E-Cigarettes Vs Tobacco

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Whether you call them e-cigs, vape pipes, or hookah pens: electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are the latest and greatest sensation for nicotine users. According to Consumers Union, sales increased from $500 million to $1.5 billion in one year’s time, which reflects rapid growth, in contrast to a steady decline in tobacco cigarette sales. It’s not hard to see that the appetite for these devices, which users claim to be more palatable, economic, and healthier than tobacco cigarettes is increasing at an astronomical rate. Some users of e-cigs argue that they are beneficial for people who are trying to kick a tobacco habit, while others cite that “vaping” is a healthier alternative for a person who would otherwise smoke a tobacco cigarette. The arguments …show more content…
E-cigs work by the heating of liquid “juice” filled cartridges, which is activated when a user draws on the device. The heated liquid then turns into a nicotine-filled vapor that the user inhales from the device. E-cigs, in general, contain at least three ingredients: nicotine, flavoring, and solvents. The ingredients in tobacco cigarettes can number up towards 600, with at least 69 of them known to be carcinogenic. A major point of contention for those who argue against the safety of e-cigs is the solvent that is used as the base of the liquid. The most common solvent in the liquid used for e-cigs is propylene glycol, which is generally considered safe and used in a variety of external applications as well as some food items. What is not known is the safety of the solvents, such as propylene glycol, when it is heated, aerosolized, and inhaled. As of 2008, only a few tests have been conducted in a laboratory with non-human subjects according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. A 2009 analysis by the FDA of two leading brands of e-cigs found the presence of impurities in the e-cig liquid. (Original 2011). Another growing concern is the recorded presence of small particles of metals that likely fleck off of the heating apparatus of the cigarette and can travel deep into the lungs, causing permanent damage to the air sacs (Maron, n.d.). Conversely with the possible hazards of what an e-cig …show more content…
Surely, the reduction of known carcinogenic ingredients of tobacco cigarettes is a huge benefit, but is the inhalation of solvents and unknown flavorings any better? Limited tests and the lack of any long-term data is work that needs to be done. What is known is that nicotine is unquestionably an addictive substance and that it has serious health risks associated with its use. It is also mostly agreed upon that there needs to be restrictions on the sale of nicotine containing substances to minors. I agree with the argument that e-cigs have the potential to draw in users who would not have consumed tobacco cigarettes otherwise, either by the lure of the flavoring options, the ease that they can be obtained, or the advertisements by manufacturers saying that they are healthier than tobacco cigarettes. I also agree that if a user is going to consume nicotine, then reaching for an e-cigarette is probably the healthiest choice for the

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