Vaping may be a healthy alternative for smokers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It used to be extremely common on campuses and in public outdoor spaces in our community to see several people every day, rain or shine, huddled over a tiny but fatal cigarette. That familiar occurrence has since made way for another waft of vapor in the air, one undoubtedly more fruity than cough-inducing. The pocket-sized tool responsible for all the hype and subsequent controversy is the e-cigarette and its mutual benefits far outweigh the consequence of its absence.

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Nowadays, one of the most common tools for weaning smokers off cigarettes is switching to vaping nicotine instead. Recently, advocacy groups have tried to ban vaping in public places, and legislation in Scotland has actually been approved much to the dismay of smokers who have been able to cut the poison of the pack-a-day ritual out of their lives solely by switching to the vape. Vaping is less harmful, contains “liquid nicotine” and is sans the thousands of deadly carcinogens contained in cigarettes. Banning it in public spaces and fostering the blatant lie that vaping is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes is a disadvantage to anyone trying to quit.

One of the biggest misconceptions non-smokers have about vaping is that vapes have the same chemical makeup as cigarettes — which couldn’t be further from the truth. Vapes do contain nicotine (you can choose how much you want yours to contain), but no tobacco and only a small fraction of the carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarettes. In addition, vapes don’t burn — unlike cigarettes — so the second-hand repercussions are negligible. Because of a slew of extremely aggressive and intimidating media portrayals of vaping which claim that “liquid nicotine” can cause a sudden death, approximately one-third of smokers have been scared back to their old habits, fearing the effects of vaping.

The only way to create a society in which cigarette smoking becomes a rarity is to set feasible goals. Vaping is a step towards a smoke-free community, fewer health problems overall and better air quality. An online survey found that of 3,587 participants who used an e-cig for three months, 96 percent claimed it help them quit smoking, while 92 percent said it made them smoke less. And vaping is not just for smokers; many non-smokers find it just as helpful for alleviating stress. Paul Newhouse, director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University, said, “It seems very safe even in nonsmokers. In our studies we find it actually reduces blood pressure chronically. And there were no addiction or withdrawal problems, and nobody started smoking cigarettes. The risk of addiction to nicotine alone is virtually nil.”

Banning the use of e-cigarettes in public and accepting the fear-mongering tactics of many tobacco companies that are simply scared of losing business is a detriment not only to the cigarette addicts, but to society as a whole.

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