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E-Cigarettes: New Spin on Old Habits

21 August 2015, 07:20
Just like the flip phone phased out into the smart phones we all know and love today, it would seem that smoking has moved in a similar direction, or has it? E-cigarettes, a relatively new-ish thing that has garnered a lot of popularity in the younger peoples these days seems to be making the rounds as people learn to love it, or hate it. But I can’t blame them as I read up more about the new [to me, at least] fad that seems to be the in thing.

As I understand it, e-cigarettes hail from the lovely land of the Chinese and are battery powered and sold with ‘refillable’ flavours as well as nicotine. Of course I’m guessing the attraction for the youth must be those flavours and I wonder what exactly is in that. According to researchers who took the time to study 30 e-cig liquids, taken from a number of different companies including the major manufacturers NJoy and Blu the study which contained a variety of flavours such as tobacco, menthol, cotton candy, bubble-gum, chocolate and other fruit flavours, it showed a number of chemicals which could potentially cause harm. The trouble it would seem that though the substance was safe in quantity, it wasn’t necessarily known whether it was really okay to directly inhale the stuff without consequence. Comforting thought that. 

Still I doubt that many kids care much about the science behind the fact that the thing lights up like a real cigarette while you use it and emits a cool white smoke you can make circles and other shapes with. You know, the real things to get excited about. Well, that and maybe the fact that e-cigs technically allow them to give the finger to the man as they ‘fall through the cracks of the law’. Considering that there barely exists any law against the electronic annoyance, you can be sure that many will take advantage of this as they stray from the old tobacco stick to the new shiny and improved one. Suddenly it becomes a question of conscience whether to ‘light up’ or not.

But is it okay for our youth to be puffing away?

In a recent article I read, a certain government body stated that ‘vaping’ is safer than smoking and this could lead to the end of traditional smoking. They go so far as to even want to get e-cigs licensed as a medicine and dispense it as such amongst the average consumer as a prescribed medication for quitting smoking. Yet in another article I read a conflicting argument is made, one I find myself agreeing with far more than the idea of making e-cigs so readily available.

The article in question states that someone who has vaped is more likely to move over to the traditional way of smoking. They backed this by some research they conducted amongst teenagers. I can’t help but think this is an obvious outcome, I mean tobacco and nicotine is after all a drug, a minor one yes but it is what it is.

It also leads me to see that not enough research has been made into e-cigs and how they affect people. Too much is unknown and all that is left is speculation and argument. It makes for a dangerous idea of what has been left in the hands of so many young people as we become the guinea pigs for the future to learn from. But I suppose that’s how it always is.

If anything is to come of the unchecked use of all this vaping though, it should probably be some laws and regulations though. That way, if there is any damage as the scientists fear, it wouldn’t have been for nothing.

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