Cigarettes have been a negative drain on public health since their inception. Many people begin smoking to achieve a nicotine buzz, which isn’t all that dangerous in itself. Most of the harm from cigarettes comes from the chemicals and tar within them. Thus, to achieve this buzz without the additional dangers of cigarettes, many have turned to e cigarettes.
A controversial debate has been occurring over whether of not e cigarettes should be treated with the same caution as traditional cigarettes. Some countries, like Great Britain, promote the use of e cigs as a healthy alternative to conventional smoking. But other countries, like the United States, have subjected electronic cigarettes to measures like an identification requirement for adults under the age of 26.
Benefits of e cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes have become popular largely because they can provide nicotine without the use of other dangerous chemicals. This fact is backed up by research. A 2014 study conducted by the journal Circulation showed that toxins emitted by e cigarettes were much lower than those given off by traditional cigarettes. This trend was also true for those exposed to secondhand smoke from the two items.
Despite this advantage, a number of concerns surround e cigarettes. Namely, young people have been using the devices at a significantly increasing rate. 12 percent of high school students admitted to using an e-cig in the past month, while in 2014 that number was only 1.5 percent. This figure disturbs some because nicotine use might inhibit brain development in younger people. What’s more, many worry that developing a nicotine addiction will early in life will start a trend that will inevitably lead to regular smoking.
Further, while some studies suggest that the components of electronic cigarettes are harmless, others have found that compounds in the flavorings (like propylene glycol) can negatively affect a person’s a health. This research indicates that e cigs may not be completely safe like their advocates claim.
Overall, e cigarettes are most likely a much safer alternative to traditional smoking. For this reason, public health officials might want to promote their use to those trying to quit the dangerous habit of smoking. While some argue that e cigs can serve as a “gateway drug” to conventional cigarettes, the benefits of helping those who are already smoking quit the habit likely outweigh the risks of creating a generation of future smokers. However, more research needs to be done before one can develop a confident conclusion. More information can be found at DashVapes, which provides additional resources.