90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Rise Of E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are suddenly all over. Nicotine in a tube. Are they safe?

This photo taken on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, shows Blair Roberts, a 22-year-old sales associate at Colorado E-Smokes as he demonstrates the use of a electronic cigarette and the smoke like vapor that comes from it at an E-Smokes store in Aurora, Colo. (AP)

This photo taken on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, shows Blair Roberts, a 22-year-old sales associate at Colorado E-Smokes as he demonstrates the use of a electronic cigarette and the smoke like vapor that comes from it at an E-Smokes store in Aurora, Colo. (AP)

America fought for years to get out of the clutches of cigarettes and the ravages of tobacco.  Many Americans still fight to break free.  Now there’s a new player.  E-cigarettes.  All the nicotine of a cigarette, but none of the tar and gunk that lead to cancer – as far as we know.

You may have seen people puffing them.  Vapor in, vapor out.  No actual smoke.  But there’s a big debate over the net impact.  Are e-cigarettes a nifty way off of traditional smoking?  Or are they a new gateway to nicotine addiction and, ultimately, back to cigarettes?

This hour, On Point:  the e-cigarette dilemma.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Christie Aschwanden, health columnist for the Washington Post. (@cragcrest)

Dr. Michael Siegel, medical doctor and professor of community health science at Boston University’s School of Public Health. (@mbsiegel)

Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research at the University of California San Francisco. (@profglantz)

Closing Segment on Insurance Exchanges

Julie Appleby, reporter for Kaiser Health News. (@julie_appleby)

Teresa Ghilarducci, labor economist and nationally-recognized expert in retirement security. Economics professor at The New School. (@tghilarducci)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times (Dr. Michael Siegel): What’s Not to Like? — “Available scientific research confirms that electronic cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation and reduction strategy for many smokers. There is abundant clinical and survey evidence, and recently – clinical trial evidence – that literally hundreds of thousands of U.S. smokers have successfully quit or cut down substantially on the amount they smoke thanks to electronic cigarettes.

The Washington Post: E-cigarettes raise new questions about smoking — “Though e-cigarette makers do not make safety or health claims, many users assume that eliminating the smoke of burning tobacco also eliminates the harm. ‘There’s no question that e-cigarettes deliver fewer [toxic substances] than conventional cigarettes, but the question of how much less is still not clear,’ says Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California at San Francisco. ”

USA Today: E-cigarette use doubles among U.S. teens — “Last year, 10% of high school students say they tried e-cigarettes, up from 4.7% in 2011, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A doubling also occurred among U.S. middle school students saying they’ve experimented with e-cigarettes — from 1.4% to 2.7% — and similar spikes in teen usage were found in the 2013 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
Comment