According to Christian Nordqvist of MNT Knowledge Center, electronic cigarettes which are also called e-cigarettes or vaporizer cigarettes are battery-operated devices that mimic the functions of tobacco cigarettes in a sense that they emit vaporized solutions that may or may not contain nicotine. Their appearance varies but the most common ones are those that look like your regular tobacco cigarette. Nordqvist also noted that e-cigarette was first invented in 2003, by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik.
The article “Who Invented the E-Cigarette” related the circumstances by which Hon Lik decided to create something that could satisfy one’s craving for nicotine but still be safer than the usual tobacco cigarette. Hon Lik used to be a heavy smoker. But when his father died of lung cancer due to smoking, Hon Lik was inspired to create an alternative. Thus, e-cigarette was born.
As we can see, e-cigarette was created primarily to help people slowly wean themselves out of smoking. In fact, Joe Nocera mentioned in his article in New York Times that e-cigarette is the first harm-reduction product to achieve favorable results towards American smokers. Also Deborah Leader, RN listed in her article in About.com several cases in which smokers that had history of relapses when trying to quit using professional smoking cessation assistance methods had been able to successfully abstain from tobacco cigarettes with the help of e-cigarettes.
It is also a definite plus that most e-cigarettes look and somewhat feel the same as the real cigarettes but lacks all the toxic chemicals that are in their counterpart. Jen Christensen of CNN explained that what make cigarettes lethal are not primarily the nicotine but the toxic chemicals as well as filler products burn. Thus, in this rationale, e-cigarettes really pose a lot less health risk than real cigarettes. Another benefit of using e-cigarettes is that according to an article by Susan Cassidy, it does not leave a bad smell on the user unlike real cigarettes because you do not need a match or a lighter to use an e-cigarette. It has its own mechanics on enabling the user to inhale the vaporized substance that is in it.
Many health advocates such as the WHO and British regulator MHRA among others, are pushing for the banning or restrictions of e-cigarettes simply for the fact that it resembles (and is even named) after tobacco cigarettes. However, Gilbert Ross, M.D. mentioned in an article in Forbes.com that e-cigarettes should not be banned or restricted on the same basis as tobacco cigarettes because the two are different. He also stated that among smokers that started using e-cigarettes, a significant number is now ex-smokers. Also, the article made note of the fact that historically speaking, sales of real (tobacco) cigarettes declined with the increase of e-cigarette sales. This implies that as more takes on e-cigarettes, less are smoking tobacco. Gilbert Ross, M.D. also cautioned that banning or restricting e-cigarettes might force others to order online or to go to black markets to buy this product. Inevitably, because these markets are not adequately monitored, it might put the buyers at a higher risk. It is, however understandable if the government decides to limit the selling to those 18 years old and above.
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Christensen, Jen. “E-cigarettes: Healthy tool or gateway device?” CNN International Edition.
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Nocera, Joe. “Two Cheers for E-Cigarettes.” The New York Times. The New York Times
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Bellis, Mary. “Who Invented Electronic Cigarettes?” About.com. Np., 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
Cassidy, Susan. “10 Little Known Facts about E-Cigarettes.” Discovery Fit and Health.
Discovery Communications, LLC, 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
Leader, Deborah, RN. “The Pros and Cons of E-Cigarettes.” About.com. Np., 20 July 2013.
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Ross, Gilbert, M.D. 10/11/2013”Why Is the FDA Shielding Smokers from the Good News
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