Let’s get one thing clear. Electronic cigarettes are all the rage in the United States and everywhere else. It’s easy to see why. A lot of electronic cigarette studies show eCigs are safer than old-school, traditional cigarettes. You read that right. Those cancer sticks that come in a box and require burning for you to enjoy are far more dangerous to you than electronic cigarettes.
Unfortunately, a lot of people won’t get this impression if they just read online news or, worse yet, check out their Facebook timelines. You have probably seen at least one scary Facebook timeline item regarding the supposed dangers of electronic cigarettes and related devices.
Well, as the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire, but not in the way you think. There is a reason these stories are in broad circulation.
There’s a reason when people share these stories, people can’t help but click the “Share” button and exponentially viralize these stories. They grab a lot of eyeballs. They appeal to people’s fears and get people excited about electronic cigarettes but, at the end of the day, it turns out that these devices are much safer than old cigarettes.
There’s a reason old-school cigarettes are called “cancer sticks.” When you smoke a cigarette, you are burning something. This means that you heat up the item in that paper tube to a point that it burns and produces smoke. Whenever any organic leaf or a material burns, it produces tar.
If you don’t know what tar is, it is that black, sticky, yucky stuff that is used on asphalt road paving. Disgusting! That’s exactly the kind of thing that you slowly painstakingly paint in the sensitive, thin inner lining of your lungs when you smoke traditional cigarettes.
Smoking a pipe is not any better. Anything that involves burning involves tar and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or some sort of Nobel Prize-winning biology researcher to understand that tar is very bad for you.
It is no surprise that when smokers go through an autopsy and their lungs are taken out, they have black lungs. You can easily tell whether a dead person was a smoker or not. Healthy lungs are pink. Smoker’s lungs are almost always black or dark brown. Disgusting. That’s the power of tar.
When you enjoy your nicotine through an electronic cigarette, you bypass tar because when you use an electronic cigarette, you ingest nicotine in mist form. Nothing’s burned. Tar is not created. This creates a pure nicotine experience.
There are a lot of reasons why people enjoy nicotine. Some people need it to wake up. A lot of people need it for energy. Others need it for relaxation. Whatever your personal reasons may be, you can at least enjoy nicotine, which is a naturally occurring substance, without the added negative health baggage tar brings to the table.
It is not a shock that electronic cigarettes studies show that when people switch from traditional pipes, snuff and chewing tobacco and smoked tobacco to electronic cigarettes, they find it easier to quit. This isn’t automatic. It doesn’t mean that when you make the transition from traditional cigarettes to electronic pipes and vaping devices that you will automatically quit. However, let’s put it this way, it’s much easier for you to quit the cancer sticks than otherwise.
Media Hype Gets Clicks but Doesn’t Save Lives
As mentioned above, it’s very easy to see why there’s a lot of media hype regarding exploding electronic cigarettes as well as all sorts of almost scandalous media coverage when an eCig blows up. It gets a lot of clicks. When stories get clicked, they get a lot of exposure and this is how media companies make money in the Internet age. Sooner or later, somebody clicks on an ad and you hear the cash register’s ring “ka-ching” when that happens.
The problem is the facts and the truth are the first casualties of this. The cold, unvarnished truth is that cigarettes are harsh on your system. How bad are they? Well, here’s the thing. Even if you did not smoke in your life, you can still come down with lung cancer thanks to second-hand smoke.
Thousands of people die of the second-hand smoke year after year. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s so wrong. However, that’s what happens. You don’t hear any media hype regarding that. You don’t witness a collective wail and moaning and groaning when people finally pass away on their cancer death bed because of second-hand smoke. You don’t see that part of the equation.
Instead, you hear the repeated mentions of some weird, outlying study that may possibly suggest that e-cigarettes may be harmful to you. Those remote studies, which are few and far between, mind you, don’t really give you perspective. In many cases, they involve a tremendous amount of e-juice or vaping materials for people to suffer negative health effects.
On top of all of this, if you’re still not convinced, just look at the environmental effect of tobacco farming. Let’s put it all together. Cigarettes are bad news all around. They’re bad for people who smoke them. They’re bad for people who have to endure inhaling the smoke around smokers. They’re also bad for the planet because of the intensive nature of tobacco farming. Everybody loses.
The Problem with Burning Stuff
The problem really boils down to the issue of burning. When you smoke a traditional cigarette, you’re burning stuff. You’re creating tar. This has a secondary effect of producing carbon monoxide, which is very poisonous.
It also produces hundreds of other chemicals that you pump through your lungs. These are industrial-grade chemicals, and it is no surprise that the American tobacco industry entered into a multibillion-dollar lawsuit settlement with personal injury attorneys. This is established scientific fact. When you burn tobacco, you are putting your health in harm’s way.
The real surprise here is that people still light up. In light of the safer alternative of electronic cigarettes, vaping and other methods of enjoying nicotine without burning stuff up, people still can’t help but light up.
Make no mistake, if tar is part of the picture, there are going to be health effects. Maybe not now, but definitely at some point in the future. It can take many forms. It can be as mild as you being short of breath and suffering from very reduced lung capacity to, of course, death by lung cancer.
