I don't know a single smoker who hasn't tried to quit at some point. I'm sure you know some people like that.
Maybe you smoke and you've tried to quit -- and failed -- yourself.
If you're a smoker, it's the single biggest step you can take to improve your health. But there's one quitting strategy you definitely shouldn't try, and that's electronic cigarettes, aka an "e-cig."
I'm sure you've seen the ads for them. They're in magazines, on the radio, in mall kiosks and even on television as obnoxious celebrities spew nonsense about how e-cigs helped them to take back their "freedom," as if the freedom to kill yourself is somehow worth celebrating.
The ads imply that smoking an e-cig is somehow safer for smokers and those who might inhale secondhand vapors, but that has never been proven.
Dr. Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said e-cig vapor can contain metal particles so small they can pass into the bloodstream from the lungs.
And if there's anything you don't want rushing through your bloodstream, it's metal particles -- because metals exposure can cause everything from chronic disease to brain damage.
In addition, the "e-liquids" or "smoke juice" used inside e-cigs are so potent that just spilling a little on yourself could cause vomiting and seizures. It could even kill a child, according to another new report.
Finally, some people also seem to believe e-cigs might help them to quit smoking -- but that's just not true.
If anything, e-cig smokers are actually less likely to quit over the course of a year, according to the new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
So if you smoke, quit -- but don't do it with any tricks, gimmicks, or half-measures. And don't even waste your time with the so-called smoking cessation drugs, which come with big risks and don't even work for many people.
Instead, go cold turkey -- statistically, still the single most successful long-term quitting strategy around. And if you have trouble fighting off the cravings, try hypnosis or acupuncture.