The amount of electronic cigarette vapers has risen dramatically in the past couple of years. For many traditional cigarette smokers, electronic cigarettes seem to be the perfect alternative to help them give up on their smoking habit. For many interested in public health issues, the electronic cigarette revolution is a godsend, because it presents a new pathway for smokers to escape their tobacco cravings. However, for another group, electronic cigarettes, or vapor cigarettes, are just as dangerous and present a threat to public health. This group, led by politicians and anti-tobacco activists, have campaigned vigorously to smear electronic cigarettes as dangerous. This has resulted in pushback from electronic cigarette supporters, with publications like the New York Post declaring this war on electronic cigarettes as “lunatic.”
Anti-electronic cigarette campaigners have several arguments against these vapor cigarettes. First of all, there haven’t been very many studies done that have conclusively found electronic cigarettes to be harmless. Second of all, with the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, and the growing amount of teenagers polled that have tried electronic cigarettes, anti-tobacco activists are worried that electronic cigarette smoking could function as a gateway to traditional cigarettes. This could lead to a resurgence in smoking just as the number of smokers is dying down due to health information campaigns, increased regulations, and increased taxes.
No Reason to Get Worked Up
However, according to the New York Post and many other proponents of vapor cigarettes, many of these fears are misplaced or just outright crazy. First of all, though there is not a definite word on the relative harmlessness of electronic cigarettes, researchers have a better idea of what is exactly in their e liquid solutions, as opposed to traditional cigarettes. The known chemicals like flavoring and propylene glycol are used in food and medicine and have been found to be safe. Second, there is little reason to be worried about a resurgence in smokers. Vapor cigarettes are becoming so popular in the first place because they are perceived as a viable alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, so why would anybody go to traditional cigarettes after smoking electronic ones? Plus, the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes is overwhelmingly attributed to traditional smokers that are switching over, so if anything, the growing use of electronic cigarettes can be construed as harm reduction, not some looming public health disaster.
The Benefit of Electronic Cigarettes
According to the New York Post editorial, the electronic cigarette revolution is just what the smoking community needs: a less harmful alternative to potentially wean smokers off of cigarettes and save lives. The campaign to demonize electronic cigarettes is crazy and irresponsible if anything, and could very well risk lives if it leads smokers away from trying a less harmful alternative. Electronic cigarettes contain hardly any of the harmful chemicals that traditional cigarettes have, and they are better for the environment. These vapor cigarettes don’t leave lingering residues, stains, or smells, and the vapor dissipates harmlessly after it is released. Anti-tobacco activists should support such a solution if anything.
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