The truth about electric cigarettes

Man fights addiction with addiction

By ABBIE JONES

Electronic cigarettes have become popular this year in the United States due to claims that they have many beneficial factors. Others say that the negatives of electronic cigarettes outweigh the positives.

Frequent electronic cigarette user, Evan Taylor, said that electric cigarettes are battery-operated devices that create vaporized nicotine to be inhaled by the user. Taylor said that they look a lot like classic cigarettes, long-shaped tubes, and are reusable if you buy another cartridge.

According to Eversmoke Electronic Cigarettes’ company website, the cigarettes are a healthy alternative to classic cigarettes and only contain nicotine and other typical food additives. Eversmoke says that their cigarettes are only marketed to existing smokers and definitely not to children.

The Truth

Chelsey Few from the Center for Disease Control, said that researchers found electronic cigarettes are not as harmful as common cigarettes, but are still very dangerous. Few said that inside of the electronic cigarette cartridges, researchers found carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals, including diethylene glycol, an ingredient commonly found in antifreeze.

“The researchers found that after users inhale the electronic cigarette, users experienced an airway resistance lasting for ten minutes,” Few said.

According to the Eversmoke website, the electronic cigarettes produce absolutely no secondhand smoke.

“The particles people breathe in from an e-cig are still very harmful to your lungs,” Dr. Karan Gupta from Southside Medical Center in Snellville, Ga., said. “Secondhand smoke is always a huge possibility.”

Although electronic cigarette companies claim that they are not producing an addictive product, CDC professionals think otherwise. Few said that if there is nicotine in a product, there is a high chance of it becoming addictive.

The worst myth about electric cigarettes is that they help current smokers quit smoking completely. What users are finding is that they are just moving from a common cigarette addiction to an electric cigarette addiction.

“That’s what I heard they were made for (to quit smoking),” Taylor said. “Now I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to e-cigs.”

Evan Taylor with his electronic cigarette.  (Photo by Abbie Jones)
Evan Taylor with his electronic cigarette.
(Photo by Abbie Jones)

Effects on Minors and Young Adults

Electronic cigarettes are not regulated like regular cigarettes, therefore, there has not been a ban placed on advertisement.

“Commercials for companies like Blu Cigs seem to be marketing toward young adults by trying to show good looking people looking cool or hip,” Oliver Gill, Kennesaw, Ga., resident and father, said.

Currently, electronic cigarette flavors like chocolate, strawberry, bubble gum, and milkshake make it seem as though their target audience are minors. Katherine Heigle and Johnny Depp, stars idolized by minors, have been seen using electronic cigarettes on family television shows, further desensitizing the effects of nicotine. Available online to anyone, without proof of age, electronic cigarettes might as well be given out in goodie bags at birthday parties.

“I had no idea minors could order them (electronic cigarettes) online!” Gill said. “This should be government regulated as soon as possible.”

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