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E-cigs: Ex smoker’s fix, but not a quitter’s best fit

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For many, smoking can be one of the hardest habits to quit.  Because of this, the electronic cigarette was created to help make this process easier which normally contains a mixture of nicotine and some sort of flavor.

It seems that many of the advertising techniques used to sell e-cigs are the same ones used to addict people to normal cigarettes.  They use celebrities such as former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy to help sell the product, as well as a shirtless Stephen Dorff.
According to a USA Today article, many of the sellers are the same companies selling tobacco products which kill almost half a million people a year.  The problem is that those using e-cigs have a chance of getting addicted to nicotine.

Since 1970, cigarette companies have not been allowed to sponsor certain events such as sports games or concerts.  However, e-cigs are still allowed to do this and have sponsored music festivals and Grand Prix auto racing events.  With this being said, it seems as if the product is being aimed toward a younger generation.

According to Senator Dick Durbin in a New York Daily News article, “From candy flavors to rock concert sponsorships, every single company surveyed in this report has employed a marketing strategy that appears to target youth.”

The nicotine-laced liquid is toxic if it’s touched, and because of misuse, especially by children, there have been about 217 calls to poison control centers, according to the same USA Today article.

Also, in most states, you don’t have to be 18 to buy e-cigs which allows young high school and middle school children to try them.

The whole point for the e-cig was to help people quit smoking and now it seems as if it is just causing old smokers to find a new habit and adolescents trying them even if they had never smoked a cigarette in their life.

To help stop this problem, banning youth sales should start.  Parents should be aware of the risks it can have on their children such as affecting their brain development.  Also, it might be harder for parents to even realize their kids are vaping since there is no smoke smell.

For those who are trying to quit smoking, the e-cigarette may help.  It is important to be aware, there are also damaging side effects such as being addicted to a different product.  Research shows that there are better ways to help quit smoking such as the FDA-approved nicotine patch or gum.

There is still research being done on whether e-cigs are an effective way to quit smoking.  For the time being though, it seems as if it is just another way to make money off of consumers asking for help.

2 Responses

  1. Nate

    “For those who are trying to quit smoking, the e-cigarette may help. It is important to be aware, there are also damaging side effects such as being addicted to a different product.”

    First, this is an improper use of the word “addiction.” An addiction is the persistent repetition of a behavior despite the behavior causing demonstrable harm. Since smoking causes demonstrable harm to almost everyone who does it, it is accurate to say smoking is an addiction. But addiction and dependence are not the same thing. For example, one can be physiologically dependent (meaning there will be withdrawal symptoms upon intake being discontinued) on the caffeine in coffee/tea/energy drinks but not be doing one’s self any physical harm as long as the intake is not excessive. Nicotine, when administered by a means not involving tobacco, is no different. It is a mild stimulant not unlike caffeine, that can be enjoyed in reasonable amounts without causing harm. “Nicotine” and “smoking” are not the same thing. Smoking kills people. Nicotine does not.

    “Research shows that there are better ways to help quit smoking such as the FDA-approved nicotine patch or gum.”

    What research would that be? The traditional nicotine replacement therapies (gum, patches, inhalers, lozenges) each have failure rates in excess of 95%. On the other hand, recent research in Europe indicates that when e-cigarettes are used specifically by smokers attempting to quit, 81% of users achieve either total abstinence from cigarettes or a reduction in their tobacco intake of more than 50%. In my own case, I smoked for 25 years and had previously tried and failed to quit using nicotine gum and patches. Eight months ago I bought an e-cig starter kit, and two days later I had smoked my last cigarette. There is no chance I will ever smoke another.

    I urge the editorial board to please do better and more thorough research before making flippant and irresponsible statements regarding a crucially important public health issue.

    Reply
  2. Marko Polo

    e-cigs do help people quit. I know 4 people who used them to quit and I am currently in the process of quitting using one.

    Even if a person did not want to quit the lower cost of e-cigs is enough of a reason to make the switch let alone the fact there is little to no smell and your fingers won’t turn yellow from holing a marlboro.

    All the hysteria around e-cigs has nothing to do with safety or saving kids. Its just the government realizing they might be able to scare people into accepting a ridiculous tax rate on the product so the gravy train can keep going.

    Reply

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