Avera Medical Minute: Electronic Cigarettes 1/12/11 - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Electronic Cigarettes 1/12/11

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Avera Heart Hospital Respiratory Therapist Deb Murray explains how electronic cigarettes work. Avera Heart Hospital Respiratory Therapist Deb Murray explains how electronic cigarettes work.

Since the statewide smoking ban went in to effect in South Dakota on November 10th more people are turning to these electronic cigarettes which are legal in bars. But are they harmful to your health? Nancy Naeve Brown asked a respiratory therapist at the Avera Heart Hospital.

Respiratory Therapist Deb Murray at the Avera Heart Hospital says, "It's got two components; the mouth piece is liquid nicotine with a little heating element and then an LED light at the end. When you take a breath in, what it does is start the heating element that vaporizes the nicotine and lights up the end so it looks like a cigarette. You inhale the vapors and exhale back out.

Q: Nationwide sales are increasing, especially here in Sioux Falls with the statewide smoking ban, but are they safe?

A: Statewide there is nicotine in the cigarette and how they well them is low/medium/high content so we don't know how much nicotine is in it and what's worrisome to me is the vapors because it's chemically started so what's in those vapors? Is it harmful to us? We don't know.

Q:  Do you think it's a good idea if you are trying to quit smoking to use these e-cigarettes?

A: They are marketed as a healthy alternative to smoking. I don't know about "healthy" because there is still nicotine in them which is not healthy and the vapors we don't know about.

Avera Heart Hospital is holding a tobacco cessation group starting February 8th 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday for 8 weeks. Call 877-AT-AVERA.

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