Doctors hesitant to consider e-cigarettes a healthy tobacco alte -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Doctors hesitant to consider e-cigarettes a healthy tobacco alternative

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Many employers in Wilmington are keeping electronic cigarettes out of the workplace, leaving some to wonder why.

E-cigarettes are marketed as the healthy alternative to real tobacco, but they're not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so at this point, doctors consider them a bit of an unknown.

Dr. Brian Legere of Coastal Pulmonary says that while e-cigarettes could be a healthier option because they don't contain the carcinogens that cigarettes do, it's still too soon to know for sure, as there is not enough research yet.

Some folks say the e-cigarettes are helping them to avoid real cigarettes, but Dr. Legere says there are better options. Gum, patches and pills have been tested and proven to work, while e-cigarettes have not.

"They're probably not a big benefit compared to the other replacement tools we have, but they're here and they don't seem to be going anywhere, unless the FDA finds them to be particularly dangerous," said Legere.

Legere added that his biggest concern is actually people who don't smoke -- he worries that e-cigarettes will attract non-smokers to using nicotine.

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