Over the past few years, electronic cigarettes have taken the tobacco industry by storm. Since 2004, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco smoking alternatives have been commercially available to consumers across the United States. Advertising themselves as “healthy alternatives” to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes attempt to recreate the act of smoking in a much more synthesized, scientific fashion. Using a rechargeable battery powered heater, e-cigarettes vaporize liquid nicotine as smokers take drags through the electronic cigarette’s vapor funneling system.
Whether or not electronic cigarettes are healthier for smokers though is still debatable. According to today’s infographic, “there are no clinical studies on the long-term use of e-cigarettes,” and there is even evidence suggesting that they may be just as harmful as regular cigarettes for people’s health in the long run. Additionally, the FDA has still not approved any electronic cigarette as an official “smoking cessation device” per FDA guidelines. On the plus side though, there is no tobacco in the scientific formula for e-cigarettes, therefore the user inhales synthetic nicotine as opposed to the “tar” from normal cigarettes. Furthermore, electronic cigarettes do not produce smoke; they produce vapor, therefore reducing the amount of second-hand smoke problems.
Whether e-cigarettes are healthier for smokers than “old-school smokes” remains a question, but I have a hunch that they are here to stay. Electronic cigarettes provide an avenue of hope to smokers who want to make a healthy change in their life, but cannot give up their nicotine addictions. Regardless of their current popularity, only father time will tell us whether or not electronic cigarettes are a healthy solution to a universal bad habit.