Through education and the innovations brought by technology, more and more people are becoming self-aware of the problems surrounding them and of the risks they could live without every day. Today’s society understood the fact that smoking is bad for both the individual and the community and role models seen puffing on tobacco should remain a thing of the past.
Understanding that they don’t set a good example for their children, tired of their teeth and skin getting yellow and the horrible smells, many people decide to quit on tobacco and make an improvement on their lives by adopting healthier meals, eating more fruits and veggies and going to the gym on a regular basis. But quitting on tobacco is easier said than done; because not only is nicotine such an addictive substance but the whole smoking routine is hard to give up on. Cold turkey is believed to be the best way of someone staying off tobacco for good, but the percentage of people who can actually do this is slight.
There are of course alternatives for nicotine sold in pharmacies, like gum, patches or inhalers. But, while they have a proven efficiency, the act of quitting still resides on the will of smoker. Feeling isolated and alone in his fight with such strong cravings, chances are a person will often relapse and go back to a number of daily cigarettes.
Here is where an innovation that has been on the market for only a few years really shines. While not advertised as a smoking cessation product and still unregulated by the Food and Drug Agency, the electronic cigarette has helped millions of people worldwide cut down and eventually quit on smoking entirely. This is because it resembles a tobacco cigarette and shape and size and also the vapor it delivers is very similar to the smoke coming out of combustible cigs. But vapor is very different from smoke, in fact is so different that we have only a handful of substances to worry in the case of e-cigarettes as opposed to the thousands of chemicals and carcinogens fond in burning tobacco.
But why are so many people against e-cigarettes? Well, probably for the very thing that makes these devices so effective and so easy to use – the fact that they look and feel like traditional cigarettes. Society doesn’t want smoking to be glamorized once again and seeing so many people puffing on their ecigs and feeling so good about it might seem like making the same mistakes we did in the past, with role models like the Marlboro Man and chick ladies lighting up a cigarette to show their independence.
But are e-cigarettes likely to produce the same kind of social phenomena like tobacco did decades ago? We will talk about this in our future article.
Of course, seeing a celebrity puffing on an e-cigarette might be something to worry about if you are a parent and know that your kid is a big fan. But then again, if you are smoking cigarettes and see Leo DiCaprio going for a healthier alternative doesn’t it make you wonder why? Doesn’t it encourage you to give them a try and see if you can cut down on the number of smokes that destroy your lungs every day? Who is a kid going to look after more as he grows up, a celebrity that only plays in a few movies or his father or mother that he interacts with on a daily basis?
We agree, vaping shouldn’t be glamorized and it’s not the kind of behavior we want our youths to witness, especially those coming from a non-smoking family. But this gateway effect that so many advocates are citing and worried about might be more a fairytale. There have been a number of studies and surveys and one fact is clear – minors are not that likely to try e-cigarettes than they were to try tobacco in the past. While they do come in eye catching packages and the flavors are predominantly sweet, e-cigarettes appeal more to adults.
The problem with so many anti vaping advocates is that they want to ‘kill’ a product that helps millions of people getting their nicotine fix with much less health risks based solely on some presumptions and without any scientific evidence. ‘Shoot firs and ask the questions later’ isn’t the way to go if we take into consideration the bigger picture. Just think about how much money is being saved on healthcare alone for 100,000 people that managed to quit cigarettes entirely in their mid-30’s with the help of ecigs. That money can go to other sectors of the economy like education or building hospitals, end e-cigarettes managed to do this without even being prescribed by doctors as a smoking alternative device.
Usually, anti vaping advocates take on a fact and distort it to the maximum, creating a general fear and panic but without any kind of proof. You probably heard about a number of isolated incidents regarding e-cigarette batteries exploding and injuring people. Well, let’s take a minute and imagine that out of 5 million of e-cigs sold, only 5 of them exploded (and let’s be fair and acknowledge the fact that many of the incidents happened because the owners used chargers not intended for their devices). This is a chance of 1 million to one for an ecig to explode. Now let’s ask ourselves how many fire hazards happen from 5 million packs of cigarettes being sold and how many victims are there on the long run?
Yes, e-cigarettes do have some chemicals and their effects on our lungs, heart and other organs are still unknown on the long term. And yes, they pose less risks when compared to tobacco cigarettes but the risks are there especially for a non-smoker. But when you think about it, doesn’t the good outweigh the bad? And shouldn't we being more research to find out what vaping is and how it works?