Vaporizing our futures
Researchers and health experts have proved again and again that tobacco, in any form, is extremely injurious for human health. However such findings and warnings have not deterred the smokers from smoking and there is no effect of such findings on the sales or use of cigarettes. The apathy of tobacco users is a major concern for policymakers and health experts. What is the reason for the ubiquity of cigarettes even though people know it is bad for their health? Mainly, people say that curiosity is the essential element in this problem. In our twenty first century, tobacco companies took a step ahead and brought in a totally new revolution: e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, e-cigs for short, are battery operated nicotine delivery devices, which provide a way to safely experience the conventional cigarettes.
Thesis Statement: E-cigarettes affect its users in negative ways and have certain other associated issues but these issues are going unrecognized; There is a need of wider recognition of this issue because e-cigarettes cause addiction and do not help in quit smoking, as claimed by them, and a large number of people, especially college students are getting addicted to e-cigarettes due to misleading campaigns and unawareness about associated health problems.
E-cigarettes are sold as an alternative to quit cigarette without even any appropriate evidence whether these e-cigarettes are non-addictive and safer way to quit traditional cigarettes or not:
People consume e-cigarettes which lead to addiction and people are unable to quit once started. This was an astounding phenomenon because e-cigarettes did not only satisfy amount of nicotine dosage for smokers, but also removed unnecessary chemicals that were in conventional cigarettes for safer and healthier choices. What was even more appealing is that the nicotine cartridges were available in different flavors, such as strawberry, apple, and grape. Why not adapt to a new environment for better? Unsurprisingly, our society shifted to this new sensation and young adults’ use of e-cigarettes boomed quite rapidly.
E-cigarette producers have failed in corroborating their claim that e-cigarette helps people in quit smoking. These companies have not produced substantial evidences that prove that e-cigarettes cause lesser harm in comparison to traditional cigarettes, but at the other hand, some experts suggest that e-cigarettes can entice non-smokers to start using e-cigarettes. The biggest problem is that there is lack of research on this issue and youngsters are misled by word of mouth that e-cigarettes are not as injurious as traditional cigarettes. There are many questions and concerns that are required to be answered before approving the use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to the traditional cigarettes. There is a need of extensive research and study in order to prove both claims, as well as, rumors about e-cigarettes (Senthilingam).
Research studies, conducted to analyze behavior of e-cigarette smokers, reveal that some people, especially adolescents perceive it as safer; whereas, other people in various cases are aware with the fact that e-cigarette is a substitute of conventional cigarettes and pose similar disadvantages. They do not use e-cigarettes with any intention of quit smoking. The use of e-cigarettes was initially promoted as an alternative of reduce or quit smoking. However, in reality e-cigarettes are a substitute of cigarettes. Saddleson et al. (2015) mention about the continuous and rising use of e-cigarettes among youngsters. A survey conducted on 1437 young adults, 18 to 23 years from 4 colleges and universities reveal that almost 95 percent students are aware of e-cigarettes and 15 percent use them. During the research study, it was identified that students perceive e-cigarettes less harmful as compared to other tobacco and alcoholic products. Current users said that they are using e-cigarette because it is safe, whereas non-users indicated towards possibility of using e-cigarettes (Saddleson et al., 2015).
Institutions like The World Health Organization along with American Academy of Pediatrics and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease have expressed their concerns over growing trend of using e-cigarettes among youngsters. There is no clear evidence that e-cigarettes help in quit smoking but several prestigious organizations, as well as, other health experts believe that e-cigarettes can increase the chances of addiction among their users. The National Institute of Drug Abuse suggests that e-cigarettes keep maintain the nicotine levels among smokers and they discourage people to quit.
E-cigarette producers use different advertisement and promotional techniques to encourage people to use e-cigarettes which attracts non-users as well. Chapmana and Wu (2014), in their research study, analyze how e-cigarettes encourage non-users to start smoking. Adolescents are on a high risk of start smoking because they consider e-cigarettes as safe. The use of e-cigarettes among adolescents has gone up from 3.3 percent in year 2011 to 10 percent in year 2012. The study also reveals that none of the groups i.e. adolescents, youngsters and adults use e-cigarettes with intention of quitting (Chapmana and Wu, 2014).
