State Health Department issues advisory for e-cigarettes

State Health Department issues advisory for e-cigarettes

Posted:
Many e-cig users say they switched from traditional cigarettes because of health concerns. Many e-cig users say they switched from traditional cigarettes because of health concerns.
The state department of health is urging people to use caution and to avoid exposing others to the secondhand emissions. The state department of health is urging people to use caution and to avoid exposing others to the secondhand emissions.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Department of Health is warning the public about the possible dangers of e-cigarettes. This week officials issued a public health advisory.

However, e-cigarette users say it's a much safer option than traditional cigarettes.

The popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed across the country, and in Knoxville. Vintage Vapors in West Knoxville is one of the many stores that have opened the area in the last year.

"I've been vaping, using electronic cigarettes since 2010, I smoked for 32 years and just knew I needed to do something," said Glenn Cate, the owner of Vintage Vapors.

Many e-cig users say they switched from traditional cigarettes because of health concerns.

"I honestly feel so much better, everything I have studied and read, I'm not omitting anything in this vapor, any nicotine is absorbing in my mouth, all I'm exhaling is the water vapor," said e-cig user Tabitha Hall.

The Tennessee Department of Health and organizations like the American Cancer Society have serious concerns about electronic cigarettes.

"The research is inconclusive on their effectiveness as a deterrent for smoking but the research is also inconclusive on the health impact of the vapor on the people around them," explained Michael Holtz, a spokesperson for American Cancer Society.

The state department of health is urging people to use caution and to avoid exposing others to the secondhand emissions. 

"Some of the research has found in the vapor the same carcinogens that you find in cigarette smoke," said Holtz.

Cate points out that much of the research is old, citing one study is from 2009. He says the products at Vintage Vapor contain just four ingredients.

"You've got propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, if you use nicotine, and flavoring. And that's all that's in them. Nothing is 100 percent safe but it's a safer way," Cate said.

E-cigarettes are not yet regulated by the FDA. The Department of Health says that can mean there can be varying levels of nicotine or other chemicals in those products.

A proposal to regulate e-cigarettes is currently under review.

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