E-Cigs: Good or Bad?

We've started seeing the ads everywhere. Endorsed by actors such as the suit-clad Stephen Dorff or the beautiful Jenny McCarthy, 'smoking' has returned to TV advertisements with the rise of the electronic cigarette. And as with any new product, the e-cig has its fair share of buzz and controversy.
woman puffs electronic cigarette
 Many hark the invention as the new 'safe' alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, as well as being an effective way of quitting smoking. The contents of most cartridges (where the nicotine and vapor-concentrate are stored and heated up by an atomizer) are found to contain about 1/1000 of the amount of carcinogens as compared to a regular cigarette. Additionally, there is currently a study of 300 smokers being done in Italy, with preliminary findings being that over half of the participants, after extended use with the e-cigs, have either quit smoking regular cigarettes entirely or have cut consumption by about half now that they are using the e-cigs. Therefore, it would seem as though the e-cig is the perfect means by which to either quit cigarette smoking entirely...or at the very least provides a much healthier smoking alternative to regular cigarettes.

However, the FDA, CDC and many anti-tobacco groups are leery. Popularity for the e-cig has spiked drastically in popularity since their launch in 2007, with over 6% of all adult Americans and 10% of high school kids surveyed in 2012 admitting to at least having tried one. This greatly concerns the CDC and FDA, who say that there is not enough health information about the e-cigs to embrace their rise. However, this lack of information also prevents them from trying to regulate e-cigs (and their appearances on TV) as they do the tobacco industry, since e-cigs technically do not contain tobacco. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids wants e-cigs to be shut down before they begin, saying that with their variety of vapor flavors and lack of odors that they could be an easy gateway into smoking regular cigarettes for kids.

The study in Italy, along with a larger one in New Zealand testing the e-cig against the nicotine patch, will finish at the end of this year, providing valuable information on the health pros and cons of e-cigs. Certainly there will be more studies on the way as the product rises to a level of prominence in the public eye. But for now, the debate over e-cigs and their acceptability in society rages on, so I want to know what you all think.

E-cigs: Good or Bad?



Wow, I'm embarrassed for not checking the class blog before posting my blog about e-cigs right after you... I apologize. Despite the fact that we wrote about the same topic, we talked about different aspects of it. I thought it was interesting how you brought up The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and how they're trying to shut down e-cigs "before they begin." It's insane how fast word gets around, and once one kid tries an e-cig, more are expected to follow. In my blog post, I focused on how these companies are taking advantage of the fact that many young kids find these e-cigs "cool." While The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids may be concerned, it might already be too late.

Haha, we really did almost cover the exact same aspects though. I think we even might've used the same USA Today articles (I noted some of the same statistics you used in your post). I guess that's what we get for both being PR majors? I thank you for posting the diagram of the e-cig though, I forgot to do that. Who knows, maybe the double post will actually get people to read at least one of our pieces and get interested.

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