In a little under a month in New York state, electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) will be banned wherever standard tobacco cigarettes are prohibited. The move adds to a growing list of states restricting e-cig use because of concerns about their impact on health and safety.
Although e-cigs are often marketed as safer alternatives to standard cigarettes – with some analyses showing they could have some benefits in narrow scenarios – good evidence remains lacking on their risks, on their effectiveness as a smoking cessation aid, and on their impact on youth and adult smoking rates.
The lack of such important information warrants restrictions on their sale and use.
Standard cigarettes remain the top preventable cause of death in the United States, and the primary goal of any tobacco smoker should be to quit. E-cigs, however, are not an FDA-approved method for helping smokers quit. Approved cessation aids include nicotine gum, lozenges and patches, and certain medications. Seeing a doctor for help quitting can double a smoker’s chance of success.