Vital Signs Volume 9, Issue 2 - Page 3

What ailments do you most frequently see from patients? Dr. Lloyd The most common patient we see would probably be those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We don’t treat lung cancer but we’re on the diagnostic end. Note: COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath and more. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. What are your thoughts on cigarette smoking? Dr. Lloyd There is no question that cigarette smoke is harmful. There’s a whole laundry list of diseases that cigarette smoke can cause. COPD, which is a major health problem in this country, is probably the most common. Then there are the cancers: Lung, tongue, mouth, esophageal and bladder. A whole host of cancers have been associated with cigarette smoke. Have you seen many patients who’ve reported using electronic cigarettes? Dr. Lloyd We’ve seen some, yes. But, so far I have not see anybody who has been able to stop smoking by using e-cigarettes. Most of our patients start out using it as an agent to stop smoking, but I’ve never seen a patient really be able to stop by using e-cigarettes. From what I understand, the nicotine content is not as much from an e-cigarette as it is from a regular cigarette. Most of them in my experience have gone back to smoking. I don’t know anybody who’s really been able to quit. What are your concerns about the use of electronic cigarettes? Dr. Lloyd There are several problems with electronic cigarettes. Number one: emission. There have been no studies I’ve seen that have shown the e-cigarette to be entirely safe. Most of them use tobacco products t