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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

E-cigarettes – What you should know

Published in Tobacco Treatment Author: Danessa Sandmann, MPH, Program Specialist

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world. E-cigarettes are a novel, non-combustible way to use nicotine. The devices come in several forms, but operate in the same way. A battery powers an atomizer that heats a nicotine solution and produces a vapor that is inhaled.

Are they safe?

With thousands of different e-cigarettes currently on the market, conclusive research is difficult to obtain as there is no regulatory oversight over the manufacture of these products. Last year, the FDA proposed regulations that would require e-cigarettes to meet safety standards and manufacturers to report ingredients in e-juice, but there is no definitive timeline when the requirements may take effect.

The vapor inhaled and exhaled from an e-cigarette is not “just water vapor” — contrary to claims made by e-cigarette advocates. The vapor has been shown to contain carcinogens, nicotine, heavy metals, fine particulate matter and tobacco specific nitrosamines — many of the same ingredients found in secondhand smoke — albeit at lower levels.

There is limited knowledge regarding the long-term effects of e-cigarette use, but the main ingredient of most e-cigarette solutions, propylene glycol, is a known respiratory irritant and can cause symptoms in asthmatics when inhaled.

Can they help with smoking cessation?

It is important to note that e-cigarettes have already been deemed by federal court to be a tobacco product, not a pharmacological aid. Therefore, e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved smoking cessation product. In fact, studies assessing the efficacy of e-cigarettes as cessation devices have found that e-cigarette users may be less likely to quit than those that have not used e-cigarettes.

Youth access and appeal also are alarming concerns as e-cigarettes gain popularity. The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey found that nearly 30 percent of Minnesota high school students have tried an e-cigarette. E-cigarettes have the potential to introduce an entire generation to nicotine addiction with their candy flavors and zebra print designs. There is much to learn about the possible effects of e-cigarette use — especially in the long-term.

Learn more about e-cigarettes at