With the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, the public debate about them has taken center stage in the media. At NuvoCig, we thought we would respond to four common criticisms related to electronic cigarettes.
“Electronic cigarettes are just as toxic as tobacco cigarettes.”
The response: Because using an e-cig simulates the smoking experience, it is sometimes “seen” as smoking. It is important to be aware of the fundamental difference between an electronic cigarette and a traditional tobacco cigarette. As a result of inhaling smoke, cigarette smokers have lower level functioning lungs and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, it is well established that traditional tobacco cigarettes contain chemical additives that are harmful and carcinogenic when inhaled. In contrast, e-cigs contain virtually none of the numerous ingredients that traditional cigarettes have. The vapor is a byproduct of the heating of the flavored e-liquid. The NuvoCig water-based e-liquid contains food grade flavoring, propylene glycol (a common additive in consumable products and pharmaceuticals formulations), and different levels of nicotine. Electronic cigarettes are not risk-free, however. But most researchers agree that vaping an e-cig is far less dangerous than puffing traditional tobacco cigarettes.
“Electronic cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco smoking, specifically marketed to youth.”
The response: Many critics of e-cigs claim that flavored e-juice cartridges make them more appealing to teenagers and young people. Moreover, once a young person has tried an e-cig, the argument goes, he or she is more likely to try a traditional tobacco cigarette. In e-eig product development, the introduction of different flavors does not necessarily reflect a marketing ploy to target a younger demographic. Because of the unique construction of an e-cig device, it is possible to go beyond the taste limits of traditional tobacco cigarettes. As the e-cigarette product has been developed, companies are differentiating themselves with signature flavors. At NuvoCig, we view it as a way to give adult smokers a novel incentive to try and switch to e-cigs. As far as an e-cig serving as a gateway to traditional tobacco cigarettes, some preliminary studies, such as one conducted at the University of Oklahoma, indicate the inverse. Most users of e-cigarettes seem to be using them to reduce the harm of smoking tobacco products. NuvoCigs are intended for adults over the age of 18 who are seeking an alternative to smoking. Sales to minors are prohibited.
“Electronic cigarettes produce a vapor that is as harmful to bystanders as second-hand smoke.”
The response: Whether you are smoker or a bystander, tobacco smoke, a harmful combination of gas and particles, enters the body via the same route. Therefore, a person breathing second-hand smoke is breathing the same mixture of thousands of chemicals and nicotine as the person actually smoking. As mentioned, electronic cigarettes do not contain the same toxins as tobacco cigarettes and deliver less nicotine in the vapor. Moreover, when a traditional tobacco cigarette is lit, it produces smoke, even if the smoker is not inhaling. With e-cigs, no vapor is produced unless the person inhales, thereby activating the vaporizing reaction. When vapor is produced, it dissipates quickly.
“Electronic cigarettes are less affordable than traditional tobacco cigarettes.”
The response: While it is true that the start up costs for electronic cigarettes is significantly higher than a single pack of tobacco cigarettes, those who choose to vape over smoking can count their savings over time. Electronic cigarettes actually cost a fraction of traditional tobacco cigarettes so there is no need for sticker shock.
These are just some of the criticisms you may encounter if you are discussing e-cigs with friends or family. The best response is the informed response, so keep up with the latest news and research related to e-cigs.