Ready to Quit?
Here are seven proven tips and resources from the American Lung Association that have helped thousands of people give up smoking for good:
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the various types of treatments and different over-the-counter and prescription medications that are available to help you quit smoking.
- Look into the different options available to help smokers quit. Visit www.lung.org/stop-smoking or call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) for suggestions.
- Take time to plan. Pick your quit date a few weeks ahead of time and mark it on the calendar. If you can, pick a day when life’s extra stresses are not at their peak, such as after the holidays. Mark a day on the calendar and stick to it. As your quit day approaches, gather the medications and tools you need and map out how you are going to handle the situations that make you want to smoke.
- Get some exercise every day. Walking is a great way to reduce the stress of quitting. Exercise is proven to not only combat weight gain but also to improve mood and energy levels.
- Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.
- Ask family, friends and co-workers for their help and support. Having someone to take a walk with or just listen can give a needed boost.
- You don’t have to quit alone. Help is available online and in your community. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking® (www.ffsonline.org/) from the American Lung Association.
The American Lung Association’s Position Statement on E-Cigs
The American Lung Association, July 2014:
- Supports including e-cigarettes in smokefree laws and ordinances.
- Supports state laws that would prohibit the sale of any flavored e-cigarette product.
- Supports taxing e-cigarettes at a rate equivalent with all tobacco products, including cigarettes.
- Supports eliminating e-cigarette sales to youth, otherwise restricting youth access to e-cigarettes and requiring e-cigarette retailers to be licensed. E-cigarettes should be defined as tobacco products.
- Opposes creating new definitions for “vapor products” and/or “alternative nicotine products” in state laws. This tactic, which the tobacco industry is promoting in numerous states, has the potential to undermine existing tobacco control laws including smokefree laws and tobacco taxes.
- On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its proposal to begin oversight over e-cigarettes as tobacco products. Comments are due to FDA by August 8, 2014. The American Lung Association has urged FDA to finalize this regulation by the end of 2014.
- According to the FDA, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are devices that allow users to inhale a vapor containing nicotine or other substances.1
- Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are generally battery-operated and use an atomizer to heat liquid from a cartridge until it becomes a chemical-filled aerosol.
- E-cigarettes are often available in flavors that may appeal to children and teens, including cotton candy, bubble gum, chocolate, strawberry and mint.2
- There are almost 470 different brands of e-cigarettes on the market today, including 7,700 flavors. 3
- The class of e-cigarettes also includes e-hookahs, e-pens, e-cigars and other electronic products, all of which would be subject to FDA oversight.
Who Uses E-Cigarettes?
- An increasing number of youth: According to CDC, the number of students in grades 6-12 reporting having ever used an e-cigarette doubled from 3.3 percent to 6.8 percent from 2011 to 2012. Recent use of e-cigarettes among students grades 6-12 increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.4
- Former and current smokers: According to CDC, during 2010 to 2011, adults reporting that they have used an e-cigarette increased among both sexes, those aged 45-54 years old, non-Hispanic Whites, those living in the South, and current and former smokers. One in five current cigarette smokers has used an e-cigarette, with their use higher than that of former or never-smokers.5
- Additional and on-going research is needed to understand the full public health impact of e-cigarettes, including their impact on youth initiation, and whether current smokers are switching to these products instead of quitting or are using them in conjunction with regular cigarettes.
What are the Health Effects of E-Cigarettes?
- The health consequences of the use of e-cigarettes and exposure to secondhand e-cigarette emissions are unknown. There is currently no scientific evidence establishing the safety of e-cigarettes.
- In initial lab tests conducted in 2009, FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in anti-freeze, in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various cartridges.6 The lab tests also found that cartridges labeled as nicotine-free had traceable levels of nicotine.
- There is no evidence that shows the aerosol emitted by e-cigarettes is safe for non-users to inhale. The use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces may also complicate efforts to enforce and comply with smokefree laws. Because e-cigarettes have not been thoroughly evaluated, the American Lung Association supports including the use of e-cigarettes in worksites and public places under smokefree laws.
Can E-Cigarettes Help Someone Quit Smoking?
The FDA has not approved any e-cigarettes as a safe or effective method to help smokers quit. The U.S. Public Health Service has found that the seven therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with individual, group or phone cessation counseling is the most effective way to help smokers quit. Until and unless the FDA approves a specific e‐cigarette for use as a tobacco cessation aid, the American Lung Association does not support any direct or implied claims that e- cigarettes help smokers quit.
Why Are E-cigarettes Tobacco Products?
- In 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia determined that e-cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco products except when a product makes a therapeutic (quit smoking) claim. The American Lung Association has urged FDA to finalize its proposed regulation by the end of 2014 so that it can begin its oversight over e-cigarettes and other unregulated tobacco products.
- E-cigarette companies sued FDA to be regulated as tobacco products.
- The nicotine used in e-cigarettes is most often derived from tobacco.
- E-cigarette marketing mirrors strategies used by cigarette companies in the past, which they are no longer allowed to use because they appeal to youth.
- FDA has not found e-cigarettes safe and effective in helping smokers quit.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, youth use of e-cigarettes doubled in just one year.
For More Information please contact:
Director of Public Policy American Lung Association in Alabama
1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “E-Cigarettes: Questions and Answers.” September 9, 2010. Available at:http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm225210.htm.
2 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes.” July 23, 2009. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm173401.htm.
3 Zhu SH et al. “Four hundred and sixty brands of e-cigarettes and counting: implications for product regulation.” Tobacco Control. July 2014; 23 Suppl3:ii3-ii9.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2012.” Morbidityand Mortality Weekly Report. September 6, 2013; 62(35):729-30.
5 King BA, Alam S, Promoff G, Arrazola R, Dube SR. “Awareness and Ever Use of Electronic Cigarettes Among U.S. Adults, 2010–2011.” Nicotine & TobaccoResearch. February 2013; 15:1623-7.
6 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Summary of Results: Laboratory Analysis of Electronic Cigarettes Conducted by FDA.” July 22, 2009. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm173146.htm.