The Tobacco Cessation Center at Arnot Health advises that electronic cigarettes, though arguably a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes, are not a harm-free choice. Though more Americans are turning to these battery-operated devices for a host of reasons, they still deliver nicotine directly into the body, says Amanda Domineske, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator at Arnot Health.
“Some people say the e-cigarettes helped them quit, and obviously we’re happy to hear that,” Domineske said. “But the truth is that we have approved, reliable methods to help people quit using tobacco here at the Tobacco Cessation Center, and the e-cigarette isn’t one of them.”
Preferred methods include a step-down method using gums and other nicotine replacement products, coupled with support groups and counseling. Domineske says users of e-cigarettes are putting themselves at risk by using the product, and potentially prolonging their quit time by trying to go it alone, without the help of professional counseling and assistance.
Other critics of the e-cigarette have targeted it as a ploy to get kids hooked younger, according to a 2012 article in USA Today. Some manufacturers offer the device with replaceable flavor cartridges which makes the inhalable nicotine vapor taste like vanilla or strawberries, for example.
“We understand users’ desire to use a product that tastes better than traditional cigarettes or tobacco products,” Domineske said. “But our goal is to help tobacco users reach the point of a completely successful quit.”
For more information about quitting services, call the Tobacco Cessation Center at 607-737-4463.
Arnot Health provides diagnostic, ambulatory, secondary and tertiary acute care, as well as rehabilitative and wellness services to the Southern Tier of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. The three-hospital regional healthcare system, an independent, not-for-profit organization, has a total of 809 licensed beds, including 493 acute care, 231 long term care, 40 physical medicine rehabilitation, 25 psychiatric, and 20 substance abuse rehabilitation. The system currently has more than 300 physicians from 50+ specialties.