Unhealthy Repercussions: Banning E-Cigarettes

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Tobacco lobbyists and anti-tobacco groups are trying to ban e-cigarettes. Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, and are a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.

What if there was a product that could allow smokers to enjoy the taste and feel of lighting up and taking a drag, but without the high risks of cancer and heart disease? Even better, what if there was a product that allowed smokers to do this, but without the health repercussions of secondhand and third-hand smoke? Well, good news. There is such a product. And public health agencies want it banned.

E-cigarettes Replace King Tobacco

Smoking has been a part of American culture since the beginning, and Big Tobacco has more power than most people realize. They routinely skew scientific data in their favor, bribe health officials, and fund political campaigns to prevent anti-tobacco legislation. Despite all of this effort, tobacco sales are in decline.

The reason for this is due, in part, to public knowledge of the dangers of smoking becoming more widely known. As smokers seek to quit in order to improve their health, e-cigarettes have quickly risen in popularity. They allow smokers to continue enjoying the robust flavor of good tobacco combined with the slight burn of nicotine, but without actually having to inhale smoke. They are so effective at simulating the smoking experience that e-cigarette sales continue to soar, even as sales of traditional tobacco products fall.

Public Health Agencies Push for E-Cigarette Bans

While the smokeless nature of electronic cigarettes seems like a win/win in terms of smoker and public health, officials are still aiming to have them banned. Anti-tobacco groups are attempting to pass legislation that would prohibit or limit the sales of electronic cigarettes, citing that not enough is known about them in order to deem them safe for use as a smoking substitute. This is erroneous thinking for several reasons.

E-cigarettes have been shown to help people quit. According to studies cited by WebMD, e-cigarettes have been shown to help smokers quit. Some recent studies show them to be more effective than nicotine replacement patches and gums. Even if the nicotine in e-cigarettes was enough to cause harm alone, the act of quitting traditional cigarettes would still put them heads and tails above tobacco products. In fact, a recent study by the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine reports that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes substantially reduce their risk of disease.

E-cigarettes do not contain the hundreds of chemical additives cigarettes have. Propylene glycol, an addictive that is actually FDA approved for consumption in packaged foods, is a mild irritant for most people. It gives e-cigs their “throat hit,” and is a far cry from the formaldehyde, cyanide, lead, arsenic, carbon monoxide, insecticides, and herbicides present in tobacco smoke. To say that this ingredient is potentially as dangerous as smoking is absurd. Even if e-cigarettes proved to be unhealthy, the cost they would save smokers in healthcare would still be substantial.

E-cigarettes do not produce secondhand smoke. Tobacco products are not just harmful to the people smoking them. Everyone around them is victim to the secondhand and third-hand smoke they produce. E-cigs offer a cleaner alternative, since they do not emit any smoke at all.

Anti-Tobacco Groups are Doing More Harm than Good

There is no denying that e-cigarettes are, at least, a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products. Banning them would likely send users back to conventional cigarettes, thus putting their health at significant risk. In an effort to ban all nicotine related products, lobbyists may just send sales of tobacco products back to their pre-decline levels. The results of this move could prove detrimental to not only smokers, but to anyone who breathes the same air as smokers.