Dr. Mehmet Oz
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

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

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