Nursed to Health: E-cigarettes a safe alternative to smoking? Not so … – Florida Times-Union

By Michele McDonaldFor the TImes-Union

In their clinical training, senior Jacksonville University nursing students encounter patients all the time with histories of smoking, and some appear unable to quit, even though their health problems have become dire.
Here are two patients with whom students worked who were addicted to nicotine and using or considering using e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking regular tobacco cigarettes.

BILL AND ALICE
Bill, a 62-year-old patient, was in the hospital with exacerbation of heart failure from previous heart attacks and chronic heart failure. He told our student nurse that e-cigarettes were now his alternative to smoking, and much safer.
Alice, 52, was recovering from pneumonia and said she planned to try to quit smoking by using e-cigarettes.
The students discussed whether this was a good plan. As they researched, they found helpful and important points that everyone should consider before starting to use e-cigarette products:
• E-cigarettes are just another way to deliver nicotine into people’s lungs, using an electronic delivery system.
• Nicotine is a stimulant to the brain, central nervous system and cardiovascular system, and it constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure, raises heart rate and raises blood fat levels.  All these problems have an effect on various acute and chronic health problems.
• E-juice (the liquid used in an e-cigarette) provides not only nicotine, but also other chemicals such as propylene glycol, flavorings such a cinnamon, and formaldehyde, which could also be carcinogenic.
• E- juice can cause damage to lungs such as bronchitis symptoms, chronic cough and pneumonia.
• E-cigarette use in adolescents is on the rise and has shown increasing symptoms as shown above.
• FDA warning label requirements about nicotine in e-cigarette products have been delayed.
• E-cigarette products can lead to smoking regular tobacco and not being able to quit smoking.
• More studies need to be done on the long-term

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