Clearing The Air: E-Cigarettes

Dr. Besser talks to Katie about the addictive new trend.
3:00 | 12/10/13

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Transcript for Clearing The Air: E-Cigarettes
-- the -- -- local high schools. But aren't they safe here to help clear the -- is ABC news chief health and medical expert doctor Richard -- nice if these guys. Everywhere I turn I don't know about you while but it keeps seen. And reading things about. What is -- and how does it work. Well I mean these are all -- cigarettes it's a battery powered device and it's designed. To deliver nicotine flavors and other chemicals to you. -- -- like cigarettes -- it produces eighty an aerosol or missed so it feels like you're smoking but -- delivering nicotine which is this stimulant and cigarettes and that's the addictive. So it's just nicotine because ends and regular cigarettes there all sorts of things right there's car and Argentina all sorts of other ingredient yes there's hope that because you're not getting all of the all of those things then that is going to be -- it won't cause cancer. So if that's true are they -- you know that's the big question we don't know -- currently there haven't been studies done. We don't know what -- receiving apart from the nicotine and ends in some of the the propellant that are in there. -- companies aren't required to release that information. So some people -- If these can be actually very helpful in -- new off a cigarettes let's say you have. -- nicotine problem and you need food need back then if you do this thing you can ultimately stuff is seen these and therefore he'll have -- to have that. I mean that's the big -- it's so hard to quit smoking people tried takes multiple attempts to attitude to quit smoking. And hopefully there'll be any case but so far there's not a lot of studies there's a recent study they came out that look at that and they found that. People who used -- 7% of those people were able due to quit for six months. 6% of people who use nicotine patches so both numbers are pretty terrible but but this was just about the same as -- -- using nicotine. And we should point out they're not being marketed as a smoking cessation product right if they were marketed as a smoking cessation product then the Food and Drug Administration. Would have to have authority over them and they would have to prove their claims but right now they're just being marketed as something that you might enjoy so nobody has authority over -- not yet the Food and Drug Administration they say that they're gonna issue some some regulations. And -- -- there regulate this just the way they do tobacco products I think -- can be very important because I think these are there are potentially very dangerous. Well there -- also be marketed in flavors like bubble gum and chocolate. And and that those flavors quite frankly seems geared towards -- and I know that's a big concern for you. I mean I'm a dad and MM a pediatrician and and I know that adults are not looking for nicotine flavored thing -- it tastes like bubble gum. This is designed for children and the reason for that is -- 90% of adults who smoke started before they were eighteen. And if you can get someone started and hooked on nicotine when they're young you're gonna have a customer potentially for life. And that's what they're lacking the rates of smoking have been going down. You know the last number we have -- for high school students smoking -- at 18%. Just ten years ago it was a 20%. And so that's the future market firfer tobacco companies and -- they're losing out on.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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