The first time I saw someone sucking on an artificial cigarette, I was thoroughly confused. Smoke, or what is actually vapor, poured out of the smoker’s mouth in a steady stream, after depositing nicotine into her system without the harmful, harsh chemicals with which commercial tobacco is treated.
But there was no nasty smell, no offensive butt to litter the lawn, no secondhand smoke to pollute my lungs, no ashtray or cigarette lighter. And for those reasons, “e-cigarettes” are trending popular now.
The lack of any type of regulation has some anti-smoking groups worried, however. Because e-cigarettes are relatively new on the scene, there have been no longterm studies to track the effects of breathing vaporized nicotine into the lungs.
Working much like a humidifier or nebulizer, the “cigarette” is essentially the delivery device. Smokers can buy various flavors and levels of nicotine. While many claim it has helped them actually quit the nasty habit, anti-smoking groups aren’t convinced.
Their main concern is that e-cigarettes might be attractive to minors and those who have wanted to smoke, but been deterred by the overwhelming negative research surrounding them. E-cigarettes might be viewed as a safe, even acceptable way to smoke, defeating efforts to wipe out smoking.
Health Canada has already issued a health advisory against them, stating that they could lead to nicotine poisoning. The World Health Organization has withheld endorsement of the product as a smoking cessation aid until substantial, reliable clinical studies are conducted.
To my way of thinking, keeping in mind I am a nonsmoker, if this helps smokers kick the habit by appealing to their physiological need as well as their physical and chemical addiction, then what’s the problem?