If you’re anything like me,
you’ve probably tried to quit smoking a gazillion times and nothing ever worked. Then low and behold you see this new fangled e cig technology that produces smoke like vapor and may even taste and feel better than a cigarette. Whatever, your mamma didn’t raise no fool – if something looks too good to be true then it probably is – right? Not this time. Trust me, you should give a crap about e cigs because they work, they’re better for you, and people who don’t understand how to science are beginning to pass restrictive bills and regulations pertaining to e cigs.
You might have heard a lot of negative things about e cigs like: “E cigs aren’t safe! There are crazy amounts of unknown chemicals,” or “They’re marketing e cigs to kids,” or “E cigs are the gateway to smoking,” or “E cigs don’t work, they’re only a gimmick,” or even “Vaping makes people think it’s okay to pollute the air with their dangerous second-hand vapor,” and more – but I’ll let you use your imagination.
Alright, let’s just get this out in the open since there’s no use denying it. It’s true, there’s kind of a controversy regarding e cigs. BUT(and trust me, this but is so big that would make Sir Mix-a-Lot drool), the controversy is only perpetuated by people who have strong opinions that aren’t based in fact. Yes, I know, I know, that’s a pretty serious claim but I promise, we have the facts to back this up, just bear with me!
The Tasty Truth
The studies cover the effectiveness of e cigs as a smoking cessation device, if you need to be freaked out by second hand vapor, and if e juice is actually safe to inhale. Feel free to read all of the studies we posted, but if you’re lazy (don’t worry, no judging) we’ll go ahead and give you the highlight reel.
Vapor is safer than cigarette smoke – hands down. While it’s probably healthiest not to inhale anything at all, e cigs are pretty darn safe. E cigs won’t immediately harden your arteries like cigarettes do, they don’t get in the way of oxygen reaching your heart, and that the most common ingredients in e liquid (propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and foodgrade flavorings) aren’t really a health concern at all. Plus, as an added benefit, second hand vapor contains trace amounts of the components in e juice, but it’s not nearly as dangerous as the second hand smoke of traditional cigarettes (seriously, second-hand vapor isn’t even in the same ballpark as second hand smoke – or even the same hemisphere).
…and what about alcohol?
Wait – Isn’t Nicotine Worse Than the Devil?
How are E cigs safe if they use nicotine? Okay – let’s get our facts straight about nicotine before we start freaking out. Yes, nicotine is a poison and it’s addictive. No, it’s probably not going to kill you (unless you rub pure e juice all over your body and don’t wash yourself after or you drink a bottle of it – but that’s gross). Nicotine isn’t the only thing that makes traditional cigarettes addictive. There’s an insane medley of deadly chemicals in cigarettes that feed the addiction as well. So when most people think of cigarettes they think of nicotine, nicotine is primarily guilty by association.
Quitting is for Winners
Nicotine is no girl scout since it’s addictive, but in reasonable doses (for people who don’t already have cancer) it’s just a stimulant (I’m sure you’re familiar with a few people who are addicted to caffeine and can’t even function without it). In fact, if you’re planning on using e cigs to quit smoking, you’re more likely to be successful if you use an e juice with nicotine. The great thing about vaping is that you can ingest as much (within safe limits of course), or as little, nicotine as you want. If you’re fresh off the reds, go ahead and grab a 24mg-32mg nicotine solution and then taper down from there (it’s what I did and it worked for me).
Fine, I Understand the Need for Nicotine, But Don’t all Those Candy Fruity Flavors Entice Kids to Start Vaping?
Mmm…good question but no not really. Are you an adult who likes to drink juice and eat junk food from time to time? If you say you aren’t, I’m sorry because I just don’t believe you. I freaking love ice cream, juice, popsicles, pie, and cake. If you’ve ever visited a liquor store you probably saw a whole bunch of different sweetly flavored alcohols – and you probably don’t hear anyone complaining about that. Besides, the variety of flavors out there really helps people switch from smoking to utilizing e cigs.
Think about it – why vape when you can smoke if it’s only about the nicotine? Sure there’s the health benefits, but e cigs offer something that traditional cigarettes just can’t. It’s simple psychology – I’m rewarded with amazing flavors AND a nicotine rush when I use my e cig vs. the burnt butt hair tastes and nicotine rush I get with a traditional cigarette. The choice seems like an easy one, don’t you think? If it wasn’t for the amazing flavors, the choice wouldn’t be as easy.
There’s more colors and candy flavors in this liquor store than a pack of skittles
E Cig Legislation Stinking Up the EU
In the EU, restrictions are being implemented where e cigs are treated and regulated almost as heavily as traditional cigarettes. They’re limiting the size of e juice bottles to 10 ml, e liquid tanks for e cigs are restricted to 2 ml or less (meaning you can’t carry a lot of liquid in your e cig so you’ll have to fill it up more often), they’ve put a limit on the amount of nicotine you can have in your e juice solution, and more. If that’s not bad enough, as bad as these regulations are, they’re expecting even more e cig regulations to pass in 2016 that’ll be even more controlling than Norman Bates’ mother (no refillable e cigs, and even more limitations on the nicotine ratio in e liquid solutions – it’s like they want people to keep smoking traditional cigarettes).
AmeriCANs or AmeriCAN’Ts
“Whatever, I’m an Amurican,” you might say, “I live in the land of freedom, McDonalds, guns and eagles – those commie EU pansies don’t control me!” Well, you’re right. If you’re an American, the EU can’t and won’t control you, but your own government can. However, to sum it all up, certain cities in New York, California, Illinois, and more, are limiting (or trying to limit) who can purchase e cigs, who can make e juice, where you can vape e cigs (often regulating vapers to smoking areas or preventing them from vaping in parks or on sidewalks), and other various restrictions. In fact, the FDA is currently trying to extend it’s authority over to the realm of e cigs like they have for tobacco products.
While there’s no doubt that certain aspects of e cigs should be regulated (like preventing the sale of e cigs to minors – I don’t think there’s a single vaper who would disagree with you there), there’s no reason to force vapers to vape their e cigs in designated smoking areas with smokers and subject them to the very cigarette smoke that they’ve worked so hard to avoid. We’re not saying that you should be able to vape inside your college philosophy class or a kindergarten classroom, but why shouldn’t you be allowed to vape wherever you want outside or inside an establishment where the owner doesn’t care?
Caring is Sharing
Between the health benefits and the present and pending legislation on e cigs, there’s plenty of reasons you should care about e cigs. Vaping is a great (and safer) way to get your nicotine fix than smoking. Even though the FDA doesn’t support the claim that e cigs help people quit smoking (technically we don’t either – but a lot of our staff has experienced personal success quitting cigarettes by using e cigs), there are a lot of people out there in the world who believe that e cigs were the only reason they were able to quit smoking like this woman who was a smoker for 55 years until she discovered vaping as an alternative.
If you want to utilize e cigs (or support a family member who does), learning about the health benefits and pending legislation will keep vaping a legally viable alternative to cigarettes. Without being a crazy e cig televangelist, it’s important to have the ability to talk to people who aren’t comfortable with e cigs (smokers and nonsmokers alike) in order to do your best to clear up any common misinformation they might believe as fact. You should also stay on top of any e cig legislation (local, city, state, or federal) that might affect you and everyone else who has turned (or will turn) to e cigs as a smoking alternative.