In another study that was conducted on 4444 students reveals that though the use of e-cigarettes is common among traditional cigarette smokers, a significant percentage i.e. 12 percent of people who never used conventional smoking use e-cigarettes. People sometime consume e-cigarettes under perception that they do not cause health harms, however, their intention to quit smoking is not clear. Sutfin et al. (2012) mention that misconception, established in favor of e-cigarettes that they do not cause health problems, is irrelevant. In e-cigarettes, people consume nicotine in the form of vapor that causes health problems (Sutfin, Erin L., et al., 2013).
In general, there has been numerous positive feedbacks on e-cigarettes compared to conventional cigarettes; however, most of the population is deceived by a false campaign of tobacco companies – not only leading towards quitting, but also persuading young adults to start using e-cigs. Use of e-cigarettes among young adults is an under-recognized public health issue because their misconceptions of using e-cigarettes have negative effects mentally and physically. Consequences of peer pressure engage young adults to start using e-cigs without knowing the exact effect on health. The curiosity eventually leads to an addictive nature of nicotine eventually. The attitude of young adults, who use e-cigs, disregards the community (Senthilingam).
Approach adopted by the government is too generous to handle the issues associated with e-cigarettes, which leaving issue unrecognized:
Despite of lack of any positive effects on human health, neither any governments nor any authority have raised questions against the use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette producers are gaining success by increasing the number of new e-cigarettes smokers. However, these producers have failed miserably in proving their claims that e-cigarettes help in quitting cigarettes and they do not affect smokers in adverse manner. The World Health Organization have not endorsed the use of e-cigarettes and in fact have raised its objections regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Several other organizations have also expressed their concerns over rampant propagation of e-cigarettes and its increasing use among youngsters.
Trumbo and Kim (2015) mention that government has not posed any restriction on e-cigarettes advertisements. Therefore, companies advertise e-cigarettes as safer, fashionable and technical way of smoking. Tobacco companies spend significant money in advertising e-cigarettes without any restriction from government. The advertisement revenue has gone up from USD 3.7 million to USD 19.9 million within span of one year and government is also earning in the form of taxes. The impact of advertisement is clearly visible on individuals. A substantial percentage of people use e-cigarettes because they consider it less harmful. Trumbo and Kim say that people also consume e-cigarettes because they believe that e-cigarettes are not addictive and can be quite any time unlike conventional smoking (Trumbo and Kim, 2015). Government do not care what e-cigarette companies are doing in order to increase their sale. The issue requires more research and government attention in order to become a serious public health issue.
Irrespective of all the above mentioned claims, the sale and use of e-cigarettes are continuously at rise. Contrary to the claims of medical experts and health organizations, a majority of users accept that e-cigarettes have helped them quit smoking or at least they have helped them in reduce the frequency of smoking. Producers of e-cigarettes have always argued that these cigarettes help in quitting and reducing use of cigarettes but these companies have not presented scientific data and this is why their claim is not approved by the authorities. E-cigarette users present mixed experiences about e-cigarettes but there is a need of extensive research on this issue.
Considering various related aspects of e-cigarettes, it can be concluded that there is a need of extensive research, study and awareness on e-cigarettes. Producers of e-cigarettes claim that these cigarettes help people in quit smoking but they have miserably failed in substantiating their claims. There are a number of concerns that should be addressed before approving the use of e-cigarettes. On the other hand, a number of health experts and health organizations claim that e-cigarettes cause addiction and other health related problems. These cigarettes have become popular among youngsters even there is no evidence about their positive impact in quitting traditional cigarettes. Policymakers need to consider this issue in a more serious and sensitive manner. Youngsters, as well as, other e-cigarette users cannot be left to vaporize their health, money and futures in this manner.
Chapman, Shawna L. Carroll, and Li-Tzy Wu. "E-cigarette prevalence and correlates of use among adolescents versus adults: a review and comparison." Journal of psychiatric research 54 (2014): 43-54. Print.
Saddleson, M. L., et al. "Risky behaviors, e-cigarette use and susceptibility of use among college students." Drug and alcohol dependence 149 (2015): 25-30. Print.
Senthilingam, Meera. "E-cigarettes: Helping smokers quit, or fueling a new addiction?" 23 March 2015. CNN. Electronic. 26 June 2015.
Sutfin, Erin L., et al. "Electronic cigarette use by college students." Drug and alcohol dependence 131.3 (2013): 214-221. Print.
Trumbo, Craig W. and , Se-Jin 'Sage' Kim. "The effect of electronic cigarette advertising on intended use among college students." Addictive behaviors 46 (2015): 77-81. Print.