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Electronic cigarettes aka e cigarettes are devices that deliver nicotine in vapor form to users via a simple battery powered system. Electronic cigarettes look like real cigarettes, and some even have an illuminated tip! The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes promote the devices as alternatives to conventional cigarettes and as smoking cessation tools.

What’s the point of electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes were created to provide smokers with another tool to help wean them off tobacco products and eventually stop smoking. Nicotine is the main addictive component in tobacco. So, just like the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, electronic cigarettes should satisfy smokers’ cravings and allow them to stop using tobacco products, which contain many toxins and cancer causing chemicals in addition to nicotine.

Electronic cigarettes might theoretically prove more effective than other forms of nicotine replacement because they more closely mimic the act of smoking, and thus serve as a more lifelike substitute. However, although research has shown that electronic cigarettes can help people stop smoking, there haven’t been any head to head comparisons with other forms of nicotine replacement in large populations.

So electronic cigarettes are a good thing, right?

Not so fast. The FDA highlights the following safety concerns with regard to electronic cigarettes

  • Electronic cigarettes have been associated with dry cough, and mouth and throat irritation.
  • Electronic cigarettes may reduce lung function according to some studies, although other studies haven’t found a substantial effect.
  • After analyzing the delivery cartridges in electronic cigarettes, the FDA found amounts of at least two well known cancer causing chemicals.
  • Electronic cigarettes can cause a large rise in the blood level of nicotine, and nicotine isn’t entirely harmless besides being addictive, it can raise the heart rate and blood pressure and damage small blood vessels, such as the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.
  • No study has yet adequately assessed the long term safety of electronic cigarettes.

Are there other concerns about electronic cigarettes?

Yes. The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes market them to young people, putting them at risk for developing a nicotine addiction that could lead to eventual tobacco use. Electronic cigarettes are produced in a variety of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and mint that are meant to appeal to adolescents. Currently, electronic cigarettes can be sold without age restrictions, and they don’t require warning labels.

What if I use electronic cigarettes only recreationally?

We discourage everyone particularly young people from using electronic cigarettes as a recreational drug. We don’t know their long term safety, and nicotine addiction is a real concern.

So what’s the best option if I want to quit smoking?

If you want to stop smoking, there are alternatives whose efficacy and side effects are better understood. These range from forms of nicotine replacement, to prescription medications, to interventions such as behavioral therapy. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking on your own, talk to your primary care physician, who will be delighted to help you sort through the alternatives and come up with a plan that best suits your needs.

A healthier, happier life starts with doctors who put your needs first. Learn more about One Medical Group and our convenient locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Tags e cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, quitting smoking, smoking, smoking cessation
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High-protein diet ‘as bad for health as smoking’ – telegraph

Lobbyists amp up efforts to sell washington on e-cigarettes

Eating too much protein could be as dangerous as smoking for middle aged people, a scientific study has found.

Research which tracked thousands of adults for nearly 20 years found that people who eat a diet rich in animal protein are four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low protein diet.

The risk is nearly as high as the danger of developing cancer by smoking 20 cigarettes each day.

Previous studies have shown a link between cancer and red meat, but it is the first time research has measured the risk of death caused by regularly eating too much protein.

Nutritional advice has been traditionally focused on cutting down on fat, sugar and salt. The World Health Organisation will announce a consultation today suggesting that guidelines on sugar consumption should be lowered, but there have few warnings about excess protein.

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The US study found that people with a high protein diet were 74 per cent more likely to die of any cause within the study period than their low protein counterparts. They were also several times more likely to die of diabetes. But this trend appeared to reverse for those aged over 65, researchers found.

High protein food plans, such as the Atkins Diet, have become popular in recent years because of their dramatic weight loss results.

The new research from the University of Southern California suggests that such dieters may harm themselves in the long run.

“We provide convincing evidence that a high protein diet particularly if the proteins are derived from animals is nearly as bad as smoking for your health,” said Dr Valter Longo, of the university.

The researchers define a “high protein” diet as deriving at least 20 per cent of daily calories from protein. They recommend consuming about 0.8g (0.03oz) of protein per kilogram of body weight every day in middle age. It means a person weighing nine stone should eat about 45 50g (1.6 1.7oz) of protein a day. A 300g (10.5oz) steak contains 77g (2.7oz) of protein.

As well as red meat, dairy products high in protein are also dangerous, the researchers said. A 200ml (7fl oz) glass of milk represents 12 per cent of the recommended daily allowance, while a 40g (1.4oz) slice of cheese contains 20 per cent.

Chicken, fish, pulses, vegetables, nuts and grain are healthier sources of protein. However, a chicken breast or salmon fillet still accounts for about 40 per cent of recommended daily protein intake.

“The research shows that a low protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality,” said Dr Eileen Crimmins, a co author of the study.

“However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”

British experts agreed that cutting down on red meat had been proven to lower the risk of cancer but said a balanced diet was still the best option.

Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a food nutrition scientist at the University of Reading, said “While this study raises some interesting perspectives on links between protein intake and mortality It is wrong, and potentially even dangerous, to compare the effects of smoking with the effect of meat and cheese.”

He claimed that sending out such statements “can damage the effectiveness of important public health messages”, adding “The smoker thinks ‘why bother quitting smoking if my cheese and ham sandwich is just as bad for me? ”

Prof Naveed Saattar, an expert in metabolic medicine at Glasgow University, said the low protein effect in older people could be due to “survival bias”, where those who have lived longer are already generally healthier.

Protein controls the growth hormone IGF I, which helps bodies grow but has been linked to cancer susceptibility.

Prof Tim Key, a Cancer Research UK epidemiologist, said “Further research is needed to establish whether there is any link between eating a high protein diet and an increased risk of middle aged people dying from cancer.”

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”

British experts agreed that cutting down on red meat had been proven to lower the risk of cancer but said a balanced diet was still the best option.