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Year in review: Risks of e-cigarettes emerge

Vaping is better than smoking, but it's not benign

By
2:00pm, December 16, 2014
electronic cigarette

E-CIGARETTE RISKS  Electronic cigarettes dispense water vapor laced with flavors and often a hefty dose of nicotine. These vapors may be far from benign, studies in 2014 suggested.

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Electronic cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to inhaling the combustion products of tobacco. And to some extent, that’s correct.

“There’s no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less toxic than a puff on a regular cigarette,” says Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco.

But that’s an advantage only for people already addicted to nicotine, he warns. In fact, his research shows, manufacturers target their electronic cigarettes to nonsmokers too — including teens and tweens. Electronic devices dispense water vapor laced with flavors and often a hefty dose of nicotine. These vapors may be far from benign, studies in 2014 suggested.

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