E-Cigarettes Face Criticism, Attempted Bans

Despite the public’s increased awareness of the dangers of cigarettes and the recent smoking bans in stores, offices and restaurants, many people are unable or unwilling to quit smoking. E-cigarettes, which contain a small amount of liquid nicotine that is vaporized into a mist that can be inhaled, have proved to be more effective at helping smokers stay off cigarettes than more established nicotine products such as patches and gum. But this effective alternative to cigarettes faces criticism from anti-smoking groups and the Food and Drug Administration, which labels e-cigarettes a “drug delivery device.”

Critics of e-cigarettes argue that the product reduces the incentive for smokers to kick their nicotine habit by providing vaporized nicotine in a familiar form that can be brought to the mouth and inhaled. They also believe that e-cigarettes may act as a “gateway” to smoking for children and teens, and that the product may contain harmful chemical products and vapors.

E-cigarettes, however, contain far fewer chemicals than traditional cigarettes, which are known to contain hundreds of potentially toxic and carcinogenic ingredients. They also eliminate the issue of second-hand smoke, because there is no combustion involved.

Furthermore, according to the British medical society, nicotine itself is not particularly harmful. Part of the reason that smokers find it difficult to quit is because there are demonstrated benefits to absorbing nicotine into the body, including lower weight, reduced stress and better concentration.

While there are still concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes, it seems that the FDA and anti-smoking groups are targeting this product specifically because it looks like a traditional cigarette, and they fear that smokers will switch permanently over to the e-cigarette instead of quitting altogether. But what is so wrong with that? If e-cigarettes are indeed less harmful to smokers and people around them, it seems to me that switching over would not be a bad idea at all.

Clearly, we will never get to the point where 100% of smokers quit forever. It’s time to give up on this abstinence-only approach and look at realistic alternatives that will help smokers protect themselves and their loved ones from the harmful effects of traditional cigarettes.

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Photo credit: SuperFantastic

59 comments

Deny Fell
.2 years ago

This info you provided in the blog that was really unique I love it!!! black stillare

Cat N.
Cat N4 years ago

I'm seriously contemplating E-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.

Joseph P.
Joseph Patchell4 years ago

I've been 'vaping' e-cig juice for about 9 months now. The impact on my health has been a plus. My breathing has improved and so has my cardio health. Now, nicotine is still a stimulant and my cardiologist would rather have me avoid the use of stimulants but, I do plan on quiting these. The cravings aren't even as half as bad as they are smoking regular cigarettes. If people wish to continue using nicotine, it should be their choice. The other alternative is to smoke tobacco, which has a proven track record of killing and incapacitating peoples health.

Kumbakonam R.
Kumbakonam R4 years ago

I repeat Jane R.'s very valid comment and add: people are not controlled in their eating of different types of processed meats and foods, drinks for kids with a ton of chemicals and additives (remember increasing diabetes and obesity among younger people)...and all kinds of other social evils that are going on. So, let the govt relax a little and not continue with the 'witch hunting' of the smokers with every possible ban.
When adults continue to smoke, it is to relieve the mental stress that is one of the achievements of our current civilization. Are the alternatives to reduce stress (Prozac...kind of pills) any better?

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

If an e-cigarette is healthier for the smoker and those around them, why on eart would anyone want them banned?? To the non smokers I have this to say....if you love chocolate or ice cream, cake, pies or any other unhealthy foods, who am I to say you should give them up? They aren't healthy for you either but I say: to each his own, live and let live. We won't live forever so enjoy what you want.

Todd L.
Todd L5 years ago

I've been using an e-cig for approximately 8 months. It has definitely helped me to quit smoking. In the past I have used nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine inhalers, Chantix, accupuncture, hypnosis and sheer willpower. I think the e-cig has worked the best. Yes, maybe I will always have an e-cig habit. Far more preferable than cigarettes. It costs approximately half as much as smoking. The ingredients contained in the vapor cartridge are distilled water, nicotine, natural and artificial flavors, USP glycerine, citric acid. They are available in a number of flavors, 3 different levels of nicotine or no nicotine. Some brands of the fluid for the vapor cartridges contain propylene glycol in place of glycerine. Some people feel that propylene glycol may not be as safe. I don't know if it is or not. There are US and Chinese manufacturers of the fluid for the vapor cartridges. Not that US manufacturers are immune from greed, but it seems that Chinese manufacturers are especially prone to adulterate their products for that last little bit of profit, or at least they get caught more or it's reported more. Ironic for a former smoker to be concerned with the safety of this product isn't it? Personally, I avoid Chinese stuff whenever possible, no matter what it is and for a number of reasons. If you use an e-cig in a closed or confined space, please realize that you are still releasing trace amounts of whatever is in the vapor into that space. You should be polite and treat 'vapi

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons5 years ago

These e cigs are dangerous they lead you to believe they are a healthier alternative but they still contain harmful nicotine. Don't be fooled into thinking they are Just water vapor they are not.

Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago

"Part of the reason that smokers find it difficult to quit is because there are demonstrated benefits to absorbing nicotine into the body, including lower weight, reduced stress and better concentration."

I don't think so ... I smoked for over 40 years because I was addicted. Plain and simple.

Catherine D.
Catherine Davis5 years ago

I have been using an Ecig since Feb. when I had broncitis so bad that I thought I would end up in the hospital. You can get different levels of nicotine; high, medium, or no nicotine at all. All produce a harmless water vapor that has no odor and does not cling to your body, furniture, car, or home as a real cigarette smoke does. I have every lung disease known to man (except cancer), due to my smoking for the past 45 yrs. If I can quit a REAL cigarette and smoke something that is not harmless to me or anyone around me, then that's a wonderful thing and something that people should be happy about, not trying to find something wrong with it. Leave us "non-smokers" alone for heaven's sake!!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola5 years ago

Thank you for sharing this article