None of these options are good. They are all far from ideal yet the problem is we see all this media portrayal of electronic cigarettes as these bad new electronic inventions that may open a Pandora’s box of all sorts of health issues. Give me a break. This is called innovation.
Whenever there is any kind of technological leap or transition in any industry, there is bound to be some rough spots. Sure, electronic cigarettes do blow up from time to time, but how often do those accidents happen? And, believe me, they are accidents. If you were to look at those specific situations, a lot of them actually turn on what the user actually did.
It’s not much different from mobile phones. When mobile phones were fairly new, there were all sorts of people complaining and filing lawsuits that mobile phones were exploding, overheating or they’re very fragile. It turns out that a lot of these people were using them in very unsafe ways.
The last time I checked, it’s a bad idea to put a mobile phone that costs hundreds of dollars in your back pocket. You may get so used to your phone being in your back pocket that you may get so comfortable that you sit down. A lot of these phones are very sturdy and very durable, but is it really that big of a shock that they get bent? Is it really out of the realm of possibility that the screen cracks when that happens?
Never underestimate the role of user abuse, negligence or just lack of thinking plays in these cases. Unfortunately, when you check your Facebook timeline and you read the latest and greatest in electronic cigarettes tragedies, accidents and mishaps, you lose sight of that picture.
In fact, it’s completely edited out and all the impression that you’re left with is that these are inherently suspicious devices, if not outright hazards. This really is too bad because according to recent studies, electronic cigarettes are great transitional devices to living nicotine-free lives. Ideally speaking, people should not touch nicotine. It’s been linked to cancer. It’s been linked to all sorts of health issues. In an ideal world, people would not even consider nicotine an option.
However, we live in the world and, unfortunately, progress is incremental. Let’s put it this way. Switching to electronic cigarettes definitely puts you on a much safer path than if you had stuck with burning tobacco to get your nicotine fix.
Electronic Cigarettes Vape Pen Technology Continues to Get Safer
If you use electronic cigarettes or you prefer vape pen technology, please understand that we are in the second generation or third generation of that technology. Let’s put it this way. When computers first came out, they were very slow; they took up a lot of space and they cost an arm and a leg.
Now, you can get a computer that is the size of your palm, and I’m talking about your mobile phone, and they can be dirt cheap. In other words, you can get something that has the computing firepower of hundreds of those old, expensive personal computer machines from the 1980s. That’s how the technology works, and there is a call for optimism here.
As clunky as vape pen technology may be currently, given the huge consumer demand and the fact that this is spreading like wildfire throughout the United States and elsewhere, the technology will get better. Not only will it be safer, but it also will be cheaper and it will be more durable. That’s how the technology works in manufacturing.
The problem is there’s a chance that all of this might get derailed because of a rush to overregulation. Please understand that regulation is always needed. We live in a modern society. Nobody is arguing that there should be absolutely no manufacturer liability or no rules and regulations governing manufacturers. Nobody is making that argument.
The issue is overregulation. The truth is e-cigarettes and eCigs rarely blow up. However, you won’t get this impression because when some remote almost coincidental accident does occur, it gets all blown up out of proportion by the media. The truth is, these things are so rare that it’s what makes the narrative sexy.
Let’s put it this way. If car accidents only happen once in a blue moon, you would read more about car accidents in the news because there’s a curiosity factor there. However, since they happen all the time, you rarely hear about them unless, of course, a lot of people die or it’s particularly tragic or there is some sort of celebrity involved.
The same dynamic plays out with electronic cigarettes and vape pens. The truth is, its rarity pushes the narrative. The rare situation when somebody suffers some sort of physical harm from electronic cigarettes makes them stand out. Still, lots of people die from smoking-related diseases daily. I’m talking about millions every single year.
The truth is any new product will have safety issues. This is not going to go away any time soon. But just because these risks are present, doesn’t mean that we, as a society, should stop innovating.
In fact, if you look at the big picture, the odds of eCigs blowing up or causing some sort of harm are very low and remote. I’m talking about now. Can you imagine when better technology evolves? They will get rarer with time.
Electronic Cigarettes, Oils, and Other Accessories are Safer than Cut Tobacco
Since there’s no burning involved, any accessories that you get with your electronic cigarettes like e-liquids, nicotine liquids, and other accessories are better than cut tobacco. When you buy cut tobacco, regardless of how organic, fresh and potent it is, you’re still going to have to burn it. This is what makes old-school tobacco-smoking such a no-no.
When you use electronic cigarettes, nothing is burned. You’re dealing with pure liquid nicotine. Also, you’re not engaged in public smoking. You’re just creating vapor, and vapor dissipates better in the environment. You don’t have to worry about second-hand smoke.
Also, given the strong local regulation of smoking in public spaces now, you wouldn’t have to worry about second-hand vaping or electronic cigarette effects.
The Bottom Line
So, what is the bottom line when it comes to finding out the truth about electronic cigarettes and vape pens and other nicotine-ingestion devices? It really all boils down to looking past the hype. That’s all it boils down to. Read those news headlines with the following considerations in mind: What are the odds; what is the impact of design and how specific is this accident or this news item to a specific product model or brand?
If you analyze such news items based on these factors, you would see the forest from the trees. You would see things in perspective and you would walk away with the conclusion that a lot of people are walking away with: electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco products like cigarettes.
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