E-Cigarette Critics Aren't Who You'd Think


Getting people to quit smoking cigarettes has proven to be a nearly impossible task. Even after being educated thoroughly on the dangers of smoking tobacco there are tens of millions of smokers worldwide. We've all heard of solutions like nicotine patches and gum but these influence very few smokers enough to quit. There are basically two trains of thought that are observed when it comes to dealing with addictions. Conservatives that tend to believe in an "abstinence only" type of policy. Whereas liberals are more open to "harm reduction strategies." The article uses the examples of teen pregnancy and heroine addiction. Conservatives feel abstinence from the two is the only way to treat the problems but liberals approve of things like birth control and methadone treatments.


Scientists in Italy have attempted to do more by doing less. The experimenters "recruited 40 hard-core smokers" to attempt to make the switch to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are used by inhaling a vapor that gives users a 'hit' of the nicotine their body fiends for without the usual "noxious substances" that are found in normal cigarette smoke. tcflightii-seps.jpg


After 6 months Dr. Polosa reported that "more than half" had cut their regular cigarette consumption by 50% and nearly 25% stopped smoking all together.


You would think that with results like these, e-cigarettes would be marketed as much as nicotine gum and other 'stop-smoking' products. It turns out a combination of government officials and antismoking groups, not Big Tobacco corporations, are warning about the dangers of e-cigs and are attempting to ban the sale of them.


The F.D.A (Food and Drug Administration) even took the e-cigarettes to court attempting to stop their sale. "The agency was backed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Action on Smoking and Health, and the Center for Tobacco-Free Kids." They argued that not only could e-cigarettes act as a 'gateway' for young adults to try nicotine, but also they cited several chemicals that "may be harmful and toxic." The F.D.A.'s court case failed because "[t]he agency has never presented evidence that the trace amounts actually cause any harm, and it has neglected to mention that similar traces of these chemicals have been found in other F.D.A.-approved products, including nicotine patches and gum."


The chemicals that the F.D.A. detected are so minutely apparent in e-cigs that they are highly unlikely to have any affect on the human body.


It's amazing to me to see that we have a way of safely providing a nicotine 'fix' (compared to actual cigarette smoke) to cigarette smokers yet there is such an overwhelming resistance to it. The article says that the use of these e-cigs are slowly on the rise but nothing too crazy. "On a scale of harm from 1 to 100, where nicotine gums and lozenges are 1 and cigarettes are 100, he estimated that e-cigarettes are no higher than 2." With statistics like that I find it hard to believe that this alternative to cigarettes isn't being explored more in depth. Nicotine is a drug that will seemingly always be used and desired. People who smoke cigarettes are more than willing to take the risk that comes with the inhalation of cigarette smoke in order to inherit the benefits of nicotine (reduced anxiety and stress, lower weight, faster reaction time, and improved concentration).


So for once it seems as though it isn't big business keeping us from accomplishing healthier goals. It might just be fear of the unknown. Plus it seems as though most of these corporations are trying to avoid something that is so closely associated to smoking cigarettes. By calling e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking cigarettes it is apparent that these corporations feel as though e-cigs will only encourage people who smoke them to try regular cigarettes. I personally feel as though this is a chance that we have to take if e-cigs are effective at getting people to quit/reduce smoking regular nicotine cigarettes.


It is obvious that many people can't stop smoking on their own or else nicotene patch and gum sales would have halted a long time ago. If I was a smoker who was trying to quit I would feel that any risk e-cigarettes could possibly have are less than the risks of smoking a normal cigarette at this point in time. E-cigs seem like a logical choice.

Also the article mentions the fact that e-cigarette sales are growing. I would think that if e-cig sales grow any further, other tobacco companies should start panicking because they will be the ones losing sales.

I as a non-smoker love that some of my friends have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. They don't smoke them as much as normal packs of cigarettes and it doesn't leave a bad after smell. I do believe if tobacco companies are panicking that obviously these e-cigarettes are threatening to their sales and hopefully the next step after e-cigarettes will be to quit.

I'm a non-smoker and I love these things, a few of my best friends have been smokers for many years, and have recently switched to these. Smoke from cigs gives me bad migranes, which was really annoying when my friends were smoking. since they switched over to these its made it alot better, its "healtier" for them, doesn't mess with me, and they can smoke them inside and it won't set off the smoke detector or leave the room smelling like smoke. i think these are a great way to get people to quit smoking too, because theres different catridges with different ammounts of nicotine (24, 16, 8, and 0) (not sure what the measurment is) so you can start high (if you smoke alot) and gradually go down to 0 and be smoke free, which it what my friend is currently doing, he's at 8 and will hopefulyl be done with nicotine altogether!

Wow its crazy that the FDA and anti-smoking groups actually rallied against this thing. How can the FDA take this to court to try to ban e-cigs when they let the real thing be legal. I think that you hit the nail on the head when you said this is a typical case of fear of the unknown. The idea that people would smoke one of these without ever having smoked cigarettes and then decide to move on to the real thing is just stupid. That's the exact opposite of what they were designed for and it seems like this was probably a case of people misunderstanding something and breaking out the pitchforks without doing some critical thinking. Its a shame that short-sighted people like that almost ruined the chance for others like Eric's friend to quit smoking.

I think e-cigarettes are a great idea and invention and will hopefully help many smokers quit in the long run. I'm just hoping that the reason the FDA and anti-smoking groups are against this isn't because they are being pressured by the "Big Business" tobacco industry. The anti-smoking commercials that used to be on tv used to show how influential and powerful the tobacco industry was. There is a possibility that these people are somehow holding a lawsuit over their heads. And the tobacco industry is going to keep fighting until they win. Hopefully e-cigarettes are going to continue to become more popular so more people can quit without more problems from large companies or the government.

As a non smoker I could never understand harming my body for something that didn't really give me anything good in return. The action that those groups took to try and ban the e-cigs are obvious indicators as to how dumb certain people can be. If there is a better solution to help people stop smoking that actually works why stop it. Its like telling someone who is 'heavy' and is on a diet to not diet because they will become anorexic. The likelihood of that happening must be 1 in a million chance and very unlikely. I say more advertisements and more promotion of these e-cigs should be encouraged. That way we could promote a more healthy world for everyone. Also if tests and experiments have been done and the results show that these e-cigs are practically harmless then what is the problem? The idea of stopping something because you assume what people might do with it is preposterous. You know what they say about people who assume things? “When you assume, you make an a$$ out of you and me.

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