By: Alexa Salazar
Many claim electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking paper cigarettes because the e-cigarette does not contain tobacco. Instead of tobacco, the e- cigarette uses a mechanism wherein the liquid nicotine is vaporized and inhaled by the users. But, is this new product safer than paper cigarettes or does it contain the same hazards?
The e-cigarette, or the electronic cigarette, was invented in the 1960’s but didn’t become popular until a decade ago. They entered the U.S. Market in 2007. Many have used them, reasoning that it is their way of “quitting” the habit of smoking. But is this :quitting” claim really legitimate?
E-Cigarettes are unfortunately attracting younger smokers for a variety of reasons. This new product comes in many different flavors, and teens buy into the notion that they are not as harmful as paper cigarettes. However, based on studies, teenagers who try e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco and be regular smokers. In an article on the Time website, titled “E-Cigarettes Finding New Users in Teens,” the shocking news that “the percentage of middle school and high school students who have tried e-cigarettes doubled from 3.3%. in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012.”
Another disadvantage of e-cigarette is the liquid nicotine. Exposure to the liquid nicotine that is found inside the e-cigarettes could be lethal to children. In an article by the Huffington Post, titled “Liquid Nicotine in E-Cigarettes Could Be Deadly,” Emily Thomas writes, “A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.” The consequences for inhaling nicotine are still unknown because the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not conducted a study of the health effects. As stated by the US Food and Drug Administration Webpage, “Only e-cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently regulated by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).”
E-Cigarettes are not actually designed to assist a person in quitting smoking; using the electronic cigarette is just an alternative way of smoking. Studies say that it does help you abstain from smoking for a few months but it doesn’t help you quit the habit of smoking. The e-cigarette contains many substances toxic to humans and can potentially cause the same type of nicotine addiction as paper cigarettes.
Abstaining from smoking is the best way to avoid these serious health risks.