Guam – At least one local doctor is concerned about the message being sent regarding the negative effects of e-cigarettes, or vaping.
Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Felix Cabrera is responding to Department of Public Health’s recent ban on e-cigarettes in all Public Health buildings and vehicles.
While he generally supports the ban, as a physician, he’s seen more benefits come out of vaping than harmful effects, especially for those who use it as a means to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.
“My concern is that you have in the media two, almost back to back, negatives, or I shouldn’t say negative, but control measures for vaping, but at the same time I wanted to make sure that we did not lose sight of the potential benefit of such a means of smoking cessation, especially when I see it as a very powerful means within my own patients and with my own friends and family. It’s been remarkable the change that they’ve made,” he says.
While studies on the long term effects of vaping are still in its infancy, Dr. Cabrera points out that the number of chemicals in electronic cigarettes are minimal compared to the 4,000 found in tobacco cigarettes, 50 of which are known carcinogens.
“You got arsenic, you got ammonia, you got formaldehyde, you got carbon monoxide,” he notes, “now these are just the toxic ingredients, and they’re not necessarily the carcinogens. Carcinogens being that they cause cancer.”
“In e-cigarettes, mostly what you have, aside from the nicotine itself, there are chemicals that cause the vapors in itself and the smoke that gives the mental feedback that you’re actually smoking and polyethylene glycol is one of them there. It helps aerosolize the component,” he adds.
At regular exposure, Dr. Cabrera says the harmful effects of polyethylene glycol is extremely minimal, especially when compared to that of cigarettes.