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E-Cigarettes Smoking: Threat or Solution?

Vaping, Threat, or Solution?

Smoking has become a serious challenge having a catastrophic influence on human health. As there have been massive anti-smoking campaigns, it has become less acute because more people are concerned about the negative outcomes of this bad practice. Nevertheless, the new challenge looms on the horizon – the introduction of electronic cigarettes.

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There are many views on vaping, smoking e-cigarettes, both positive and negative. For example, Quebec’s Health Minister Gaetan Barrette believes that vaping can become “a means to quit smoking that is extraordinarily efficient” (Vendeville par. 2). His statement was backed by the research conducted by the Montreal Chest Institute proving that 43 percent of the hardcore smokers give up tobacco and switch to electronic cigarettes in just 30 days. It should be noted that hardcore smokers are those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day for more than 30 years in a line. Another finding of the investigation is that those who started vaping are more likely to quit tobacco if compared to those who did not (Vendeville 7-9).

This study is limited, however, because, first, the time frame is too short and, second, the reasons why the smokers gave up tobacco and switched to e-cigarettes are ignored. The experience of hardcore smokers can be used to explain the statement made by the Health Minister. What they say is that the introduction of e-cigs as the source of nicotine helped them quit tobacco, and they were more effective than nicotine gums. The reason for preferring vaping to gums is that chewing is not always desirable and appropriate while vaping resembles the process of smoking. That said, e-cigs are not only a source of satisfying the physical need for nicotine but also for moral satisfaction because vaping tastes like tobacco but is less harmful (Ungar par. 20).

There have been many other types of research that can help fill the gap that conducted by the Montreal Chest Institute. For example, Kenkel (2016) claims that vaping indeed is effective for quitting tobacco. Moreover, it is safer than conventional cigarettes because smokers and bystanders do not inhale tar and other products of combustion including those causing cancer; instead, they inhale nicotine (474). It is true, however, that electronic cigarettes have one significant advantage if compared to conventional – they do not omit that dreadful amount of chemicals when smoked. It should be stressed that while tobacco smoke contains about 7,000 chemicals. However, they still hurt the state of human health.

For example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has shared shocking findings that vaping can change the activity of human genes including those responsible for fighting infections making e-smokers susceptible to any bacteria or virus as their organism fails to fight the germs. In addition to it, e-cigarettes can influence behavior and the state of mental well-being as they affect the genes located in brain cells. Furthermore, they harm the male reproductive function (Raloff par. 6, 9, 16). Another matter of concern is exposure to e-cigarettes. It may seem that because they do not omit that many chemicals like tobacco, it is safe to stay close to the vaper. In practice, things are different. The results of the investigations have proven that exposure to electronic cigarettes can as well be catastrophic. Like in the case of susceptibility to tobacco, vaping increases the risk of pneumonia, influenza, the decrease of antibacterial defense, etc. In general, exposure to vaping hurts lung functions (Sussan et al. 10-11).

What is especially alarming is the overall popularity of e-cigs, especially among teens. Statistical data show that most people start smoking before they turn 18. Moreover, there is a lower risk of getting this bad habit after 25. The matter here is purely economic. The industry is relatively new and strives for winning new consumers and the market as a whole. So, there is a significant promotion of e-cigs in society. Bearing in mind that the first cigarette is usually tried before 18, the producers give their products appealing names such as “lovely bubbly, snickerdoodle, cherry crush, and piña colada” (Mascarelli par. 10) making vaping more attractive to the younger generations.

In addition to it, the manufacturers promote the fact that they contain fewer chemicals than tobacco smoke stressing that they are safe and make them look stylish. It leads to further popularity with the younger generations. Nevertheless, they still contain nicotine that is a drug and propylene glycol that is dangerous if consumed or inhaled often. For this reason, e-cigs, as well as their promotion, should be prohibited by the federal law as it was in the case of tobacco. Moreover, the educational campaign should be conducted to make e-smokers, especially teens, aware of the impact of vaping on the state of health both physical and mental as “the use of marketing terms such as ‘e-juice’ may further mislead consumers into believing that these products are harmless” (Abram par. 8). It was a motivation for declaring vaping a threat to public health in California and calling upon other states to follow the example (Abram par. 22).

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There is another approach to shaping public policy regarding vaping. Kenkel (2016) stressing that e-cigarettes are not dangerous to bystanders, offer to launch taxation on tobacco, and subsidizing the substitutes aimed at reshaping the market, decreasing the number of smokers, and improving the overall state of public health (477). That said, the primary concerns with vaping are the following: the growing number of addicts among kids and teens before 18; improper regulation because there are no significant restrictions in selling e-cigs; vaping still pollutes the air and has the impact on bystander even though less than conventional cigarettes (Redding par. 25, 39, 48).

What can be said about the articles is that the material presented in them is contradicting and seems to be subjective rather than objective even in the case of studying the impact of e-cigs on the state of human health. However, when dividing them into those that criticize and praise vaping and its expansion in everyday life, the arguments are pretty much the same. That said, positive articles focus on the fact that vaping helps quit tobacco, is less harmful than tobacco to both vapers and bystanders, and is some kind of moral satisfaction to hardcore smokers. As of the negative articles, they stress the growing numbers of vapers among the younger generation that will nullify the success of anti-tobacco bringing up the new generation of nicotine addicts. Together with that, they highlight the negative impact of e-juice on the state of human health including lungs malfunctioning, male reproduction dysfunction, failing to protect the organism against infections, etc. What I think about this issue is that it is relatively new, and all the studies conducted are prejudiced. What should be done in carrying out a comprehensive study that would take into consideration both benefits and drawbacks of vaping because it is the only way to find or whether it is a solution or a threat?

Works Cited

Abram, Susan. “Why California Declared Vaping – E-Cigarettes – a Public Health Threat.” The Daily News. 2015.

Kenkel, Donald S. “Healthy Innovation: Vaping Smoking, and Public Policy.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 35.2 (2016): 473-479. Wiley Online Library. Web.

Mascarelli, Amanda Leigh. “The Dangerous Rise of Electronic Cigarettes.” Science News for Students. 2014.

Raloff, Janet. “Vaping May Threaten Brain, Immunity, and More.” Science News for Students. 2016.

Redding, Ben. “E-Cigarettes: A Chance to Kick the Habit or a Health Crises in the Making.” Men’s Fitness. 2014. Web.

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Sussan, Thomas E., Sachin Gajghate, Rajesh K. Timmulappa, Jinfang Ma, Jung-Hyun Kim, Kuladeep Sudini, Nicola Konsolini, Stephania A. Cormier, Slawo Lomnicki, Farhana Hasan, Andrew Pekozc and Shyam Biswal. “Exposure to Electronic Cigarettes Impairs Pulmonary Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Viral Defenses in a Mouse Model.” PLoS One 10.2 (2015): 1-15. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Web.

Ungar, Rick. “The Joys of Vaping: Finally, a Nicotine Addiction That’s Right for Me.” National Review. 2014.

Vendeville, Geoffrey. “Vaping Good Way to Quit, Says Health Minister.” The Ottawa Citizen. 2015: A.11. Print.

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