Opinions

Smokers should make the transition to healthier e-cigarettes

“Dude. It’s just vapor,” my friend said to our resident assistant after letting out a cloud of fruity-smelling smoke in the common room.
My friend, a regular smoker, is now obsessed with his e-cigarette, an electronic apparatus that uses batteries to heat an aqueous nicotine solution.

E-cigarettes were introduced to the U.S. market in 2007, and they’re marketed as an aid to quit smoking. Today, while sometimes the cigarettes catalyze quitting, the very pleasing e-cigarette is enticing users to continue smoking. People buy the devices because of their likeness to a portable hookah, as they are free of the carcinogenic smoke that clings to clothing and hair.

Interchangeable cartridges come in different flavors and nicotine levels. My friend is currently on a peach-flavor binge, and he smokes in his dorm room, friends’ houses and even in class.

My friend said that interchangeable capsules of the fluid cost $8 to $10 depending on the flavor, and they last as long as two packs of cigarettes would, so in essence, e-cigarette smokers are saving money as well as their lungs. However, the smoke produced by the e-cigarette is even milkier and tastier than any traditional cigarette, resulting in more frequent puffing.

The magic of these e-cigarettes is that they expel only vapor. Use of e-cigarettes is not considered “smoking” but instead “vaping.” 

No harm is done to non-smokers, and smokers will only feed their own nicotine addictions without polluting the air with second-hand smoke.
However, due to the fact that the devices do not use tobacco and do not require a nicotine-based solution, there is no age restriction on who can buy them.

Health officials say this poses a major problem for the young, technology-keen generation. Just like taking “selfies” in the mirror with an iPad, the highly technological aesthetic of e-cigarettes makes them way cooler than the real thing. While the first models looked like little plastic cigarettes, the ones seen all over campus today look like fat ballpoint pens that become illuminated when one takes a puff from the mouthpiece.

Anti-smokers and skeptics have said that e-cigarettes are just as bad as normal cigarettes, if not worse, insisting that e-cigarettes glamorize smoking and encourage children to develop nicotine addictions as soon as they can grasp and suck. After all, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that nicotine is a highly toxic chemical used as insecticides on tobacco plants. For now, e-cigarettes are being snatched away from youngsters, and legislation is being proposed state-by-state to place e-cigarettes in the same category as regular cigarettes.

According to the Federal Drug Administration, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are effective cessation tools.

The majority of health risks result from the tobacco smoke that nicotine addicts inhale while fueling their addictions, rather than the nicotine itself.

Studies say that both the long-term effects and short-term buzz from nicotine is comparable to caffeine.

Sure, in high doses, nicotine is toxic, but so is water.

Moderation is key, people.

We are entering a time that will change the face of smoking once again. Rather than demonizing these devices because we are socialized to believe that smoking is the devil, society should accept a semantic progression and embrace e-cigarettes with open arms. Whichever the purpose for switching to electronic, e-cigarettes are definitely a step in the right direction, and if nothing else, they make the air smell better.

Danielle Carson is a sophomore journalism and anthropology double major and an assistant diversions editor for the Daily 49er

One Comment

  1. Yes! Finally someone writes about e-cig.

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