E-Cigarettes: the e-volution of smoking, or just another e-vil habit?

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ecig1Smoking cigarettes legally has become more and more difficult, especially in the U.S., and even more especially in California. Are electronic cigarettes now a viable alternative? Not if the California State Senate has its way.

Manufacturers, sellers, and users insist e-cigs represent the future of nicotine use. They say  the electronic sticks are less expensive, less of a health concern and do not have the distasteful smell of cigarettes. In addition, there is no second-hand smoke nor tar, carbon monoxide, ash or carcinogenic additives involved. They don’t even contain tobacco.

An e-cig cartridge delivers a dose of nicotine equal to a cigarette. Add to this that each one retails for under $2, yet can be “smoked” for as long as a full pack of old school cigarettes. Most buyers should reduce their yearly cost by around $1,000. More than 700,000 people in the United States have become “vapers”. They would like to have the word “vaping” replace smoking.

Currently, regulations controlling where tobacco smoking is allowed do not apply to e-cigs. However this may soon change here in California.

On May 28, 2013 the California Senate Judiciary Committee on Health voted to forward SB 648 for a vote of the full state senate. This bill will include electronic cigarettes in all current bans, ordinances and regulations that now apply to cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking. The legislators have stated that since the e-cigs have not been proven to be safe, they must be included in the tobacco laws.

Opponents of the bill counter with the notion that no tobacco is involved, and nicotine is provided via water vapor, not smoke.ecig2

However an ongoing research study in Germany may disagree with that claim. The study suggests that what is exhaled from e-cigs is not only water vapor, but also contains measurable particles of nicotine and a compound used in theatrical fog-making devices, propylene glycol. There are some people who are allergic to propylene glycol.

To see an article concerning this topic, from the International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health, go to “Does e-cigarette consumption cause passive vaping?” .


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