Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
Q: I'm trying to quit smoking. Are electronic cigarettes a healthy way to go?
A: Electronic cigarettes are smokeless, battery-operated devices shaped like cigarettes. These devices are marketed as a less damaging alternative to regular cigarettes because they contain no tobacco (users get a fix by inhaling a vaporized liquid nicotine solution). But e-cigarettes have been found to contain other carcinogens and toxic chemicals, such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze.
And unlike other nicotine-replacement products—like the patch, the gum, or the lozenge—e-cigarettes are not FDA approved, and there's no way to know how much nicotine you're receiving. If you're trying to quit smoking, a better solution is to start by working with your primary care physician. Research has shown that you're more likely to succeed if you do so with doctor support.
Next: Why it's harder to quit smoking when you're depressed
From the July 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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