- Inhaler is regulated by the FDA, e-cigarettes are not regulated by anyone. A user is trusting that the manufacturer is correctly stating what is contain in its product. There is no oversight.
- Inhaler has evidence based studies showing it's effectiveness in becoming smoke-free, e-cigarettes have no independent studies and cannot be advertised as a cessation devise.
- Inhaler has strict manufacturing standands, e-cigarettes have no manufacturing standards or guidelines. A defective battery exploded in one users face.
- Inhaler has been proven to be safe. A prescription is required because of the risk of addiction due to the speed of delivery of the nicotine.
This last point is very important because the safety of e-cigarettes has not been established. Recently a rare form of pneumonia has been linked to the use of e-cigarettes due to the use of an oil based substance to create the vapor.
Exogenus lipoid pneumonia is very rare. It is usually seen in elderly patients who use mineral oil laxatives. The lipids (fats or oils) are inhaled into the lungs. Proplene gycol, glyercin and nicotine are the main ingredients, although other substances have been found in a small study done by the FDA. Glyercin is an oil-based substance which is inhaled into the lungs when using an e-cigarette, which appears to cause this rare form of pneumonia in some users.
More research needs to be done but until then--it's buyer beware when using e-cigarettes. You don't want to end up like the guy in Florida who had part of his face blown off when the battery exploded (again, no manufacturing standards).
The advantage to many people trying to quit is that the e-cigarette is shaped and feels like a cigarette in your hand. It may work great for that but it doesn't mean you need to inhale it or turn it on. A prop works just as good or better yet, talk to your doctor about the nicotine inhaler.