Local doctor reveals the facts about e-cigarettes

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– A hot topic in the City of Aiken’s council meeting Monday night. Electronic cigarette users now extremely limited on where they can vape after two new initiatives passed.

People in the city of Aiken can no longer smoke e-cigarettes inside any public buildings or at any government-owned park.

An Augusta University doctor, who studies the effects of e-cigarettes, said there is a lot people don’t know about the cigarette alternative.

“Even though the trimming is all fantastic, what is in the package is still very lethal,” Dr. Martha Tingen, Director of Tobacco Control at the Georgia Cancer Center, said.

When you ask a vape business owner, e-cigarettes are a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes.

After years of research, Dr. Tingen said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“It has never been approved by the FDA or any other pharmaceutical testing that it is a successful aid to help you quit smoking. We do have those type of pharmico therapies on the market that are approved for that, but it has not been approved,” Dr. Tingen said.

Tim O’Briant, City of Aiken Communication Director, said health is priority.  He admitted not much research has been done to prove the dangers of e-cigs, but better safe than sorry.

Dr. Tingen fully supports Aiken’s newly approved policies. She asked– Does a city or state care more about the health of an entire population? Or what one person considers his or her rights?

“When you smoke an electronic cigarette, the nicotine becomes vaporized, so it is now in the air at a very toxic level,” Dr. Tingen said.

She said the vapor also contains glycol and other chemicals similar to formaldehyde.

“Cigarette industries have been very clever because what they have done is taken a smell, like what you say is offensive, now you can get any smell that you like and it’s covered up in a flavor. As you smoke it, you taste that flavor, and the people around smell it,” Dr. Tingen told NewsChannel 6.

Dr. Tingen said data proves when traditional cigarette users utilize e-cigarettes to quit smoking, they are generally not successful and revert back to traditional cigarettes.

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