealing that among middle and high school students, vaping has surpassed cigarette smoking in popularity: 13.4 percent of high schoolers reportedly used e-cigarettes in 2014, followed by hookahs (9.4) and cigarettes (9.2). In comparison, only 3.7 percent of adults had engaged in vaping on a regular basis in 2014. Brands are marketed in stores and online, endorsed by the the online support group known as the “Quit Smoking Community” and touted for taste, vapor production and superior battery life.
But are they harmless enough to merit the hype? We asked two experts: Allen Dozor, MD, Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, and Gilberto Velez, MD, Chief of Adolescent Medicine, both at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Read More