E-Cigarettes: No Better than Smoking or Life Savers?

Rose Stirling

It is quite well-known that smoking tobacco is dangerous in so many ways. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a safe alternative that could help people stop smoking? E-cigarettes might just be the solution.

Even though e-cigarettes are not completely, absolutely risk-free, they are considerably safer than cigarettes. Not all nicotine products are created equal; some have much lower risks than others. While it is true that e-cigarettes contain nicotine extracted from tobacco leaves, they do not , however, contain the tobacco leaves themselves like conventional tobacco products.

In the combustion process of smoking tobacco, hundreds of toxic chemicals, also known as tar, which is a chemical in cigarettes that can damage lungs, are released, and this does not occur while using an e-cigarette. Nicotine is an addictive drug, there’s no doubt about that, but it may not pose as many health risks on its own.

Nicotine is a stimulant which is a drug that increases one’s heart rate and central nervous system, and some studies have shown that nicotine is somewhat similar to caffeine which is used daily by many people across the globe. Although there really hasn’t been enough long-term research to have complete certainty, e-cigarettes have less carcinogenic and lung disease risks. It is estimated that e-cigarettes are a whopping 95 percent safer than regular ones, according to the Department of Health in the UK.

E-cigarettes are also proven to help adult smokers quit. More than tens of thousands of people have been able to quit smoking using e-cigarettes. A study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, concluded that e-cigarettes could reduce the deaths from smoking-related illnesses by about 21 percent.

E-cigarettes are different from other nicotine products made to help smokers quit since they give the smoker the sensation of smoking a real cigarette. This could be full of promise for many smokers who are psychologically addicted to the actual sensation of having a cigarette in the mouth, in addition to the nicotine drug. Because of this, E-cigarettes are, so far, helpful for adult smokers, since they provide an effectual smoking-sensation and not simply just the plain nicotine drug.

However, FDA regulations on the e-cigarette and nicotine vapor product industry are impeding on the process of millions of smokers making the switch from traditional combustible tobacco products to much safer e-cigarettes. Because of the limited options & increased costs, it is likely that many, unfortunately, will revert back to their previous, much more harmful smoking products.

Although e-cigarettes are clearly, promising for adults trying to quit smoking, they still pose a threat to teen and people that are underage. The issue with kids, compared to adults, is that many adults who tried e-cigarettes were already smoking tobacco. With kids, e-cigarettes could be a gateway to real cigarettes. According to NPR:

In fact, 15 of the studies NAS (National Academies of Science) reviewed found that when teens and young adults use e-cigarettes, they are more likely to try regular tobacco within a year.

So this looks like a precarious solution if you’re young. Underaged people should definitely NOT be using e-cigarettes if they are not used to help themselves quit smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive, can easily result in dependence to these devices, and they actually encourage youth to use combustible tobacco products and become smokers.

Even though there is fairly limited research on e-cigarettes, it is safe to conclude that the e-cigarette is a revolutionary innovation in helping adults quit, but are harmful to youth and young adults who are not struggling to quit combustible cigarettes.