In a time when many people are trying to quit smoking, many are turning to electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, but just how safe are these tools?
Two researchers from UTSA are getting ready to study the health effects of these cigarettes.
UTSA kinesiologist Donovan Fogt, one of the researchers on the study, said while e-cigarettes do not contain the cancer-causing contaminants that you find in regular cigarettes, the health effects of inhaling pure nicotine has never been studied.
"They are FDA-approved as a smoking sensation tool," said Fogt. "They have been around for many years. They provide nicotine without combustion of products you get from burning paper."
Longtime smoker Ashley Martinez said she quit cigarettes and has been "vaping" e-cigarettes for the past month.
In that time, she said she can already feel the difference.
"I'm able to smell better, taste better. I feel better," said Martinez. "I'm not coughing at all."
However, Fogt said although e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, the nicotine could still affect the body.
"E-cigarettes are a safer option," said Fogt. "However, they are still delivering nicotine, nicotine is a drug, nicotine does have effects on the body. That could disrupt your ability to perform physical work exercise."
The researchers have received $30,000 in funding from UTSA for the study and will initially take a look at the effects on non-smokers.
Fogt said they are waiting for final approval for the study, which they expect to get on Wednesday.
Once they get the OK, he said they are looking to start in the next two weeks.
The initial study should take eight months.