Many of my friends, family and co-workers smoke cigarettes. They, like the other 20% of Americans who smoke, do so despite the known health risks and the fact that a pack of cigarettes now runs over $12 in New York. That they continue to smoke given the physical and financial cost demonstrates just how powerful nicotine addiction can be. In fact, some studies suggest that nicotine is more addictive than alcohol, cocaine or heroin. So it's really no surprise that nicotine addiction is the most common form of chemical dependence globally.
A decade after Clear Indoor Air Act severely limited indoor smoking in New York, the focus has turned to e-cigarettes — battery-powered devices that deliver measured doses of vapor to the "smoker" when inhaled.
Sales of e-cigarettes are rising amid a big push by tobacco companies: Marketwatch is reporting that America's number three cigarette-maker Lorillard, which acquired an e-cigarette brand last year, saw blu eCigs boost the company's second-quarter profits by 10 percent.
But there's debate as to whether the devices are harmful or helpful.
In 2012 communities across Massachusetts have taken strides to limit tobacco use in public places and businesses. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard takes a look at what some communities are doing to reduce smoking, and what some hope to achieve in the new year…
You see the advertisements everywhere: electronic cigarettes – which don’t use tobacco – are exempt from public smoking restrictions and help those who wish to quit. But are the claims true?
While it is true that these devices don’t use tobacco, there is little scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit. In addition, since there is no regulation of these devices, the quality and safety of these products cannot be assured.