Local doctor weighs in on e-cigarette debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local doctor weighs in on e-cigarette debate

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JASPER, TN (WRCB) -
A local community wants e-cigarettes banned anywhere tobacco is banned.

Next month the East Ridge City Council will discuss whether e-cigarette smokers have to follow the same "no smoking" rules as everyone else.      

The CDC already says e-cigarettes are unhealthy for younger smokers. But what about people switching from cigarettes?  Is it a better alternative?        

That is the debate. Are e-cigarettes a healthier alternative for people to turn to that are trying to quit ? 

"Are there long term harmful side affects with using electronic cigarettes? We don't know. The concern is that there are," said Dr. Mike Czarnecki, Lung cancer specialist.

Local lung care specialist Dr. Czarnecki and the American Lung Association both agree, it's to early to know if e-cigarettes are a good option for smokers to use when they make the decision to quit.

"It took us 25 years to figure out cigarettes were harmful so it could take another 25 years for us to find out what will happen to your body using e-cigarettes," said Shirley Cudabac, American Lung Association Representative.

Shirley Cudabac with the the local American Lung Association branch says two studies found formaldehyde, benzene, forms of carcinogens and other cancer-causing chemicals, including ingredients found in anti- freeze, which is why they don't recommend vaping to wean away from smoking.

"I like to have as many tools in my tool box to help people quit smoking," said Cudbac.

Dr Czarnecki says, he believes under a physicians care, e-cigarettes could be one of many options used to try and quit.

"I have patients come in that get down from smoking 2 -1 down to a half a day," said Czarnecki.  

The lung specialist say his patients have many options to choose from because everyone takes different paths to achieve their goals.

"You may want to quit cold turkey, you may want to chew gum or use the e-cigarette," said Czarnecki.

A side--by-side comparison shows the long term affects smoking will cause to a healthy heart if you are a smoker, that's why Dr. Czarnecki says find a doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you to kick the habit sooner than later. 

"It's not meant to still keep smoking and use the electronic one. It's meant to replace it and hopefully quit all together," said Czarnecki.

If want are trying to quit smoking and want some resources you can call Dr. Czarnecki office at 423-710-3864 or contact the American Lung Association Help Line at 1-800-LUNG-USA. 

READ MORE | Should e-cigarettes be banned in East Ridge?
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