DEAR DOCTOR K: After smoking for more than 15 years, I finally quit eight months ago. But I still miss my cigarettes. I recently heard about electronic cigarettes. Are they safe?
DEAR READER: I've been getting a lot of questions lately about electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, from my patients. Like you, my patients want to know if they're a safe alternative to cigarettes. The truth is that nobody knows if e-cigarettes are safe. That's because e-cigarette makers have not submitted their products for FDA approval, which would require proof of safety and effectiveness. Ads claim e-cigarettes help people stop smoking, but I'm not aware of any strong evidence to back this up.