Politicians, (including Trump) and doctors overreact and exaggerate when faced with questions about the e-cigarette. In the United States, a number of people recently died after using e-cigarettes, sparking a ban on e-cigarettes. Such a reaction is not smart, considering how smokers can benefit from using e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes are much safer than tobacco cigarettes, as long as approved liquids are used. In fact, researchers have even estimated that e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. Nicotine (which is found in e-cigarettes and tobacco) is addictive, but is not carcinogenic. E-cigarettes are not completely harmless, but they do not contain substances such as tar and carbon monoxide. Of course, using tobacco-free or e-cigarettes is the best option for your health if you want to smoke.
Research has shown that nicotine-free e-cigarettes, also called Hookah pens, do not contain any harmful substances at all and are therefore completely harmless!
E-cigarette related deaths
But…people died after using e-cigarettes, right? Yes, that’s right. However, those affected filled their e-cigarette with THC fluid (the psychoactive substance from cannabis) instead of regular e-cigarette fluid.
In 2015, many newspapers claimed that e-cigarettes are 15 times more carcinogenic than tobacco. Of course, this is not correct. In fact, it is morally wrong to unnecessarily scare people with these kinds of panic tactics and false messages. My concern is that people who switched to the e-cigarette started smoking tobacco again due to such messages, therefore greatly increasing their risk of disease and death.
The dark side of e-cigarettes with nicotine is that they can be bought by people who have never smoked tobacco, mostly young people, which is a great concern. If you are not already addicted to tobacco and nicotine, it is unwise to start using e-cigarettes. However, this does not apply to our Hookah pens, since they contain no nicotine and therefore will not cause addiction and won’t expose the user to harmful substances.
There are also concerns that young people who start using e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke tobacco. Banning e-cigarettes altogether is not a good solution, but leaving it completely unregulated is not an option either. The answer is better enforcement. We already have an age limit of 18 years for e-cigarettes and tobacco. With proper compliance with this age limit, minors cannot purchase these products.
Candy and fruit flavor
Should we ban e-cigarette liquid with a different flavor than tobacco? No. Sweets and fruit flavors can attract young people, but they also make it easier for smokers who want to quit smoking to “detox” the taste of tobacco. Moreover, I prefer that young people who try hookah pens experience the taste of sweets or fruit as opposed to becoming acquainted with the taste of tobacco.
Misleading and incorrect reporting on e-cigarettes only distracts from the real problem: tobacco products. Approximately 15 percent of American adults smoke, and 1,300 people die every day due to the effects of smoking in America. That is 480,000 (!) deaths per year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. By properly informing the public and basing policies on scientific evidence instead of gut feeling, e-cigarettes or Hookah pens may be part of the solution to this major public health problem.