We live in a world in a constant state of fear. Anything new or innovative to hit the shelves of tobacco stores is inevitably going to cause controversy. But these mixed messages aren’t healthy. On one side of the spectrum the medical community cautiously treads on eggshells. They want to say “stop smoking, vape instead.” However, without further study, they feel reluctant to call e-cigs beneficial to cigarette smokers. While on the other side of the spectrum every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be an expert, reasserting how “dangerous” e-cigs are, but without any scientific evidence to support their claims.
But now it finally looks like we’ve got some clarification, at least with regards to the dangers of second-hand vaping.
E-cigs Contain Less Toxic Chemicals Than Cigarettes
Nobody is claiming that e-cigs are healthy. Far from it, in fact. Many simply propose that they are a better alternative to smoking cigarettes. According to the results of an independent review, toxic chemicals in e-cigs were found to be nine to 450 times lower than in standard cigarettes, which is the equivalent to a pharmaceutical inhaler. In short, if judgment were to be based on statistics, e-cigs would be 95 percent safer than cigarettes.
One of the biggest breakthroughs from within the industry, however, occurred this week. In a study conducted by the California Department of Public Health, which monitored the effects of second-hand vaping, results concluded that e-cigs pose no risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals. Dr. Siegel, who headed the research, found that there was only an increase in formaldehyde. However, this exposure was consistent with the levels normally found indoors.
Extreme Regulation Could Be Counter Productive
Of course, the e-cig industry should not be completely unregulated. However, as more and more studies conclude that vaping could not only serve as a viable quitting aid, but a much better alternative to smoking, severe regulation can no longer be justified. Fundamentally, we should not be fearing e-cigs, but using them to our advantage.
In the modern world, people seem to be fed up with experts – just look at the political landscape in Europe and the United States. There is currently strict regulation in the European Union, despite health services, such as Britain’s NHS, providing e-cigs to smokers.
The Differences Between Vaping and Smoking Must Be Emphasized
With hipster culture popularizing the use of e-cigs as a hobby, rather than a quitting tool, people have every right be afraid of the potential ramifications. With flavored liquids and modification kits turning vaping into a trend, there is a fear, especially among the older generation, that e-cigs could serve as a gateway to cigarettes.
But, it’s important to note that e-cigs and tobacco smoking are not mutually exclusive, and shouldn’t be lumbered under the same category. Perhaps if governments and regulators focused more on differentiating the differences, and marketing vaping towards quitters, the industry will be better placed to shake the stigma and discourage non-smokers from taking up the habit.