Spirit of Women National

SUM 2016

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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2 9 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m S U M M E R 2 016 S P I R I T O F W O M E N S H A R I N G Health Secrets SHUTTERSTOCK S H A R I N G H E A L T H S E C R E T S E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, typically run on batteries that power a heating device and don't produce the same mix of tar and carcinogens that conventional cigarettes do. Instead, an e-cigarette contains a cartridge of favored liquid nicotine ("e-juice") derived from tobacco that you inhale as a mist or vapor when it's heated. A: Q: A: Q: Then what are the best ways to kick the habit? Instead of using e-cigarettes, try proven smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, lozenges and sprays, and non-nicotine medications such as Zyban or Wellbutrin (bupropion), or Chantix (varenicline). To increase your chances of success, try combining a steady- state treatment like a patch or medication with something you use only when you need it, such as nicotine gum or lozenges. One caveat: These smoking cessation aids aren't recommended during pregnancy. If you're expecting, your best bet is to simply stop smoking, for the health of both you and your baby. No matter what strategies you use to quit, you'll increase your chances of success by getting support. Meet with a smoking-cessation counselor, join an online stop-smoking program, such as the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout (www.cancer.org/smokeout), or call the national tobacco quit line at (800) 784-8669. Use your support system to help you set a quit date and anticipate situations that can make you feel like lighting up, such as family gatherings. "When you have a plan for taking care of yourself during a stressful situation, you're much more likely to get through it without smoking," says Jorenby. A: Q: So does that make e-cigarettes better than "real" cigarettes? E-cigarettes aren't completely harmless—they still contain nicotine and other toxic substances, such as ethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze and formaldehyde. The real truth about e-cigarettes and smoking What exactly are e-cigarettes? A: Q: Can using e-cigarettes ("vaping") help me quit smoking? Some smokers may believe using e-cigarettes can help them smoke less. But if you really want to kick the smoking habit, don't drag vaping into it, say the experts. "There's little scientifc evidence regarding e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation treatment," says Douglas Jorenby, health director of clinical services at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin- Madison Medical School. In fact, using e-cigarettes can work against you, especially if you're a dual user—someone who vapes and smokes regular cigarettes too. "The idea that 'I'm not smoking as much because I'm vaping' appeals to many smokers," says Jorenby, but it can be tough to determine if you're cutting back enough to improve your health. Moreover, e-cigarettes can derail your motivation to make a serious attempt at quitting, and the Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved e-cigarettes to be marketed or advertised as a smoking cessation aid. To send a health question to "Sharing Health Secrets," please email plawrence@spiritofwomen.com or write to Sharing Health Secrets, Spirit of Women, 2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 100, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

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