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SMOKING: E-cigarettes do more harm than good

Letter by Heidi Henson , Gig Harbor on May 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm with 12 Comments »
May 5, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: “Apply cigarette ban to vaping?” (TNT, 5-5).

As a tobacco cessation specialist, I recommend products for quitting tobacco solely based on their effectiveness and safety. I am opposed not only to e-cigarettes but to anything that is being sold as a tobacco cessation aid that doesn’t work.

Failed quit attempts compound tobacco use and addiction. People decide to quit because they have what we call “quit energy.” They think, “Now is a good time,” or “I have to do it now,” or “It’s now or never.”

This “now time” is when they have the optimal support in quitting, including products that can ease the withdrawal from tobacco. I have heard from many people over the years who have tried e-cigarettes, but the product didn’t help them quit tobacco permanently.

Each quit attempt failure preys on the tobacco user’s self-esteem, confidence and ability to try again. Each relapse makes it harder to even think about attempting another quit. This sends the severely addicted out to use more tobacco because that’s the only coping mechanism they have for dealing with their feelings. It is a downward spiral that feeds the addiction, makes people sicker and robs them financially.

E-cigarettes keep people participating in smoking behavior (which is a big part of the addiction), look like cigarettes (therefore encourages others to smoke where it is prohibited), confuse nonsmokers who think someone is smoking in a non-smoking area, and complicate enforcement of the state’s smoking ban.

(Henson is a member of the Tobacco-Free Alliance of Pierce County.)

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Publico says:

    Yea!!!!!! Finally! Somebody with intelligent insight speaks out.

  2. frosty says:

    Unbelievable! Egads! Using a vapor cigarette “confuses people who think someone is smoking in a non-smoking area and complicate enforcement of the state’s smoking ban”. Now if that statement doesn’t represent paranoia of the highest degree, what does? It’s difficult for me to believe that there are actually people like this allowed to roam our streets untethered.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    What a load of pysco-babble……

  4. nokoolaide says:

    “confuse nonsmokers who think someone is smoking in a non-smoking area, and complicate enforcement of the state’s smoking ban.”

    If they can’t tell the difference they shouldn’t have banned tobacco.

  5. fbergford says:

    While we are at it…let’s ban everything that isn’t good for us!!! So it doesn’t confuse people who get confused easily! What a load of crap! I’m surprised she doesn’t have a hyphenated name!!

  6. I know of smokers that wanted to quit smoking but never had the will power to stop.Then I also know of smokers that were able to quit,but the sucessful way to quit,the way I see it is to make your mind up to quit and convince your self to do just that!Cigarette smoking is one of the hardest habits to break there is.I think the body feels it has to have the nicotine to survive.

  7. Dear_John says:

    I get confused when people eat garden burgers, they look just like the deadly, grease laden, beef burgers to me.

    I also get confused when I see a magic act. It is illegal to saw someone in half, but they do it right there in front of everyone!

  8. MarksonofDarwin says:

    “I have heard from many people over the years who have tried e-cigarettes, but the product didn’t help them quit tobacco permanently.”
    Heidi Henson, Tobacco-Free Alliance of Pierce County

    Heidi is being completely disingenuous, and more than a bit dishonest.

    I have no doubt that Heidi has also “heard from many people” who tried to quit using the very smoking cessation products that she, herself has provided. Those gums, patches, and everything else she hands out have a dismal success record.

    I’m trying to find the humor in a situation where one human being has no problem in causing harm to another human being, simply to protect their own livelihood.

    I don’t understand why Heidi doesn’t embrace e-cigs. From what I’ve read, they contain the exact same ingredients as gums and patches. One would think that if Heidi were more concerned about the people she is trying to help than her own pocketbook, she would at least suggest these devices as an alternative when the crap she hands out doesn’t work…..

  9. APimpNamedSlickback says:


    You’re absolutely right. It’s like a chiropractor telling their patient that yoga couldn’t possibly help with back pain because some people have tried it without success and the whole exercise looks like something that might potentially cause more pain.

  10. Murigen says:

    Henson…stuff it.

  11. beerBoy says:

    As a tobacco cessation specialist,

    I wonder if that is the official job title she enters on her Schedule C tax form.

  12. tjernagel says:

    Only thing I will say is you should talk to Heidi’s neighbors.

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