It took a long time, but by now almost everyone knows the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes. The deadly side effects are plastered all over boxes and cartons, schoolchildren are taught its dangers from a young age, and anti-smoking PSAs are all over your television.
This knowledge has spawned a new trend however – electronic cigarettes. The supposedly safer alternative to smoking tobacco is now a billion dollar industry, and a whole new generation of smokers is getting hooked on the latest smoking trend.
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that give you the same feeling of smoking, with nicotine but without emitting any smoke. Instead of smoke, the e-cigarette emits vapor which dissolves in just a few seconds. There are still a lot of questions about electronic cigarettes and its effect on the health of smokers. Below are some pros and cons of this new smoking trend.
No tobacco: One of the biggest appeals of e-cigarettes is that they don’t contain tobacco, tar, or many of the other chemicals found in cigarette smoke that are known to cause heart and lung problems, as well as cancer. Since tobacco is the top cause of preventable death in America, according to the CDC, any way to get users to quit has to be considered a good thing. Studies show that the vapors from e-cigarettes have significantly lower toxicity levels than cigarette smoke – but still have some toxicity. And since they haven’t been around long enough, the jury is still out on long-term health effects of e-cigarette vapor.
Nicotine is addictive: E-cigarettes still contain Nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes that hook many for life. So many people who start smoking e-cigs will be setting themselves up for a lifetime dependence on the substance. And since we still don’t know the long term effects of e-cigarettes, the addiction could prove to be deadly as time goes by. In addition to its addictive nature, Nicotine is also known to restrict blood flow and raise blood pressure.
Unregulated: E-cigarettes are not subject to the same regulations as traditional cigarettes, and some believe that E-cigs will prove a gateway for young people to eventually pick up a smoking habit. We don’t yet know just how harmful the toxins in e-cigs are – just because there are less than regular cigarettes doesn’t mean they aren’t bad for you.
No Smoke: One of the greatest benefits of e-cigarettes is that there is no secondhand smoke, ashes, or odor emitted. So many people use e-cigs to get around tough smoking regulations and do so with minimal bother to those nearby. The air around them is safe for others to breathe – which is a significant improvement over traditional cigarettes.
While it is no doubt an improvement over regular cigarettes, there are still too many unknowns to declare e-cigarettes free of long term side effects.