Since 2004, Massachusetts’ residents have had to leave their offices or wait until the end of a meal to smoke a cigarette. Now, nine years later, smokers don’t have to wait because they have discovered e-cigarettes, the smokeless tobacco you can enjoy indoors.
Instead of smoking an actual cigarette, people can now inhale vaporized nicotine and exhale water vapor. They don’t even need a lighter! People already have an array of flavors and brands to choose from such as pina colada, cherry and cigarette. You can actually purchase a fake cigarette that is cigarette flavored. What is going into these things?
At this stage, researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not fully analyzed the consequences of inhaling nicotine vapor. The FDA writes that e-cigarettes can be used therapeutically for people in the process of quitting, but the FDA continues to write that e-cigarettes may also be the gateway to get people to start smoking. Alarmingly, e-cigarettes are becoming more and more popular among non-smokers already.
The Center for Disease Control reports that the number of high school and college students trying e-cigarettes has doubled in the past year to 10 percent. In the same period of time, 21 percent of adults smokers and non-smokers are picking up an e-cigarette as well. The whole e-cigarette industry has ballooned to almost $1.8 billion over the past couple of years. All of these statistics continue to follow an upward trend.
With public health figures like Jenny McCarthy advertising Blu e-cigarettes, there is no wonder so many people are trying smoking. This is reminiscent of doctors advocating for “healthier” cigarettes in the 1950s before proper research found all tobacco products contain carcinogens. If a public health figure is caught with an e-cigarette, it must be a guiltless way to ingest nicotine and still smoke, right?
Although vapor is certainly less harsh than actual cigarette smoke, the nicotine content is still high enough to get people hooked. While tobacco taxes are soaring, especially in areas such as New York City and Boston, people are turning to cheaper, more convenient nicotine products. Sadly, people are turning to the newest craze before proper research is conducted. This should be an impetus for the FDA to actually look into e-cigarettes before people do any avoidable, lasting harm.