Smoking Alternative Contains Nicotine, Addictive
Electronic Cigarettes, or "e-cigarettes" are a popular new trend that has become more prominent over the past few years, given that the price of the cigarette and nicotine packs has gone down, so now a $40 pack with refills could cost as little as seven dollars. The drop in price does not necessarily make the product safe, and in a noted story a woman claimed that a four foot flame shot out of the front of her ecig.
Glycol Smoke and Chinese Ingredients
One fear promulgated about electronic cigarettes is that their ingredients are largely manufactured in China, where regulatory controls do not appear to be as stringent as in the US. It may be impossible to know what additional flavoring chemicals or active ingredients are in the vapor refills without testing. US consumers may recall a pet food scandal where adulterated chinese ingredients led to the deaths of pets in the US. While nobody is saying that e-cigarettes are highly toxic, the range of brands means that some less expensive models may have quality control issues that create potential for danger.
Is the Vapor Really Harmless?
A March 2014 story in the New York Times says that e-liquids which contain nicotine could be highly dangerous to children, causing vomiting, seizures, and even death. The story says that even a teaspoon of diluted liquid is enough to kill a child. Calls to poison control centers have tripled in some cases. Refillable electronic cigarettes make for the availabilty of nicotine e-liquids which alledgedly are available by the barrel, but may be sold in smaller bottle form at smoke shops.
A claim found in advertising is that the vapor (or secondhand steam) coming out of the smoker's lungs is harmless, but this remains to be seen, since there would still be some active ingredients and flavorants coming out after ingestion. There is also a question as to whether the chemicals used for flavoring and nicotine vaporization may be harmful to the smoker's lungs, albeit in a different way than regular cigarettes.
One of the hazards of electronic cigarettes is that they may be geared toward children, despite the claims from manufacturers that they are for adults only. (If you think about it, telling kids they can't have something is the best way to get them to buy it!) With flavors like "cookies & cream," "strawberries," and vanilla, there may be something to the idea that e-cigarettes are essentially the training wheels for regular tobacco consumption. (It is very hard to write a piece like this without using fallacious term "gateway drug" so we will use it parenthetically for effect.)
There are a lot of big dangers listed related to electronic and vapor cigarettes, such as the fact that they aren't regulated like other tobacco and nicotine products, that they may not be a stop smoking aid, or that they confuse lawmakers who though that smoking bans would apply to vaporizers. The fact of the matter is, most people who smoke cigarettes with little lights on the front look like idiots. It is as if you are playing at smoking, and the blue light and white vapor ensures that you are still seen blowing smoke. Let's face it, you look like a jerk, and on top of that you are a sad poser, who has to flaunt the "rules" by taunting other morons who fear your vapor. If regulators really want to kill electronic cigarettes, they will lay off the danger claims and just make a social stigma out of looking stupid, maybe by offering a sponsorship to one of the alleged grownups in Honey Boo Boo's family.