criticisms of electronic cigarettes

Are criticisms of electronic cigarettes ‘alarmist’ in nature? No ratings yet.

Published On September 20, 2014 | By Nicole | About E-Cigarettes Articles

Are criticisms of electronic cigarettes ‘alarmist’ in nature?

We all know that there is a big debate over the use of electronic cigarettes in the UK. Some say that the devices could save lives, while others say that it would be a mistake to encourage their usage.

Of course, the biggest reason that people give for not wanting to encourage the use of E-cigs is the possibility of unknown danger—though while it is definitely true that they have not been around for as long as cigarettes have, E-cigs have already proven to be cleaner and healthier than their analog counterparts.

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So what’s the big deal? Why are critics attacking them?

There are a number of reasons. There have been some mild side effects reports connected to the use of E-cigs (throat/lung irritation being one of them). There have also been some ‘dangerous chemicals’ found in the vapour. But are these chemicals really as dangerous as they sound?

According to an article published recently by bbc.com (you can read the article here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29061169), E-cig vapour “contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as cigarette smoke… In fact, concentrations are almost all well below a twentieth of cigarettes.”

In this article, it was also estimated that 6,000 lives per year could be saved for every million smokers who switched to E-cigs.

The World Health Organization has called for a complete ban of E-cig usage in public places and workplaces—though when they give their reasons, you almost have to raise your eyebrows and ask “really, is that why they want to ban them?”

According to the WHO, E-cig usage could increase the levels of toxins in the air. It also said that E-cigs could play a role as a gateway device—paving the way for non-smokers to get hooked on cigarettes. Yet, in a recent survey, it was shown that less than 1% of the population is made up of people who have never smoked yet are now using electronic cigarettes.

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Would the world be a better place without electronic cigarettes?

To hear some of the complaints against them, it would seem that there is at least a portion of the public who believes that the world would be a better place without E-cigs… though this seems to be a definite stretch.

If not for E-cigs, than what alternatives would smokers have? They could chew the gum or use the patch. There are also lozenges. Or, they could simply quit.

These all seem to be good solutions to the problem in theory, though it would seem that there is definitely one crucial component that is missing—and that is the fact that these methods have not proven to be completely effective. Quitting cigarettes is very difficult, and some people just don’t see progress with the gum or the patch.

For many vapers, E-cigs fill a gap that is not being filled by anything else. According to an article published by independent.co.uk (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/smokers-turn-their-backs-on-nhs-as-they-opt-for-ecigarettes-to-help-quit-smoking-9679239.html), smoking is ‘England’s biggest killer.’ It goes on to state that smoking is responsible for nearly 80,000 deaths per year.

Why would anyone want to disregard the potential usefulness of E-cigs in the face of such grim statistics?

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The truth is that people might be gun-shy because of how we were duped by cigarettes in the beginning

It is true that cigarettes were once hailed as natural, healthy, and even holistic. They are, after all, made from natural leaves. What could possibly go wrong?

Back in the early 1900s, a US surgeon named Alton Ochsner said that when he was a medical student, he got to witness the autopsy of a lung cancer victim. He said that the disease was so rare back then that it was believed among the students that they might never see the disease again. (source: bbc.com article– http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20042217.)

Yet, by the year 2000, over 1 million people were dying from it. And 85% of those cases were caused by none other than tobacco products. According to Robert Proctor of Stanford University, “The cigarette is the deadliest artefact in the history of human civilization… It killed about 100 million people in the 20th Century.”

Maybe the reason for why people are so alarmed now about E-cigs is because they don’t want to see a repeat of what happened with cigarettes. Had the danger been exposed earlier, maybe many lung cancer deaths stemming from tobacco use could have been avoided.

But back then, we didn’t know as much as we do now about health and how to detect the existence of dangerous chemicals. It is true that E-cigs are not as clean or as healthy as clean air—but they are far, far less dangerous than cigarettes. Why be so afraid of them when they could possibly provide a means to end tobacco use once and for all?

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Conclusion

Hopefully, as research is conducted, the truth will come to light regarding all of these questions. Maybe the health community will see that there is nothing to fear. E-cig users should actually be happy about all of the calls for testing and regulation. We do, after all, want to be sure that E-cigs are safer. We don’t want to make a mistake—though taking things to an ‘alarmist’ level surely isn’t going to accomplish the good things that need to be accomplished to ensure the public’s continued safety.

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About The Author

It's my passion to do the research about familiar to me topics, especially when it comes to electronic cigarettes and the whole vaping industry as such. I hope you will find my content useful and when / if you do - please do share it! I will appreciate it! :) See our ''Who We Are'' page to find out more about me and my colleagues. Thanks and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

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